Dependent and dependable consumers 'R Us

Written by David Orr

Americans watch an average of more than four hours of television each day.  Over a lifetime they are marinated in several million advertisements aimed to keep them is a perpetual state of infantile self-gratification as dependable and dependent consumers rather than as informed, active, engaged and thoughtful citizens.  The 
American voter, according to Rick Shenkman, is pretty stupid--distracted by consumption, ill informed, lazy, and mentally deficient--and ripe for the plucking.  Whatever the various causes, the skeptics of democracy seem to be vindicated by our political life in recent decades.  The depth of our political discourse has been mostly inversely proportional to the gravity of the issues.  Abortion, for one, has generated great controversy and media attention, while issues having to do merely with the mutilation of life on the Earth, which is to say the abortion of the human prospect, have been mostly greeted with something ranging from awkward silence to ridicule.

David Orr, Down to the Wire, pp.50-51.

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