“Humankind cannot bear very much reality”, so wrote T.S. Eliot in Burnt Norton part of the Four Quartets (1943).and when you have been fed propaganda all your life and cannot easily mine the truth, you cut bait rather than fish.
No matter where we live we are subject to massive doses of BS, nowhere more than in North America where the silent whirring of the capitalist dream merchants goes virtually undetected.Like philosopher Mike harris once said, it’s common sense.
Gerry Spence wrote:
In America, we have achieved the Orwellian prediction – enslaved, the people have been programmed to love their bondage and are left to clutch only mirage-like images of freedom, its fables and fictions. The new slaves are linked together by vast electronic chains of television that imprison not their bodies but their minds. Their desires are programmed, their tastes manipulated, their values set for them.
From Freedom to Slavery.
In general people have a vague notion that they are being seduced but it is a sweet seduction—creature comforts, prestige, fame, status etc which buys our silence .Don’t rock the boat cause I’m all right, Jack.
Neil Postman,in Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985) correctly, in my judgment, wrote that Huxley was closer to the truth than Orwell
Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy.
Daniel Quinn wrote in Ishmael:
Once you learn to discern the voice of Mother Culture humming in the background, telling her story over and over again to the people of your culture, you’ll never stop being conscious of it. Wherever you go for the rest of your life, you’ll be tempted to say to the people around you, “how can you listen to this stuff and not recognize it for what it is?”
And if you do this, people will look at you oddly and wonder what the devil you’re talking about…you’re going to find yourself alienated from the people around you-friends,family, past associates…
In Israel, where the number one paper Israel Hayom is a freebie paid for by US casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, your worldview is akin to the parallel universe of Fox News. Unfair and unbalanced.
40% of Israel, after Zionist brainwashing in the education system, after being segregated almost totally from Palestinians, after 3 more years in the army, are seemingly incapable of seeing another reality. 4 % of the populace read Haaretz a sterling newspaper. Israeli citizens regularly meet reporters who actually walk in the shoes of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. They report what they see. They, like American philosopher Groucho Marx’s question, Who do you believe me or your eyes.” Sadly, most Israelis wear blindfolds.
Many people can not bear this reality. Hence the apology from correspondent Gideon Levy written today
I apologize for the one-sidedness. How could I not maintain a balance between the murderer and the murdered; the thief and his victim; and the occupier and the occupied? Gideon Levy Apr 21, 2017
Dear Orna and Moshe Gan-Zvi,
I was saddened to read in Tuesday’s Hebrew edition of Haaretz that you’ve decided to cancel your subscription. I don’t know you, but I will miss you as readers. As someone who is partly responsible for your decision, as your article indicated, allow me to apologize.
To apologize for writing the truth all these years. I should have taken into account that this truth wasn’t palatable to you, and acted accordingly. It was not pleasant for you to read the theory put forward by me and my fellow Haaretz correspondent Amira Hass about the occupation. You, who are active in Rotary Israel, who come from the business world, who are so proud of your children and the fact that they live in the West Bank. Your son was educated at the Eli premilitary academy, and your granddaughters proudly carry the last name Sheetrit.
You, who are so pleased with yourselves and your values, with your children and your morals, don’t think you should be forced to read unpleasant truths. You simply don’t deserve it. Indeed, how could I have spent all these years publishing articles that even you, generously, admitted were touching, without ever, to my shame, checking how these Palestinian families ended up in their serious predicaments? Really, how did that happen? Of course it was their own fault, but I keep blaming the Israel Defense Forces – how could I?
And how could Amira Hass be so one-sided and lacking in perspective that would explain how a people could prefer the elimination of another people over a democratic society? Really, how could you, Amira? I assume, Moshe, that if they were to lock you in a cage for years, you would continue your Rotary membership and refuse to back a struggle against your incarceration. I assume, Orna, that if foreign soldiers were to burst into your home in the middle of the night and arrest your Moshe before your eyes, kick him, force him to his knees, blindfold him, handcuff him, and beat him in front of your children who study in Eli – and then snatch him from your home for months without trial – you would be looking for some “creative leadership” for your people.
I assume that you, who come from the business world, would lovingly accept those who confiscate your property and ban you from your own land. I’m sure it would never occur to you to struggle against those who have tortured you with such evil for so many years. What can we do? The Palestinians are different from you, dear Orna and Moshe. They were not born in such lofty heights as you. They are human animals, bloodthirsty, born to kill. Not all of them are as ethical as you and your children from the Eli academy. Yes, there are people who fight for their freedom. There are people who are forced to do so violently. In fact, there are almost no nations who haven’t acted this way, including the chosen people you’re proud to belong to.
Not only do you belong; you are the pillar of fire that leads the camp, you’re the best, the moral elite – you, the religious Zionists. I apologize for the one-sidedness. How could I not maintain a balance between the murderer and the murdered; the thief and his victim; the occupier and the occupied? Forgive me for daring to turn off your joy and pride in the land flowing with milk and Mobileye, and cherry tomatoes, too.
There are so many wonderful things in this country, and Haaretz – with its “moral deterioration,” as you call it – is ruining the party. How did I not see that you don’t like to read the truth, and didn’t take this into account when I’d return from the occupied territories every week to write about what I’d seen with my own eyes? But now it’s too late. The call to boycott chocolate spread was too much even for you, so you’ve decided to boycott Haaretz. From now on, the only paper on your coffee table will be the weekly, right-wing Makor Rishon. They won’t write about how IDF soldiers sprayed five Palestinian car passengers with bullets three weeks ago, and I’m sure your Shabbats will be a lot more pleasant from now on.
Gideon Levy Haaretz Correspondent