Archive for the ‘FANTASY IDEAS IN AMERICA’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ROGER EBERT AND THE DUMBING DOWN OF AMERICA   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY DANIEL FINKELSTEIN IN THE TIMES

Roger Ebert is absolutely right about the dumbing-down of America, but he is moaning over what I believe is unavoidable.

Perpetual childhood has become perhaps the key aspect of American culture.

It explains not only why Hollywood only makes amusement-ride movies but also why older Americans pour out the cash for rock concerts by former stars in their sixties who resemble bad jobs of embalming.

The Protestant notion of eternal life in a childish paradise has fused with the financial ability of a large number of Americans to pay for costly skin cosmetics, regular plastic surgery, and a great many other reality-avoiding activities.

It is precisely the childish-fantasy nature of American culture which makes it a nation so unsuited to play the deciding role in world affairs.

It has the resources to destroy the world combined with a people who enjoy navel-gazing and display impatience over a late pizza delivery.

The national government only has to blubber some silly lines about good old Americanism and democratic values to have the population support the most horrible bloody excesses, the invasion of Iraq and the Vietnam holocaust (3 million Vietnamese killed justifies the word) being outstanding examples.

The media comply by not showing the real effects of what is done – the dismembered children, the charred remains – although television pictures of distant explosions are popular on America’s couches, eliciting excited hoots and roars between mouthfuls of buttered popcorn.