Faux and imbalanced

by Kim on April 12, 2010

“Nine tenths of the news, as printed in the papers, is pseudo-news, manufactured events. Some days ten tenths. The ritual morning trance, in which one scans columns of newsprint, creates a peculiar form of generalized pseudo-attention to a pseudo-reality. This experience is taken seriously. It is one’s daily immersion in ‘reality.’ One’s orientation to the rest of the world. One’s way of reassuring himself that he has not fallen behind. That he is still there. That he still counts! My own experience has been that renunciation of this self-hypnosis, of this participation in the unquiet universal trance, is no sacrifice to reality at all. To ‘fall behind’ in this sense is to get out of the big cloud of dust that everybody is kicking up, to breathe and to see a little more clearly.”

Thomas Merton, Faith and Violence (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1968), p. 151.

{ 1 trackback }

Thomas Merton on ‘one’s daily immersion in “reality”‘ « P e r ? C r u c e m ? a d ? L u c e m
04.12.10 at 11:33 pm

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }


David 04.13.10 at 10:14 am

that was 1968… think things have got better?


Kim 04.13.10 at 11:04 am

The “new” media - speedy, aestheticised (image-based), and fragmentary? Much, much worse - with a largely anaesthetised and illiterate audience there for easy pickings.


Mark Byron 04.15.10 at 8:38 pm

Interesting quote, and a good quarter-century before Fox News that you parody in the title got started; it would be what our friends on the right call the MSM that Merton is ragging on here. Nine-tenths of the news is irrelevant to expanding God’s kingdom, regardless of what side of the aisle you’re on.

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>