Our Dead Culture

Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges says America is gone. It’s lost to consumer culture and the cult of the self. We’re barreling towards collapse. Hedges points to Michael Jackson’s funeral, made into a maudlin form of entertainment where a celebrity attendee like Magic Johnson could plug his sponsor, A.K.A Kentucky Fried Chicken. In Hedges’ view of this world, lies and manipulation win over truth, as evidenced everywhere from Wall Street to reality television. Over time, says Hedges, corporations have morphed our consumption into a constant, nagging compulsion. One homogenous culture sold to us by large companies has stamped out our nation’s distinct regional differences, and there’s no turning back.

In this talk at Town Hall Seattle, Hedges makes his case against consumerism, celebrity culture, mainstream media and unfettered capitalism. His latest book is “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.” Elliott Bay Book Company co–sponsored his talk on July 22, 2009.

Author: Idrees Ahmad

I am a Lecturer in Digital Journalism at the University of Stirling and a former research fellow at the University of Denver’s Center for Middle East Studies. I am the author of The Road to Iraq: The Making of a Neoconservative War (Edinburgh University Press, 2014). I write for The Observer, The Nation, The Daily Beast, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Al Jazeera, Dissent, The National, VICE News, Huffington Post, In These Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, Die Tageszeitung (TAZ), Adbusters, Guernica, London Review of Books (Blog), The New Arab, Bella Caledonia, Asia Times, IPS News, Medium, Political Insight, The Drouth, Canadian Dimension, Tanqeed, Variant, etc. I have appeared as an on-air analyst on Al Jazeera, the BBC, TRT World, RAI TV, Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon, Alternative Radio with David Barsamian and several Pacifica Radio channels.

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