We are a culture that has been denied, or has passively given up, the linguistic and intellectual tools to cope with complexity, to separate illustion from reality. We have traded the printed word for the gleaming image. Public rhetoric is designed to be comprehensible to a ten-year-old child or an adult with a sixth-grade reading level. Most of us speak at this level, are entertained and think at this level. We have transformed our culture into a vast replica of Pinocchio’s Pleasure Island, where boys were lured with the promise of no school and endless fun. Theyw ere all, however, turned into donkeys — a symbol, in Italian culture, of ignorance and stupidity.
— Chris Hedges