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celeb gossip-media paper

celeb gossip-media paper - Jamila Pierce ENG 101 Gladney...

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Jamila Pierce ENG 101 Gladney 11/03/07 ORIGINAL PAPER Faust and the Celebrity Gossip Industry: An Unexpected Parallel “Faustian bargain- (FOW-Stee-uhn) Faust, in the legend traded his soul to the Devil in exchange for knowledge. To strike a “Faustian bargain” is to be willing to sacrifice anything to satisfy a limitless desire for knowledge or power” (New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy). The idea of Faust and his infamous bargain, is one that can be traced back to the early 16th century, yet, over the years, has managed to maintain its relevance to all aspects of society. What was originally presented in a classic German legend, intended to reinforce the idea of heaven and hell, and dangers of “dancing with the Devil,” has managed to transcend not only the years, but an ever-changing society as well. Ironically, it was through advances in technology and knowledge that this legend gained its notoriety . The printing press was invented, written word became accessible, and the rest was history. Different interpretations and adaptations of the Faust legend were eventually found in many different repertoires ranging from Goethe to Oscar Wilde. The idea that a thirst for knowledge could bring with it consequences was one that has gained relevance in society today . Human contact and interaction has decreased greatly in this “information age,” and many have been quick to take note. Neil Postman states, “We must learn that every time we consume any technology or medium, we make a Faustian bargain; that is, something good and bad happens. The task is to know both.” Yet, therein lies the dilemma, as the thirst for new information and technology has
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increased, the analysis of at what/who’s expense has decreased. So, to draw the comparison that the celebrity gossip industry has engaged itself in its own Faustian bargain of sorts would at first seem far-fetched, but with a closer look become easily representative of the problem posed by Postman.
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