with Chris Hedges
TheWritersFestival on Jan 26, 2010
Chris Hedges reads from his book Empire of Illusion at the Ottawa International Writers Festival.
As a Socialist, I can assure you Obama is not a Socialist. — Chris Hedges
Minnesota Public Radio NewsQ
Pulitzer-prize winning foreign correspondent Chris Hedges argues that our country is undergoing an economic, political and moral collapse. He says most Americans “cannot differentiate between lies and truth” because they’ve abandoned literacy and print culture.
Guest Chris Hedges: author most recently of the book, “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle 2009. He’s also the author of “War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning” 2003.
RT on Feb 13, 2010
American journalist and Pulitzer winner Chris Hedges told RT the United States has developed a new form of corporate totalitarianism.
“We have to break the back of the consumer economy,” Hedges said. “70 percent of our economy is driven by consumption. We have to cripple our money flow to the extent that we can build a popular movement that counters the corporate rape of the country that is furthered both by the Democrats and the Republicans – the better off we’ll be. Many people are disillusioned by Obama and quite rightly so. But whether that means that they will take the active step to step outside the system and to fight, that is unknown.”
Chris Hedges gives us a quick sketch of his latest book “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle”. He discusses the real role of the US media as one of the main culprits in promoting a sense of exceptionalism by disseminating fantasy, and poisoning civil and political discourse with entertainment and trivia. He talks about the spectacle surrounding Barrack Obama’s presidential campaign and his function as a brand just like any other commercial commodity brand advertised and promoted by corporations, the last decade’s coup d’état in slow motion, and much more!
All Things Considered
Interview: Journalist Chris Hedges, Author of “Empire of Illusion”
Journalist Chris Hedges says we live in two separate Americas.
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:
In case you missed this talk by Hedges on this post: Chris Hedges: Empire of Illusion – The Cult of Self
July 22, 2009 Continue reading
Note: replaced video Jan. 30, 2016
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Binghamton
Binghamton, NY; October 24, 2009
Week of Climate Action – Keynote Address
The Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition coordinated a week long series of events leading up to the International Day of Climate Action on October 24, 2009 as a part of the international campaign being organized by 350.org.
Welcome to the Tipping Point! The End Times. The Bizarro Hall of Mirrors. The Funny Farm. The Monkey House.
Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
By Chris Hedges
Hardcover: 232 pages
Publisher: Nation Books (2009)
If you’re looking for one of those treacly Oprah books—The Secret, and its variants—avoid this one. Those books nourish like potato chips and leave most people more confused, more desperate, more thirsty for fantasies than before. No amount of wishing, earnest yearning, visualizing and New Age mysticism is going to get us out of the morass we’re in. In Empire of Illusion, Chris Hedges takes a sober look down our hall of distorting mirrors. The son of a minister, with a degree in theology from Harvard, a columnist for Truthdig.com, Hedges has worked as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. His books include War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning and American Fascists. He was part of the New York Times team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism. Here are some of the pertinent facts he contemplates:
Read this brilliant and humorous chapter from Chris Hedges’ new book and marvel as the Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent makes sense of reality television.
Adapted from “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle,” available from Nation Books, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2009.
Celebrity worship banishes reality. And this adulation is pervasive. It is dressed up in the language of the Christian Right, which builds around its leaders, people like Pat Robertson or Joel Olsteen, the aura of stardom, fame and celebrity power. These Christian celebrities travel in private jets and limousines. They are surrounded by retinues of bodyguards, have television programs where they cultivate the same false intimacy with the audience, and, like all successful celebrities, amass personal fortunes. The frenzy around political messiahs, or the devotion of millions of women to Oprah Winfrey, is all part of the yearning to see ourselves in those we worship. We seek to be like them. We seek to make them like us. If Jesus and The Purpose Driven Life won’t make us a celebrity, then Tony Robbins or positive psychologists or reality television will. We are waiting for our cue to walk onstage and be admired and envied, to become known and celebrated.