29 October 2009

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

About Chris Hedges:

"Chris Hedges, whose column is published on Truthdig.org every Monday, spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He served for eight years as the Middle East bureau chief of The New York Times, where he shared the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism, for coverage of terrorism. Hedges also received the 2002 Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism.

In 2009 the Los Angeles Press Club honored the original columns that Hedges writes for Truthdig by naming the author the Online Journalist of the Year and granting him the Best Online Column award for his Truthdig essay “Party to Murder,” about the December 2008-January 2009 Israeli assault on Gaza.

Hedges is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and the Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University. He has written nine books, including “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle” (2009), “I Don’t Believe in Atheists” (2008) and the best-selling “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America” (2008). His book “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” (2003) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.Hedges, who holds a B.A. in English literature from Colgate University and a master of divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School, is fluent in Arabic and also speaks French, Spanish, Greek and Latin."

Blogger Wilton Vought on whose site (Essential Dissent) the videos are posted, writes:

"This video should be required viewing for all progressives who continue to vote for the lesser fascist. Can we just get over this already? Can we get real? Can we come to a true understanding of the situation? Can we stop believing that the oligarchy is going to play Santa Claus, hand us a great big present in the form of a savior politician, and voluntarily relinquish its immense power and privilege? Has your little lesser fascist voting game taken you where you want to go? It is said that the essence of insanity is to perform the same action repeatedly and expect a different result. Can you admit that your actions meet this definition? It's time to build an alternative. Will you be part of the problem or part of the solution?"

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

Also check out Wilton Vought's article "The Evil of Two Lessers" written last year before Obama became President.

"A few points to consider:

1. Anyone who succeeds in becoming the presumptive Presidential nominee of either corporate party does so only with the blessing of the corporate interests who run those parties. The main goal of these power brokers is to constantly increase their wealth and power, and their only source of dissatisfaction with the status quo is that they don't yet own and control everything and everyone. Expecting a front man for such interests to be a catalyst for substantive progressive change is akin to believing in Santa Claus. Fine for the kids, but it's time to grow up.

2. Obama's mantra of "Change" is deliberately misleading. It is a blank slate upon which he hopes you will write the message you want to see. Yes, we all want change, but what type of change? He won't tell you this because it's an empty promise, therefore the vacuous slogan. This slogan is an admission by Obama's corporate handlers that they know many of us are disgusted with the state of the nation, but instead of spelling out in detail just how they will institute progressive change (for example, ending the corporate resource grab in Iraq), they offer us a blank slate candidate who will continue on the same deadly trajectory. Can you admit to yourself that you already knew this?

3. One of Obama's main foreign policy advisers is Zbigniew Brzezinski, a very dangerous zealot for the Empire. You can Google him to find out more, and then ask yourself if this is the kind of person you want whispering into the ear of the President, and further if you should vote for a man who would listen to the likes of Mr. Brzezinski." continues at link. Read it!


Unknown said...

Thank you for embedding my video of Chris Hedges' recent talk in Binghamton, NY. I originally posted it to my blog called "Essential Dissent" and it has been making the rounds since then.

However, the writings you attribute to Mr. Hedges are actually mine. This includes the paragraph which states that the Hedges video should be required viewing (an expression of my exasperation at local activists who were big Obama supporters prior to the election), and the blog post entitled "The Evil of Two Lessers." Please correct this before others copy your attribution.

Also, please post a link to my blog: http://essentialdissent.blogspot.com

This will help raise my standing with the search engines, meaning more people may end up seeing this video. Thank you very much.

Wilton Vought

David Sketchley said...

Apologies Wilton. I thought the Essential Dissent blog was Chris Hedge's! Anyway, I hope the corrections above meet with your approval. Best.