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Monday, November 8, 2010


So we face a choice. 

Is our economic priority the jobless, 

or is it zillionaires? 

For the remainder of the commentary go to the New York Times by clicking here.

The end of America, as a concept

What happened to literacy? To seeking the truth? To morality and ethics? To the nation that led the world in the 20th century? Have we given in to desires and feeling good over the work ethic that build this nation?


What happened to the humanities and the search for the common good?


There are potential paper or speech topics, and many directions of thought, in the radio interview and caller discussion linked here.


Chris Hedges, author of Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and foreign correspondent for the New York Times for 15 years.

In his new book, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, Chris Hedges describes the polarities of the two societies he says we are now living in: One side is based in reality and able to separate illusion from truth; the other side is rooted in fantasy. The latter, Hedges says, is the growing majority. The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist talks about Empire of Illusion and what he views as the erosion of American culture.

He says that corporate culture has created an illusion of America that has replaced the reality that existed thirty, fifty, a hundred years ago. Local, educated, forward thinking, self thinkers are now punished and left in the dust of a corporate world that has sold America overseas and turned us into capitalist consumers, instead of managed capitalist with a priority of community, the common good, bootstraps and the obtainment of a real American Dream.

Is there morality? Honesty? Truth? Respect for the work that is done by our leaders, or are we always attacking? Are we looking the other way while those we "favor" play dirty tricks worse than anything done by those we honor or follow? Why?

Could we rise up against the Nazi's and Empire of the mid-20th century today? Could we produce what we need to and forgo consumption and comfort in doing so? Do we ask questions and research answers or accept what is sold to us by politicians, advertising and marketing professionals? Will we ever return to the growth society of true prosperity, purchase power and the leaders of a world economy?

And why are cultures that copy us now turning us into their customers, consumers and dependents?

Why do we attack journalists and true news organizations while praising "talk shout fests" and media that reports, basically, one point of view? Why do we identify with brands with the passion we should have for true issues and basic core beliefs? Why is our energy focused on the material instead of the ethical and intellectual truths?

Do we value creativity? The arts? Those that think or feel different? Those willing to be morally autonomous, who question society, who seek after truth? Or do we seek easy answers from those who seek to sell a single belief, the same slogans, the same products and the wealth of the few while ignoring  those who do not have it. Are we becoming image based and worshiping golden calves? Are we rewarding sarcasm, hatred, anger and selfishness?

Are we dancing to the beat of corporate America and the wealthiest of the wealthy instead of the different drummer we did throughout most of American history?

When we try to help others are we told "don't tread on me" or "not in my backyard?"

What happened to faith?

What happened to knowledge through study, reading, free discourse without fear of attack, the ability to be different without persecution and attack?

This is a fascinating interview, whether you believe what he says or choose to ignore it.

More, both audio and written, at NPR's Talk of the Nation. Click here.

The views and opinions of...should they have their own private lives?

Do television personalities and commentators have the same right as other citizens to have opinions, speak out on what they believe and donate to causes or candidates? FOX personalities gave heavily to Republican interests during the election, but FOX considers them "programming" employees. MSNBC came down on Keith Olbermann because he is considered a "news" employee. Where do you draw the line? Are we to believe that either Glenn Beck on FOX or Olbermann on MSNBC are newscasters?

Olbermann was suspended for several days without pay by NBC. Beck was praised and given a raise.

What are your views on the subjects of the power of, value of, or limits that should be placed on personalities in politics and political issues?

The Future of Theater? Live Theater on-line from London

From Variety.com: Live Theater on the Internet....

Digital Theater puts shows online

Legit productions to be available for download

Digital Theater has announced that productions from high-profile Brit legit troupes including the Royal Shakespeare Company, Almeida, Royal Court Theater, English Touring Theater and the Young Vic will now be available as Internet downloads.

The productions -- filmed live in front of audiences over two or three performances, on between 5 and 11 remote-controlled, hi-definition cameras embedded in the staging -- will be offered as downloads priced at £8.99 (a bit more than $14.50). Offerings are available from the company's website or on the websites of the individual theaters, using a specially developed Theater Player compatible with all major browsers and operating systems.


Publication Directory Note and Copyright for above (Variety).
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For additional information please go to the link above. Variety is a subscription bases serviced which is reported to be ending open access January first, 2010. It is one of two primary industry news publicaitons, updated in print five days a week and 24/7 on-line. The other is the Hollywood Reporter. A weekly publication for LA and regional use (editions) is Backstage (formerly Dramalogue). It is also subscription based, but for now offers some free on-line product. Backstage is geared less toward the industry as it is for actors and performers, so it contains advice on the craft and casting listings.