By Brad Buchholz
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Chris Hedges, who wrote Empire of Illusion examines America’s identity crisis in an age of consumerism and spectacle.
Chris Hedges sees, in America, a nation that has lost its way. He sees a country that places prosperity above principle, celebrity above substance, spectacle above nuance and introspection. He sees a “timid, cowed, confused” populace disconnected from language, governed by consumerism, ambivalent toward the common good, enamored by an American myth that has no basis in the American reality.
“We are a culture that has been denied, or has passively given up, the linguistic and intellectual tools to cope with complexity, to separate illlusion from reality,” Hedges writes in his new book, “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.” “We have traded the printed word for the gleaming image. Public rhetoric is designed to be comprehensible to a ten-year-old child or an adult with a sixth-grade reading level.
from the archives: