the decay of american culture

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by rickyb, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. rickyb

    rickyb Well-Known Member

    the decay of american culture


    http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/page5/20090730_book_excerpt_empire_of_illusion

    chris hedges:

    The working classes, comprising tens of millions of struggling Americans, are shut out of television’s gated community. They have become largely invisible. They are mocked, even as they are tantalized, by the lives of excess they watch on the screen in their living rooms. Almost none of us will ever attain these lives of wealth and power. Yet we are told that if we want it badly enough, if we believe sufficiently in ourselves, we too can have everything. We are left, when we cannot adopt these impossible lifestyles as our own, with feelings of inferiority and worthlessness. We have failed where others have succeeded.

    We consume countless lies daily, false promises that if we spend more money, if we buy this brand or that product, if we vote for this candidate, we will be respected, envied, powerful, loved, and protected. The flamboyant lives of celebrities and the outrageous characters on television, movies, professional wrestling, and sensational talk shows are peddled to us, promising to fill up the emptiness in our own lives. Celebrity culture encourages everyone to think of themselves as potential celebrities, as possessing unique if unacknowledged gifts. It is, as Christopher Lasch diagnosed, a culture of narcissism. Faith in ourselves, in a world of make-believe, is more important than reality. Reality, in fact, is dismissed and shunned as an impediment to success, a form of negativity. The New Age mysticism and pop psychology of television personalities, evangelical pastors, along with the array of self-help bestsellers penned by motivational speakers, psychiatrists, and business tycoons, all peddle a fantasy. Reality is condemned in these popular belief systems as the work of Satan, as defeatist, as negativity or as inhibiting our inner essence and power. Those who question, those who doubt, those who are critical, those who are able to confront reality and who grasp the hollowness of celebrity culture, are shunned and condemned for their pessimism. The illusionists who shape our culture, and who profit from our incredulity, hold up the gilded cult of us. Popular expressions of religious belief, personal empowerment, corporatism, political participation, and self-definition argue that all of us are special, entitled, and unique. All of us, by tapping into our inner reserves of personal will and undiscovered talent, by visualizing what we want, can achieve, and deserve to achieve, happiness, fame, and success. This relentless message cuts across ideological lines. This mantra has seeped into every aspect of our lives. We are all entitled to everything.

    Celebrities, who often come from humble backgrounds, are held up as proof that anyone, even we, can be adored by the world. These celebrities, like saints, are living proof that the impossible is always possible. Our fantasies of belonging, of fame, of success and of fulfillment, are projected onto celebrities. These fantasies are stoked by the legions of those who amplify the culture of illusion, who persuade us that the shadows are real. The juxtaposition of the impossible illusions inspired by celebrity culture and our “insignificant” individual achievements, however, eventually leads to frustration, anger, insecurity, and invalidation. It results, ironically, in a self-perpetuating cycle that drives the frustrated, alienated individual with even greater desperation and hunger away from reality, back toward the empty promises of those who seduce us, who tell us what we want to hear. We beg for more. We ingest these lies until our money runs out. And when we fall into despair we medicate ourselves, as if the happiness we have failed to find in the hollow game is our deficiency. And, of course, we are told it is.

    Human beings become a commodity in a celebrity culture. They are objects, like consumer products. They have no intrinsic value. They must look fabulous and live on fabulous sets. Those who fail to meet the ideal are belittled and mocked. Friends and allies are to be used and betrayed during the climb to fame, power and wealth. And when they are no longer useful they are to be discarded. In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury’s novel about a future dystopia, people spend most of the day watching giant television screens that show endless scenes of police chases and criminal apprehensions. Life, Bradbury understood, once it was packaged and filmed, became the most compelling form of entertainment.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
  2. oldngray

    oldngray nowhere special

    unable-to-process-wall-of-text.jpg
     
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  3. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    Holy Cow !! Who wants to read all that. If I'm gonna read a ton, it should be written by John Grisham.
     
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  4. rickyb

    rickyb Well-Known Member

    i think chris hedges has also dealt with americans not reading. another sign of decay.
     
  5. realbrown1

    realbrown1 Annoy a liberal today. Hit them with facts.

    Why do you even care? America is not your country.
     
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  6. rickyb

    rickyb Well-Known Member

    doesnt matter alot of it is true in canada to a lesser degree. and i do it to make u guys think and hten maybe you will actually do something and unplug from the matrix
     
  7. scooby0048

    scooby0048 This page left intentionally blank

    But has he dealt with Canadians who have poor sentence structure. Now that would be great reading! Ricky, you seem like a nice guy who is well-meaning but for the love of god man, if you want to spew this propaganda, could you please at least try to make your sentences readable!
     
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  8. rickyb

    rickyb Well-Known Member

    i mean most of the stuff on the forum is of low value. this is probably 1 of the most important things you can read and your reaction is to dismiss it.
     
  9. realbrown1

    realbrown1 Annoy a liberal today. Hit them with facts.

    You have been asked to inprove the way you post on BC. You have not done it as of yet.
    Are you unable or just unwilling?
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
  10. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member

    Pot and kettle?
    If nothing else, you have nerve! LOL
     
  11. rickyb

    rickyb Well-Known Member

    well we have different perspectives on what posts are of value and which arent.

    frankly i wont be posting here much more (i got fired from UPS for complaining about being called to work not having work and not being paid), this was going to be one of my last threads, nor do i want to "pollute" teh forum with stuff that actually matters.

    i think the fact that u and most other average guys think the things i say is wrong / cant be true is proof to the idea that america is a totalitarian society under the guise of democracy. because when most people believe in illusions and magic thats a sign of tyranny. i cant remember the exact quote
     
  12. Turdferguson

    Turdferguson Guest

    I believe it was Turvesgustuson who said that. Correct me if I am wrong
     
  13. rickyb

    rickyb Well-Known Member

     
  14. realbrown1

    realbrown1 Annoy a liberal today. Hit them with facts.

    No wonder that everyone doen't like you. LOL
     
  15. Turdferguson

    Turdferguson Guest

    How's that anger management working for you?
     
  16. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member

    Thanks for giving an example.
    BTW, I would not want everyone to like me.
    The current 80% who like me is just fine.
     
  17. Jones

    Jones fILE A GRIEVE! Staff Member

    It's just proof that America is a society period. In any fairly stable society regardless of the governing structure the majority of people will tend to see the way things are as the way things should be because they're invested in that system and they know how to work within it.
     
  18. oldngray

    oldngray nowhere special

    So when everyone else disagrees with you then they are all wrong and you are the only one who is right? You might want to ponder that and let it sink in.
     
  19. rickyb

    rickyb Well-Known Member

    just because everyone disagrees or agrees doesnt make what im saying factual or not...
     
  20. rickyb

    rickyb Well-Known Member

    yea i think about that too. alot of guys i listen to say america's culture really changed after wwI with the invention of mass propaganda and it then shifted from american culture to corporate culture.