Al Gore’s The Assault on Reason: The Inconvenient Truth

Do not be impressed by the title of Al Gore’s The Assault on Reason with an expectation that Al has become a philosopher. You will not have to renew your acquaintance with Immanuel Kant, John Locke, David Hume, J.J Rousseau, Voltaire, Thomas Paine & etc. Bear in mind that Al is no more familiar with these Enlightenment icons than you are, though he does drop a name here and there. The reader’s goal should be simply to assess whether this latter day politician is himself capable of exercising a human faculty our founding politicians of 230 years ago regarded as the pinnacle of human sophistication. Al does, after all, devote considerable effort to aligning himself with these exemplars of reason.

Let me suggest that reason is commonly considered in our day to be the mind in the machine, the CPU, the executive director. None of the above enlightened thinkers would question that this is what reason does, though they would not agree that it describes what reason is in itself, and they would find the computer/machine metaphor completely obscure. Reason analyzes experience critically according to rules of logic and common sense so that it may discover from a range of options the best moves to make. Emotion is the opposite of reason because it does not reflect critically on experience. In a crowded cinema a cry of “Fire!” will evoke two types of reaction. One person will look for evidence of fire while considering escape options, and another will simply rush for the nearest exit with little or no reflection. One will react reasonably and another will react instinctively. Since people are not truly instinctive creatures, like animals, it would be more true to say that the non-reflective person is excessively credulous and acts on faith, never pausing to consider that the cry of “Fire!” might be a hoax, or that there might be better routes of escape.

Al Gore finds that this capacity to reflect on experience, or reason, is being undermined by television. In his view, television alters brain function. “An individual who spends four and a half hours a day watching television is likely to have a very different pattern of brain activity from an individual who spends four and a half hours a day reading,” he says. He refers to the work of behavioral psychologists, who often call themselves “neuroscientists”, to support the idea that television is an hypnotic device that bypasses the higher cognitive centers to directly stimulate the amygdala and hippocampus regions of the brain. “It’s almost as though we have a ‘receptor’ for television in our brains,” says Al, a little breathlessly, as he reaffirms Marshall McLuhan’s Zen-like 1964 pronouncement that “the medium is the message”.

Never mind that the same pattern of diminished brain activity occurs at the 50 yard line in the Super Dome without benefit of television. Neuroscientists have not yet wired up a cheese head, so far as I know, to compare his brain activity (or lack thereof) with the brain patterns of a typical “24” television program viewer; but reason suggests they are similar, if not identical, since virtual action and excitement affects the brain in a similar or identical way to real action and excitement. Everyone knows this, but few suspect that some cheese heads are actually egg heads in disguise who return to their academic and cerebral vocations after the game. And strangely enough, without their cheese hats on their brain patterns once again assume the profile of their normal cerebral bookish selves.

Brain activity patterns change with whatever activity the brain owner is engaged in and unless the brain is exposed to a neuron-destroying death ray, its activity patterns as measured by an electroencephalograph or an MRI device will express as they have always expressed in rational creatures such as we.

This is well-trod, familiar territory since Jerry Mander’s Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television appeared in 1978. Television inspired such fear and loathing in Mander that he believed all right-thinking small “D” democrats should consider eliminating it. This Luddite proposition never gained any traction, of course, but the dumbing-down effect of the insidiously flickering screen has become well known, in spite of the fact that when you turn on your TV, you do not see a health advisory like you do on a pack of cigarettes warning you that television-induced amygdala/hippocampus stimulation may cause viewers to drink the Kool Aid or salute the Fuhrer.

Even so, most people are aware of the diminished state induced by television which is why it is commonly referred to as the “boob tube”. Some people, from right-wing home schoolers to transcendental lefties, rebel against television mind control and try to cure themselves of what they perceive to be drooling, unproductive, addictive behavior, but these puny attempts at self-liberation are futile against the lure of television-induced states of mental retardation, which are, in fact, quite enjoyable, as are sports spectacles, car races, gambling, sexual groveling, and other activities cherished by the lizard brain, which often feels itself disrespected by the higher rational functions of the cerebellum and its holier-than-thou attitude.

The assault on reason and the threat to “the marketplace of ideas” that was originally inspired by the invention of the printing press comes as a result of the displacement of print media by the hugely seductive and universally available television media, according to Al Gore, which occurred on or about 1963. “The printing press democratized knowledge and made the idea of America thinkable…” he says, as western people emerged from the theocratic tyranny of faith-based medieval serfdom. But it is at this point in his discourse that Al himself begins to assault reason.

