Noise: How Our Media-Saturated Culture Dominates Lives and Dismantles Families Paperback – Jan 1 2007
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
CON: I wish she would have delved more into cell phone usage and the impact that's having on culture. It's like the huge elephant in the room that wasn't really addressed much.
I also think the music section left a little something to be desired. We all know rap is harmful. But she didn't do much to address other genres of music that can stray into sad or inappropriate messages like most R&B and some alternative music as well.
Finally, I think this book limited its universality by leaning too heavily on the Catholic perspective. I am a strong, practicing Catholic myself, but I could see the shortcomings in how other religious perspectives weren't really validated. She threw out the "Christian" term regarding music and performers but even that wasn't consistent. And she includes things like "Catholics need to make their voices heard" where she could've simply said "People who want to protect traditional morals" etc. As a Catholic, it all applied to me. But this book has such good information and insight that I'd hate to see it bypassed by a lot of people who may not relate to the religious theme so much. We all need to band together to beat this media monster. Not just Catholics or Christians... but all people who want to fight for the decency in their families.
All in all, I do recommend this book highly. And to the reviewer who commented on the politics of it, no such statements were made. Tomeo addresses abortion and euthanasia but she doesn't sit down and tell you how to vote on Social Security or anything. She simply discusses what everyone already knows: the media is "left of center", and she backs it up with facts too!
"Noise" answers the question so often voiced by the Baby Boomers, "What happened to TV?" When I was growing up, "Andy Griffith" and "I Love Lucy" were shows watched by the entire family, and now sexually charged shows like, "Desperate Housewives" is the most popular with young girls aged 9-12. Kids spend as much time hooked up to some form of media as they do in school these days, so we'd better educate ourselves about what's going on, before they're lost to us, and the Faith.
This book, which is as engrossing as it is terrifying, begins with a thorough explanation of the origins of the problem of immorality in media, and how Teresa, who worked for over 20 years in secular media, came to see the problem for what it is. The latter part of the book is divided into sections by type of media, with chapters dedicated to TV, radio, computer games, internet, music, and advertising, and explains the immoral influence in each. She ends her book with a challenge to each of us to get involved in changing the media culture for Christ, full of concrete suggestions from how to overcome our children's addiction to media, to how to get family-friendly coverage on their local news station.
Did you know that "The DaVinci Code" movie far outsold "The Passion of the Christ"? The situation is dire, but take heart, says Teresa. If you have felt that it was too late to stem the tide of the media's pernicious influence, take heart, says Teresa, new forms of media (talk radio, alternative cable news, and the internet) offer some hope to the prevailing humanist agenda out there. You are seeing the result of my taking her suggestions to heart; I began this blog as an attempt to help Catholic parents navigate the treacherous waters of modern media.
Even those of us who work in the media, however, and think we know a thing or two will be able to learn from Teresa Tomeo's exhaustive research, includes references to current statistics on media influence, and valuable resource section at the back of the book. I have read it twice, and learned new things each time to help my children use media wisely, to educate and inform our faith, not destroy it.
Make "Noise" a part of your armory against the ravages of pop culture on your children, and you might find yourself, like me, installing a second computer in the family den, next to the kids' computer, for yourself.