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Early Reviews: Cultural Defiance/Cultural Deviance

To the names of McLuhan, Postman, Ellul, and Ong, please now add Peter K. Fallon.  This isn’t so much a book as it is a placeholder for polymaths.  This isn’t a collection of essays unified by a theme or subject, but rather a collection of discrete objects subjected to the same methodology.  They are historical, analogical, probing, semantic, linguistic, and psychological.  And not religious but spiritual, in the best sense of that beaten dead horse… If you read the essays collected herein, even some of them, you will have committed the cultural heresy of the title.  You will have committed the act of contemplation, in defiance of the noise, rush, bright colors, and distraction from the unmitigated disaster of technological society’s clustercuss all around you.  And that will be a deviant thing to do. – Read Mercer Schuchardt, Wheaton College (from the Foreword)


Neil Postman suggested that all of the social and behavioral sciences would be best understood as a form of moral theology. Without a doubt, he would have heartily approved of this well-written and thoughtful collection of essays by Peter K Fallon, who writes in the tradition of Jacques Ellul, Walter Ong, Marshall McLuhan, and Postman himself, and brings deep insight, grounded in the media ecology intellectual tradition, coupled with a sharp wielding of ethical criteria, to matters of contemporary and universal human concern. – Lance Strate, Professor of Communication and Media Studies, Fordham University


Both a student of renowned Communications theorist Neil Postman and the winner of the Media Ecology Association's Lewis Mumford Award (named for Postman’s own intellectual hero), Peter K. Fallon is the perfect tour guide through our techno-mediated environment. He adheres scrupulously to Postman's conception of media ecology as nothing less than an exploration of the ways in which our communication habits and technologies enhance or impede our chances for survival… In the words and spirit of Jacques Ellul--one of the intellectual heirs Fallon pays homage to in the book--"Contemplation as Defiance/Deviance" is "a call to the sleeper to awake." – Eric Goodman, Producer, Composer, Performer: Thus Spoke the Spectacle


For nearly two decades, Peter K. Fallon worked for NBC News. Today, he is a media scholar and a powerful critic of the television he once produced… These essays by a writer of conscience and acute observation insist on the continuity between our media and our moral lives. Fallon’s evident passion for the potential of media, and his pointed criticisms of the moments when television and other media betray their promise, affect all who read his thoughtful books. – Anne-Marie Cusac, George Polk Award-winning investigative journalist; author, Cruel and Unusual: The Culture of Punishment in America

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