Reason tells us that the printing press did not democratize knowledge; it was the owners of the printing press in collusion with a new breed of educated peasants who used the printing press to democratize knowledge. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was not printed on a press operated under license from the king, but by an indy operator like a Benjamin Franklin who catered to the consumer demand of an emerging, literate middle class. Television for all its hypnotic power does not likewise disrupt or displace the marketplace of ideas just because it exists and people watch it. People do not experience irreversible brain changes and become incapable of reasoning. It is the owners of television and their insidious programming who do all the damage.

Television is innocent. The medium may be a message of television, but it is the ownership of the medium that will determine the overall effect the medium has. It is the content that assaults reason, not the medium. Television is simply a vehicle for virtual experience. Virtual experience is a good thing. We have it every night when we sleep. Television is a dream machine. The content of the dreams is what matters.

It may seem unreasonable to suggest that Al Gore, an intelligent and educated man, does not distinguish between an instrument and those who use it, but this is in fact the case. Consider this statement: “Even though logic and reason have played more prominent roles in the medium of print, they can also be used along with images to powerful and positive effect in the television medium.” We are greatly relieved to hear this.

Apparently, Al has never thought much about poetry, or fairy tales, or the fiction of Alain Robbe-Grillet, otherwise he would not assume that printed words by virtue of belonging to the “print medium” contain more logic and reason. Video or film does not contain less logic and reason simply because it is not tied to the printed word and is delivered to the brain by way of a flickering screen. The statement is absurd.

Al the philosopher is so entranced by his own conceits that he falls into a man hole. Perhaps he is watching too much television?

It is the political inconvenience of the truth that befuddles Al’s reasoning capacity. Even though he acknowledges the concentration of ownership in a few media conglomerates that effectively destroys a free marketplace of ideas, he seems to view this as another inherent characteristic of the medium itself. Television requires such large capital investment that only deep pockets can operate television networks, he says. Elite corporate interests inevitably gain control of media access and exploit it for their own agenda.

So it goes, sighs Kurt Vonnegut from the ether.

Reason requires that if one wants to democratize television so that it promotes a free marketplace of ideas one should call for the political regulation of media ownership to prevent monopolistic control, especially given the fact that the airways, like the air itself, are the common property of all the people. Al nowhere suggests that this is possible or even desirable, even though he credits the early regulation of radio with preventing it from becoming the propaganda weapon it was in the pre-WWII fascist countries. He is unambiguous about the need for protection of the internet “…through the establishment of fair rules and the exercise of the rule of law.” In fact, “the survival of our Republic” depends on the regulation of the internet to insure that it remains an open forum for “the conversation of democracy”.

But this regulatory zeal Al professes to prevent the usurpation of the internet medium by minority corporate interests does not apply to the television medium which is the source of the assault on reason he abhors.

He hasn’t got anything to say about television qua television that hasn’t been said before, and better. Though he spends the better part of his book kicking the dying horse of the rotten Bush Administration, he does not speak to how the Bush cabal exploited the television medium to achieve its evil goals of imperial conquest and subversion of the Constitution. It is, after all, the Bush Administration’s calculated use of television as a propaganda weapon that constitutes the assault on reason and the attack on the free market place of ideas.

One has the impression he’s using his lame media critique as a means of establishing liberal credentials and setting the reader up for the Al Gore solution, based on what the dust jacket calls his “visionary analysis” of the contemporary scene. That solution is, of course, the internet, with a capital “I”, the newest medium that will theoretically democratize television by allowing everyone to produce and distribute their own television content via cable channels such as Current TV (Al’s pioneering project of interactive television) in coordination with websites such as www.current.com, a Youtube imitator Al put on the web as counterpart to Current TV. Amygdala/hippocampus stimulation is not a bad thing, apparently, if everybody can do it to everybody else.

One also has the impression that Al’s reasoned analysis of television and its destructive effect on “the conversation of democracy” is an elaborate sales pitch for his Current TV project. He ignores what is actually going on in the realm of conventional television like every good salesman who doesn’t want you to consider alternatives.

Old style, pre-internet television, according to Al, cannot save our republic because it is not “interactive”, which means it talks to you and you can’t talk back. The inevitable monopoly ownership has shut down the conversation of democracy and assaulted reason, which can only be remedied by the internet and Current TV. His vision appears to be a populist concept in which programming is supplied by the viewers themselves, something resembling a television blog, a big screen Youtube.

