We Are Our Own Jailers

Amusing Ourselves to DeathWhat Huxley teaches is that in the age of advanced technology, spiritual devastation is more likely to come from an enemy with a smiling face than from one whose countenance exudes suspicion and hate. In the Hexleyan prophecy, Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours. There is no need for wardens or gates or Ministries of Truth. When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their pubic business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.

—Neil Postman
Amusing Ourselves to Death

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