Monday, January 23, 2012

Oh the Shame of Our Ignorance!

“Huge segments of our population, especially those who live in the embrace of the Christian right and the consumer culture, are completely unmoored from reality. They lack the capacity to search for truth and cope rationally with our mounting social and economic ills.”

Wow Chris Hedge, way to generalize an entire religious community (one of which I happen to be a member) but don’t worry I’m not the only one you judgmentally lump into a broad stereotype. No, According to you the majority of America’s population is a bunch of “mindless” idiots who “live in as state of permanent amnesia” and are incapable of “differentiat[ing] between lies and truth” and are “informed by simplistic, childish narratives and cliché”.

Not to fear, my friends, our dear Mr. Hedge understands our plight. In his infinite wisdom and insight he can see that we “still struggle with the most basic chores of daily life from reading instructions on medicine bottles to filling out bank forms, car loan documents and unemployment benefit and insurance papers. [We] watch helplessly and without comprehension as hundreds of thousands of jobs are shed. [We] are hostages to brands.”

(Oh and we happen to all be addicted to fast food because we like the pretty pictures, not because we perhaps are struggling economically because of the financial crisis that is sweeping the country and leaving millions destitute to the point that eating fast food happens to be the only way to feed the entire family, no we, the stupid sheeple, just really enjoy the fact that we don’t have to read a menu). 

We, the poor mindless masses,  are “thrown into confusion by ambiguity, nuance and self-reflection.”

Our faithful friend, does truly try to help enlighten us but “all the traditional tools of
democracies, including dispassionate scientific and historical truth, facts, news and rational debate, are useless instruments in a world that lacks the capacity to use them.”

Oh the shame of our ignorance! If only we were literate like Mr. Hedge, who is obviously a part of “the minority [who] functions in a print-based, literate world. [Who] can cope with complexity and has the intellectual tools to separate illusion from truth”. If we could aspire to reach his great heights perhaps we could stave off the impending doom that comes as a result of our “illiteracy and irrationalism”.

Yet, as we cannot overcome our folly,

“The core values of our open society, the ability to think for oneself, to draw independent conclusions, to express dissent when judgment and common sense indicate something is wrong, to be self-critical, to challenge authority, to understand historical facts, to separate truth from lies, to advocate for change and to acknowledge that there are other views, different ways of being, that are morally and socially acceptable, are dying.”

My dear Mr. Hedge you have shown me the light. I understand the error in my ways. No more will I be enticed by pretty pictures on fast food menus. I will put down my picture books and pick up a newspaper. Only then, I can be as indignant, as biased, and as close-mindedly elitist as you are. Only then can stereotypical insults be as pervasive in my writing as they are in yours.

Click here to become enlighten in the error of your ways by the infinitely wise Chris Hedge


  1. I laughed at the end of this. Thank you.

  2. I guess it all depends on how one defines what is intellectual and what is dull. The article would've been much more effective if he did not put himself on such a high pedestal.

    1. yea I had a really hard time taking anything he said seriously about half-way through the article. I understand the point he's trying to make...I just don't appreciate that he had to make that point at the expense of others.

  3. Great post! Did I detect a sarcastic undertone? Oh well, I guess I'm not literate enough to deal with such complexities! *le sigh*

    1. haha! It's a shame really, there is so much we miss out on ;)