Sunday, September 6, 2009

Christopher Hedges - Media Matters

Americans warning their countrymen for losing connection with reality and thus rushing towards disaster, is something we hear in this podcast as well as the previous podcast I reviewed. This time I listened to Media Matters which, incidentally, in its previous episode with Glenn Greenwald, who warned about the decay of journalism and its controlling role for democracy, is no less in style. Beware of getting too gloomy.

This broadcast of Media Matters had Christoper Hedges as a guest. Hedges is worried about the decay of literacy in US society. His point is that the big problem is not analphebetism per se, but rather the culture that has replaced the written one. There has always been an elite in culture that was informed and educated and as such steered culture and policy. When this was a culture of the written word, it had values such as giving sources, checking sources, making investigation and so on.

This literate culture has been replaced by a visual culture and in this culture it is the spectacle that reigns. In that culture there is no value for checking sources and making thorough investigations and consequently, this new culture is one of dreams. Hedges warns that Americans, also the elite, is losing their connection with reality and lack the means of catching up. This in a world with threats of climate change and continuous dwindling of US supremacy, militarily, economically and culturally, is ultimately suicidal. he paints a picture of America happily consuming its way into oblivion, without even noticing it.

More Media Matters:
Glenn Greenwald,
Naomi Klein,
Noam Chomsky,
Juan Cole,
The Crisis.

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