Steven Hill writes:
Veteran reporter Howard Kurtz reported how the Obama campaign extensively pre-tested the president's speech last Thursday night using a ghastly-sounding technology known as "dial metre groups". Dial metre groups also were used to pre-test Obama's "State of the Union" speech last January. What is a dial metre group? It's a type of focus group where voters twist dials to register approval or disapproval of specific passages in a speech.You can imagine where it goes from there. (The rest of the op-ed explains, if you couldn't already guess it.) The messages that today's politicians formulate toward voters are based on this most cynical of stimulus-and-response technologies; soulless, corporatist, philistine-oriented advertising strategy has taken over politics to extremes not possible given earlier technologies. But what else would you expect? There almost surely has to be parallels between the stimulus-and-response-crafted, super-unhealthy Standard American Diet and Lifestyle with the resulting obesity epidemic on the one hand, and the ever-falling quality of the American intellectual diet with its inevitable consequences on the other. This is some dystopian shit right here. The American public's ignorance of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle's recommendations for citizen-education is (of course) devolving into a vicious cycle. Hell, take the ancient Greeks out of it, and just look at the United States's own founding generation to get an idea of what the American McCitizenry have methodically become oblivious to. Franklin and Jefferson are rolling in their graves; they would be absolutely fucking disgusted by that which is the leading cause of empire-decline, metastasizing throughout this land of ours.
(Jefferson was well-versed in many of the ancient Greeks, by the way. He was, after all, President of the American Philosophical Society. It's a tad unfortunate that he hadn't been familiar with Aristotle, though.)
There's no way to sugar-coat what's going on here; given what American politics is now, it is "politically incorrect" to name and face these damning facts. Right now, average American citizens are unorganized grabasstic pieces of amphibian shit, built like Private Pyle, and headed directly into a world of shit. They have not been given the proper motivation. Dial meters only feed into their bad cognitive habits; it is the habits that need to be changed. That is all for now.