We have traded the printed word for the gleaming image

We are a culture that has been denied, or has passively given up, the linguistic and intellectual tools to cope with complexity, to separate illusion from reality. 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. Most of us speak at this level, are entertained and think at this level. We have transformed our culture into a vast replica of Pinocchio’s Pleasure Island, where boys were lured with the promise of no school and endless fun. They were all, however, turned into donkeys — a symbol, in Italian culture, of ignorance and stupidity.”

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


Currently reading this book, and it gives voice to a lot of my own thoughts about pop culture, the failure of critical thinking, and the current state of the world. We have traded the printed word for the gleaming image – memes, gifs, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, streaming services. No long diatribe here. I just wanted to share this quote. I encourage you to consider reading this book and taking what it says to heart.

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