Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The triumph of the airheads

I just finished reading
The triumph of the airheads : and the retreat from commonsense / by Shelley Gare

A great Australian book on the nonsense in our modern world. Very broad ranging covers a lot of issues.
SMH an overview
The Australian has Shelley's blog
also an extract)


Some quotes:

George Bush re wire tapping "Half the time they say I am isolated and don't listen. Then when I do listen they say I need a warrant." Shelley recalls Hurricane Katrina and I guess that is when my "respect" for George started to erode. How could he go on a vacation! Where were the helicopters to move people away from that Superdome?

A few years ago I remember spam email offering a "Paris Hilton Video" which I guessed was something filmed secretly at a hotel in France. I just did not know there was a young woman of that name. Now I keep hearing about her and her strange clique. And as you might expect Shelley devotes a lot of her exploration of Airheads to folk like Paris - one item being a quote from Naomi Wolf via Vanity Fair.

" It's almost like white noise in an overstimulated environment. Paris Hilton is like a palate cleanser. She's like, as semiotics would say, an empty signifier, so you can project absolutely anything onto her, which is the perfect situation for branding." (more here).
Shelley remarks "Now we take Paris more seriously than she takes herself"

Shelley mentions the great Ray Bradbury book
Fahrenheit 451- "but that nowadays there is no need to burn the books if no one can read them" and just today Sky News reported a survey that something like 25% of Americans had not touched any book in a year!

Do make Airheads one of the books you try. Warning No Solutions are offered!

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