Culture, hegemony, et al. #2

Quizro at aol.com Quizro at aol.com
Sat Feb 11 09:48:38 MST 1995


Don Kenner wrote:
 > The East German playwrite Heiner Muller was asked why he stayed in East
Berlin when it took about fifteen years for a play of his to make it through
the censors and be given approval for production. He pointed out that
everything he (or others) wrote in East Germany was important, whereas in the
West you can write anything but it is buried under an avalanche of
meaningless, pre-approved garbage: Control of information using the market to
sort out mass quantities.<
     An intriguing point. Perhaps the most insidious form of censorship is
the lack thereof. I can't recall the last time the U.S government banned
something on political grounds (well, I'm sure most of you can), but the
forces of the market cause the shelves to be filled with Danielle Steel and
Rush Limbaugh while books that seriously challenge the status quo are hidden
in dark corners because "they don't sell".
     I know the Corporation for Public Broadcasting isn't perfect by a long
shot, but the Republican efforts to pull all government funding for it send
chills up my spine for just this reason.
     One positive turn of events is the new availability of Noam Chomsky's
writings in an accessible, inexpensive mass-market format. And yes, "they
sell"!
                                                        Wade Rockett


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