The Triumph of Spectacle

Illustrations by Meg Hunt

The Triumph of Spectacle

Don’t deny it. You’ve caught yourself staring, the remote in your hand.

The Balloon Boy floats through a cloudless cable news sky. A strangely mustachioed pastor of a tiny congregation bellows his intent to torch Korans on September 11.

This celebrity stumbles into rehab. That one’s arrested for dog fighting. Gorgeous correspondents gleefully detail another pious politician’s philandering.

When did we develop a taste for this spectacle where even the talking heads shout?

Nebraska Wesleyan University’s 10th annual Visions and Ventures symposium looked at our too often deleterious discourse through a series of September lectures on “Filters and Lenses: The Production, Dissemination and Reception of Information.”

The resulting discussion on campus led us to ask: How does NWU equip its graduates to understand media? And how do we prepare students to filter the noise and contribute meaningfully to our national conversation?