In 1985, Neil Postman published a book called Amusing Ourselves to Death. Every once in a while, you read a book that completely changes the way you see the world. Once (or maybe twice) you read a book that changes the course of your life. This was one of those.
You probably haven't heard of Computer Chess. After all, it has no stars in it. What Computer Chess has going for it, though, is that it tells the unvarnished, gawky truth about the early days of this public menace we've come to know as the 'computer.'
No doubt we do have a "liberal media" but it consists mainly of professional comedians. Except for the brilliance cast by a tiny fraction of periodicals, by an edge of the Internet, and by a few TV shows, the liberal media consists largely of jokers who help us to laugh so we won't cry.
The Tea Party may love to make references back to the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, but really the culture we have created (and continue to create) is vastly different from what the nation was like 150 years ago. And it's only going to get worse.
We have entered a new age of political discourse in which Americans, sheeplike, are content to think in sound bites and elect a president based on who can deliver the best campaign slogans and punch lines.
On Wednesday, Nov. 7, the day after the next president is elected, the government as we have come to know it -- corrupt, bloated and controlled by big-money corporations, lobbyists and special interest groups -- will be largely unchanged.
In the early nineties I was hired to work as a story editor on one of the first reality TV shows. It was called "American Detective." Back then there were only a few of these shows and they were (and still are) cheap to produce.
Did the Tea Party become, in that famous Sherlock Holmesian expression, the dog that did not bark? For the most part, yes. So what was all that barking that woke America up in the middle of the night? It was the right-wing media, and its echoes, that you heard.