Postman believes that the wide circulation of Thomas Paine’s famous 1776 pamphlet (an argument for American freedom from the British monarchy) is a symbol of the strength of print culture in America’s foundational period. The popularity of Common Sense indicated a desire to know things through reason and to engage in meaningful, lengthy discourses about issues most relevant to the American public. This also demonstrated that America was enjoying a true age of reason and enlightenment. For Postman, Common Sense is most potent as a symbol when we consider the impossibility of an argumentative pamphlet having such an impact in 20th century society. Thus Common Sense is an aptly titled stand-in for what we used to have, and for what we’ve lost in the rise of the Age of Show Business.
Thomas Paine’s Common Sense Quotes in Amusing Ourselves to Death
The only communication event that could produce such collective attention in today's America is the Superbowl.