Addicted to Nonsense by Chris Hedges

by Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Nov. 30, 2009

Will Tiger Woods finally talk to the police? Who will replace Oprah? (Not that Oprah can ever be replaced, of course.) And will Michaele and Tareq Salahi, the couple who crashed President Barack Obama’s first state dinner, command the hundreds of thousands of dollars they want for an exclusive television interview? Can Levi Johnston, father of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s grandson, get his wish to be a contestant on “Dancing With the Stars”?

The chatter that passes for news, the gossip that is peddled by the windbags on the airwaves, the noise that drowns out rational discourse, and the timidity and cowardice of what is left of the newspaper industry reflect our flight into collective insanity. We stand on the cusp of one of the most seismic and disturbing dislocations in human history, one that is radically reconfiguring our economy as it is the environment, and our obsessions revolve around the trivial and the absurd.


via Truthdig

Copyright © 2009 Truthdig

Chris Hedges spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He has written nine books, including Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009) and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2003).


Ralph Nader: End the War on Drugs + Book Fair with Ralph Nader and Chris Hedges

from the archives:

Happiness Consultants Won’t Stop a Depression by Chris Hedges

Buying Brand Obama by Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges: Empire of Illusion – The Cult of Self

Chris Hedges: Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle

Book Excerpt: ‘Empire of Illusion’ by Chris Hedges

16 thoughts on “Addicted to Nonsense by Chris Hedges

  1. More distraction to keep us from realizing what is, slowly but surely, hitting us? The media is not the gospel. Sadly, the capability of thinking for ourselves is vanishing.

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  3. And so the conversation goes on…as we re-locate/re-define/ re-new/ as we seek preservation of self-among, formerly viewed as human “rights” and/or human “needs.”

    I enjoy the different styles and points in sharing perspectives here. Now, I see the adventure in our challenge! Conversation just might be the worthy new sport, provided exchanges aren’t evaluated in the old terms of “right /wrong,” “winners/losers,” “smart/stupid,” etc. etc. The heart of the new sport is “sharing.”

    In reading articles and responses and responding myself, I learn as much about me as I do about each of you. Thanks for the opportunity!


    Hello, Lo

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  5. Is it the media or the people? People can choose to turn the television off, not listen to bullshit radio, ad seek out the true and relevent news.

    Have peole been so dumbed down that they can’t determine what is bullshit? If that is the case, there is no hope!

    I don’t watch television or listen to the radio, but from what I can gather, politics from the “Two-Parety” system is as distorted as is what is offered on televison.

    It’s time people start taking reposibility for themselves, and not blaming the media, the education, the politicians, the bankers, but themselves.

  6. Thanks, mmckini–you confirm many truths that walk around naked in my mind as I try to figure out how to proceed in this mess!

    What I do know is we are in the midst of shifting essential bases for all that we think, do, and believe. In such a shift, many are clinging desperately…those who follow Beck and other artificialities like him for example, proclaiming THE (self) righteousness for all! There are as there always are in chaos, new bids for power. Power mongers are pure opportunists (or downright scavengers, eh?), and we are certainly seeing a whole lot of that including the balloon boy parents to the uninvited guests at the White House. And even when these acts are revealed as the self-aggrandizing scams that they are, the “law” goes into paralysis. People seem to feel some titillation when a “clever one pulls it off.” Admiration for ingenuity is key in our capitalistic philosophy, right?!?

    I think many of the conservatives are reacting to loss of their “decider” (Bush), contrary to what they say about freedom and liberty, etc. And Obama seems to be at the other end of the dictator continuum…a measured thinker who appears to “have all the time in the world” to make a move…sort of like a slow motion chess game he’s playing.

    I hope for my “better nature” to ride through this changing paradigm, which is indeed in motion! I feel we are in powerful and variegated crosswinds…there are no “straight lines of logic” that can ameliorate the damage that has ensued from years of expanding corruption that finally grew larger than the corruptors themselves! We are, in some fashion, “at the mercy of”…though I do not know how to define precisely “the who” or “the what.” Perhaps it is time itself….

    and one another.


    • Beck and his ilk would not have their own shows if they disturbed the plans of the elites … They are part of the disinformation that America is being inundated with. The more confusion they can sow the better for further theft, pillage and looting.

