The Age of Hype

Caught in that sensual music all neglect

Monuments of unaging intellect.


And I could say “every age was an age of hype,” for I could identify the passion of the many as the driving force of history – the sort of analysis, which occurs fairly often today, that pinpoints the widespread use of an invention or commodity says nearly the same thing.

But “people” and “the masses” aren’t the same thing for me. Some people, faults and all, stand out truly. Right now, we have examples of persons standing out falsely – Ann Coulter and Bill Maher are excellent examples of this.

I sometimes think we can hype the people who have substance, but truth be told, that can’t be done. The people on the Left who have real ideas – William Galston and Jedediah Purdy, for example – I mean, they’re almost invisible while “Hillary” and “Obama” conduct a campaign two years before an election. And let’s not even get into pop culture – thank God “The Departed” won something, got some recognition that this is an amazing film. I mean, for anyone with any sense, the idea that someone like “Britney” could share the same stage with Scorsese should be preposterous (not that she did, but still).

I just don’t know how to make it clear that we as Americans are working with an inverted hierarchy, where the Lowest Common Denominator is consistently dictating tastes to us, if not ruling us outright. And I don’t know how to fight against this without being super elitist anymore: this is not the world I want to live in; this is my country too, and through self-governance, it should be able to be changed – and yet I feel voiceless, drowned out by something that is literally massive.

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