Quantcast
Connect with us

Noam Chomsky: Super Bowl reduces ‘Joe Six Pack’s capacity to think’

Published

on

As Americans prepare to gather and watch the Super Bowl today, it is worth remembering what renowned linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky said about the sporting event in the documentary about his life’s work, Manufacturing Consent.

The purpose of the Super Bowl — and sports in general — is “pure diversion. There’s the real mass media-the kinds that are aimed at, you know, Joe Six Pack — that kind. The purpose of those media is just to dull people’s brains.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“This is an oversimplification,” Chomsky argues, “but for the eighty percent or whatever they are, the main thing is to divert them. To get them to watch National Football League. And to worry about ‘Mother With Child With Six Heads,’ or whatever you pick up on the supermarket stands and so on. Or look at astrology. Or get involved in fundamentalist stuff or something or other.”

The point is to “get them away from things that matter. And for that it’s important to reduce their capacity to think.”

“Take, say, sports — that’s another crucial example of the indoctrination system, in my view. For one thing because it — you know, it offers people something to pay attention to that’s of no importance. That keeps them from worrying about — keeps them from worrying about things that matter to their lives that they might have some idea of doing something about.”

“I remember in high school,” Chomsky continues, “and already I was pretty old. I suddenly asked myself at one point, why do I care if my high school team wins the football game? I mean, I don’t know anybody on the team, you know? I mean, they have nothing to do with me, I mean, why I am cheering for my team?”

“It doesn’t make sense. But the point is, it does make sense: it’s a way of building up irrational attitudes of submission to authority, and group cohesion behind leadership elements — in fact, it’s training in irrational jingoism. That’s also a feature of competitive sports. I think if you look closely at these things, I think, typically, they do have functions, and that’s why energy is devoted to supporting them and creating a basis for them and advertisers are willing to pay for them and so on.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The documentary Manufacturing Consent can be watched below.

ADVERTISEMENT

Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Republican Kevin McCarthy gets taken down by former top GOP colleague

Published

on

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was attacked by a former Republican colleague who alleged McCarthy and his fellow members of Congress have allowed the House GOP to become the official shill for the White House.

In a profile for the New York Times, former Oversight Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) shamed the GOP House for the way that a once-respectable institution has fallen.

“Congress no longer operates as an independent branch of government, but as an appendage of the executive branch,” said Davis. “He is made for that role.”

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Former senator reveals to Maddow how one brave Democrat can reveal key document in impeachment trial

Published

on

Near the end of Wednesday's impeachment trial, Chief Justice John Roberts announced that an agreement had been made to allow senators to read supplemental testimony from Vice President Mike Pence aide Jennifer Williams.

The document will remain classified, despite claims that there is no classified material in the document, only evidence that is damning to the president.

"In terms of this document potentially being improperly classified, which is something that has been raised in writing by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and raised on the floor of the Senate tonight by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)," MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow noted. "Obviously, it was the vice president's office that said it was classified, they are getting publicly criticized for that. If it has been improperly classified and it should be something that the public can see, who adjudicates that?"

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Florida Republican Matt Gaetz admits Trump’s legal defense was ‘like an 8th grade book report’ — only worse

Published

on

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) admitted that President Donald Trump's team of lawyers weren't quite the legal eagles that he thinks they might be, said Politico reporter Andrew Desiderio.

Questioned about his take on the way the case is unfolding in the Senate, Gaetz said that the House presented it like it was going to be on "cable news." For many that may be an insult, but it appears to Gaetz that was a compliment.

Desiderio said that Gaetz then lamented that the White House presented their case more like “an 8th-grade book report.”

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image