Quote of the Day

This, from the wonderful and quixotic-in-the-good-way Joe Bageant, strikes me as deeply true, and deeply related to big business marketing, among other things:

Our faculty of ordinary encounter has been systematically broken down. In its place we now have our unique social hallucination. Never do we encounter anything directly, yet we get the illusion of encounter. This includes encounter with each other. Anyone who lives in meatspace with his or her fellow Americans could not deny 57 million of them health. In this society no one is any longer capable of recognizing anyone else. Instead, we see others as the screamers at the town hall meetings, or as communists who want to give free healthcare to illegals and establish death panels. Or as Christian fundamentalists, or as liberals or conservatives. Or as celebrities or as nobodies.

A Remarkable Quotation

Other than its deep connections to the stunning triumph of television and its inherently infantilizing content over the American mindscape, the plague of fundamentalist Christianity isn’t really directly connected to big business marketing.

Nevertheless, I have to do my part to preserve this one:

In reporting on the surge of the Presidential campaign of Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (are we stuck in a Sinclair Lewis novel or what?), The New York Times interviewed Huckabee supporter Christine Hurley, an Iowa mother of ten (yes, ten!) home-“schooled” children. Hurley provided this succinct statement of the “pillars” of her “faith” and life:

We are about the pillar issues of our faith — family, marriage and abortion. Home schooling is just part of it. (www.nytimes.com, December 17, 2007)

Such are the depths of the implanted unreason to which the tele-vange-Christian third of our population has sunk, under the downward centrifugal forces generated by our super-decrepit ruling class’s Orwellian-Huxleyan style of governance. Somebody to whom a book about an itinerant single man who never formed a nuclear family and whose cardinal task was encouraging resistance of the Roman Empire and its money-grubbing local allies is supposed to be the one and only lodestar in life literally can’t think about anything outside the walls of her own over-crowded abode.

This ongoing shriveling of both ordinary people’s humanity and the good parts of American culture is simply heartbreaking. This Xmas, it’s way beyond time for some tables to get tipped over in the temples of power and convention.