Roger Whittaker

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Eliot Weinberger quote

Tuesday 13th February 2007

From Eliot Weinberger's book "What Happened Here". This is from the essay "New York: One Year Later" written on 1st September 2002.

Two powerful forces have combined to drive Americans crazy. On the one side, the White House Team. (In this case once cannot, as is usual, personify and refer to an administration by the name of its leader, for George W Bush has exactly the same relationship to the policies of his government as Britney Spears does to the operations of the Pepsi corporation.) Like all despotic governments -- and I do not use the word lightly -- they have recognised that the best way to solidify popular support is by exaggerating internal and external threats to society. On the other side, there is the hyperbolic and hysterical 24-hour news media, continually in need of further sensationalism to keep their audience frozen before the television. Together the two have created a kind of techno-rave of the disturbing and the frightening, with each new artificial panic blending into the nest and erasing the memory of the previous one.