Monday, September 17, 2012

Abstruse Dullness

Make ’em snore

“[I]f sensitive issues of governance can be made sufficiently dull and arcane, there will be no need for officials to hide or dissemble, because no one not directly involved will pay enough attention to cause trouble. No one will pay attention because no one will be interested, because, more or less a priori, of these issues’ monumental dullness. . . . Abstruse dullness is actually a much more effective shield than is secrecy.” 

—David Foster Wallace (1962-2008), author, The Pale King (2011)

• Editorial Comment: The powerful get their way by lulling us into either rabid partisanship or utter boredom.

• Yesterday’s WORD: Did you miss yesterday’s WORDs from 1970s journalist Everett S. Allen, on the encouragement of his college professors? Click here.   

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1 comment:

  1. Ah, David Foster Wallace, how I miss you!

    Dullness, yes, and then sound bites that are outright lies.

    Doesn't most of the public develop its political opinions based on sound bites?