      Don’t believe what they say, watch what they do. Obama is a case in point. For all his silver tongued soliloquy he is but a shill for those that control us … Obama is a duplicitous, fork tongued disciple of the powers that confront us with this miasma of fear and trepidation.

        • Yes I have read Chris Hedges piece … months ago, and all the points he made remain valid if not even more vibrant now.

          Thanks for the link. You should recommend it to others when asked about Obama …

          I am not a journalist … just a concerned citizen … these are troubling times to say the least …

        • Has anyone really watched Beck? He’s totally hollow. What really does he stand for? A ‘patriot’ whatever that means, and definitely a corporatist. Honestly he has no clue what he’s trying to say, totally prime-time hogwash. (Nice antique blackboards, hunted for one of those for like a year….)

          There is good commentary, even from conservatives on TV Talk (Morning Joe with zbigniev-the-warmonger’s buxom blond daughter), Ed, Olbermann, Maddow et al. But the network is in dire straights, and they all work for GE moneybank, bad seed corpos with no regard for life on earth.

          Amy goodman airs on Dish, check it out , she’s a true hero.

          Best thing about TV is UCTV, History and Animal Planet, plus they just ran ‘Long Way Home’ and all the ‘Band of Brothers’ back to back, massive ww2edu, gotta deal with this.

          It’s a powerful medium, but amazed people really watch about celebrities and reality shows, even more bizarre are spectator sports, categorically– can you really watch golf, live or on TV? Yikes. Football? God help us.

          But finally watched Casablanca, fighting Nazis in 1942, well-crafted flick. Before I cancel the cable bill, gotta love this artform, great acting, great medium, but the celebrity madness hysteria is a brain disease, perfect for overfed obese middle amerigoons, keep them daft and deranged and storming anti-union slave-wage wallmart for sweat-shop products, and paying taxes for war, what else are ground-cow-eating rednecks good for? They are not americans, nor patriots, they should be catfood.

  7. Hedges is much too pessimistic. The disenfranchised will not rise up. When has there ever been a revolution of poor people? Was always the educated classes that started and sustained revolutions … The situation is well contained.

    College grads only have a 5% unemployment rate and have been conditioned to sheepishly endorse what ever they are told to. Courage like poverty is not an option. Who would they follow or endorse that hasn’t been pre-qualified by the Shape Shifters?

    And anyway the Powers That Be have already prepared their own police state. Privacy and legal rights have already been subverted. The local police have already been conscripted into Federal Law enforcement and have been equipped with the proper crowd control accoutrement.

    The American delusion is utter and complete and handled properly Americans can be rendered harmless … Worse comes to worse another war, economic meltdown or 9/11 can be mustered. What’s left of the middle and upper classes will demand that the poor be held at arms length and subjugated.

    • What about the Bread Riots? I think you need to footnote your figures regarding unemployment. Grads are apparently far worse off than you state, petit bourgeois though they all are what with tuition these daze (poor can’t afford to be grads). Agreed the worse is yet to come.

      • So far they have been feeding people, mostly with food stamps.

        Graduating college students have had a life of ease. Look around at college campuses and there is no appetite for political expression, at least not yet.

        There have been few war protests, few protests over Wall Street crime on college campuses … What there have been are protests against fee hikes … a rather narrow issue. Even in those protests the villain has been the administrations not the culpability of The Powers That Be in general.

        • Charlie Rangel seems to feel we need to resurrect the Draft to inspire dissent against wars. I had major words with him on a NY Time’s blog. After all, did that help the Isrealies pursue peace? Train kids to kill and you get a generation of more killers. These kids enlist in record numbers now, despite the national warcrime.

          Still love amerigoons & amerigah, folks? Complicity in warcrimes, signing up for atrocity needs to be dissented at all costs, where are the scruples??

          Give blood george bush, Condi, Rummy, Chainey; bring them to justice and pull out of these wars for real. Aren’t the Obombiacs ashamed yet?

        • Hey do they have organic Vegan fodstamps? I want some! I’m tired of being a successful entrepreneur, paying insane withholding FICA & DISA for independent contractors! We should all be independent contractors, and demnd they stop paying our hardest-earned lifetime to banksters and war-profiteers. If we can’t get 40-acres and a mule as promised, at least give us a camper and food-stamps for the farmer’s market for which we worked so hard!

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