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American Psychosis Image on left by TOM MIHALEK/AFP, no rx geriforte on right by LOE RUSSELL What happens to a society that cannot distinguish between reality and illusion? Chris Hedges The United States, no rx geriforte locked in the kind of twilight disconnect that grips dying empires, no rx geriforte is a country entranced by illusions. No rx geriforte It (my add: 'it' being the media ) spends its emotional and intellectual energy on the trivial and the absurd. No rx geriforte It is captivated by the hollow stagecraft of celebrity culture as the walls crumble. No rx geriforte This celebrity culture giddily licenses a dark voyeurism into other people’s humiliation, no rx geriforte pain, no rx geriforte weakness and betrayal. No rx geriforte Day after day, no rx geriforte one lurid saga after another, no rx geriforte whether it is Michael Jackson, no rx geriforte Britney Spears or John Edwards, no rx geriforte enthralls the country … despite bank collapses, no rx geriforte wars, no rx geriforte mounting poverty or the criminality of its financial class. The virtues that sustain a nation-state and build community, no rx geriforte from honesty to self-sacrifice to transparency to sharing, no rx geriforte are ridiculed each night on television as rubes stupid enough to cling to this antiquated behavior are voted off reality shows. No rx geriforte Fellow competitors for prize money and a chance for fleeting fame, no rx geriforte cheered on by millions of viewers, no rx geriforte elect to “disappear” the unwanted. No rx geriforte In the final credits of the reality show America’s Next Top Model, no rx geriforte a picture of the woman expelled during the episode vanishes from the group portrait on the screen. No rx geriforte Those cast aside become, no rx geriforte at least to the television audience, no rx geriforte nonpersons. No rx geriforte Celebrities that can no longer generate publicity, no rx geriforte good or bad, no rx geriforte vanish. No rx geriforte Life, no rx geriforte these shows persistently teach, no rx geriforte is a brutal world of unadulterated competition and a constant quest for notoriety and attention. Our culture of flagrant self-exaltation, no rx geriforte hardwired in the American character, no rx geriforte permits the humiliation of all those who oppose us. No rx geriforte We believe, no rx geriforte after all, no rx geriforte that because we have the capacity to wage war we have a right to wage war. No rx geriforte Those who lose deserve to be erased. No rx geriforte Those who fail, no rx geriforte those who are deemed ugly, no rx geriforte ignorant or poor, no rx geriforte should be belittled and mocked. No rx geriforte Human beings are used and discarded like Styrofoam boxes that held junk food. No rx geriforte And the numbers of superfluous human beings are swelling the unemployment offices, no rx geriforte the prisons and the soup kitchens. It is the cult of self that is killing the United States. No rx geriforte This cult has within it the classic traits of psychopaths: superficial charm, no rx geriforte grandiosity and self-importance; a need for constant stimulation; a penchant for lying, no rx geriforte deception and manipulation; and the incapacity for remorse or guilt. And this is also the ethic promoted by corporations. No rx geriforte It is the ethic of unfettered capitalism. No rx geriforte It is the misguided belief that personal style and personal advancement, no rx geriforte mistaken for individualism, no rx geriforte are the same as democratic equality. No rx geriforte I It is the nationwide celebration of image over substance, no rx geriforte of illusion over truth. No rx geriforte More of the article can be found at:

Chris Hedges, no rx geriforte a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times, no rx geriforte is the author of several books including the best sellers War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning and Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.