And this visionary project of Al’s is affordable, whereas a conventional television network on a par with the corporate networks is not, according to Al. This is obviously not true since bone fide viewer supported networks such as Free Speech TV and Link TV have emerged from the co-opted and corrupt PBS model to stem the assault on reason and rescue the marketplace of ideas from the danger of monopolistic ideology and sterility. FSTV and Link TV programming does not censor the conversation of democracy, as Al himself does in The Assault On Reason by refusing to confront the corporate theft of the mass media, the impeachment of the derelicts in the White House, the 911 truth movement, or the misuse of Supreme Court power and the blatant electoral fraud that cost him the presidency in 2000. This part of the democratic conversation is politically inconvenient for Al for some obscure reason. It is truly a remarkable achievement that ostensibly liberal, progressive, and wannabe populist Al Gore could write this book and never even mention these bedrock issues of our day.

FSTV and Link TV content reflect the preferences of the viewers and not the corporate advertisers, since there are none, and not the political elite or the government, since financial support comes from the viewers alone. If you are a 911 truther, you will find programming that reflects your perspective. If you are disgusted with the corporate propaganda of the mass media, if you advocate impeachment, if you dispute the legitimacy of the IRS, if you find yourself excluded from the narrow conversation in the mass media, you will discover truly independent perspectives and alternative solutions right there on your conventional cable or satellite television source.

The concept of “interactive” is actually deceptive. “Responsive” is a better term since it is difficult to understand what interactive in real time might mean, beyond instant polling and e-mail rants from viewers with thumbs up or down.

Al Gore is not a visionary. To discover in what category of human discourse Al’s Assault on Reason should be placed, one can consult Princeton philosopher Harry G. Frankfurt’s groundbreaking study, On Bullshit. Al is a snake oil salesman, in other words. If he’s a philosopher he’s a slithering sophist whose purpose is to conceal his lack of bone fide political vision, and his singular lack of political courage. Together with Bill Clinton, Al sponsored the on going corporate theft of mass media in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which released the large predators from the shackles that restrained their cannibal impulses. It should come as no surprise to those who have followed Al’s political career that his capacity for reason has been diminished by his reverence for corporate power. He cravenly fled from the scene of the crime of the 2000 election, in which both he and the Constitution were the chief victims and then piously swore fealty to the perp, George W. Bush, Inc, following the destruction of the WTC. He has never questioned the official explanation in spite of its glaring lack of both logic and common sense.

Perhaps he believes he can simply walk away from his own shortcomings. But he can’t. They are glaringly obvious in his book. The American public, ultimately, will be very sad indeed if this man walks on to the floor of the Democratic National Convention and is nominated for president based on his Oscar and his Nobel Prize. Celebrity is a thin disguise.

If there’s one positive quality in the character of George W. Bush, it’s that he knows he’s a bullshit artist. His famous smirk is a caveat emptor the public has taken far too long to recognize. Al Gore lacks this essential self-awareness. To quote his quotation of Leonardo da Vinci: “The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.”

Joseph Danison is a remodeling contractor and a novelist. He lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina near the French Broad River, north of Asheville. He can be contacted at: jdanison@renovationpress.com. Read other articles by Joseph, or visit Joseph's website.

20 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. kikz said on October 22nd, 2007 at 7:56am #

    thank you joe for the synopsis of assault on reason. i’d asked inre a
    sheila samples recent essay, kindgom of fear; https://www.dissidentvoice.org/2007/10/996/
    as to her reference “al, the bearer of light/truth” if he did indeed name …..”the nefarious connection between the withdrawal of reason from the public sphere and the resulting vacuum that is filled by fear, superstition, ideology, deception, intolerance, and obsessive secrecy as a means of tightening control over the information that a free society needs to govern itself according to reason-based democracy.”

    you’ve supplied the answer to my question. tv.

    i’d like to add to your opine…
    “in The Assault On Reason by refusing to confront the corporate theft of the mass media, the impeachment of the derelicts in the White House, the 911 truth movement, or the misuse of Supreme Court power and the blatant electoral fraud that cost him the presidency in 2000. This part of the democratic conversation is politically inconvenient for Al for some obscure reason. It is truly a remarkable achievement that ostensibly liberal, progressive, and wannabe populist Al Gore could write this book and never even mention these bedrock issues of our day.”

    …in the recognition of another phalanx of attack on reason in general, the us education system. John Taylor Gatto’s “Underground History of American Edu.”
    http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/index.htm
    free online/in entirety
    does more than an ample job of explaining the true scope/goal of the systemically designed class war/assault on reason America has currently engaged in for a very long time.

    snip from chap 8: Plato’s Guardians
    … As long as such a pump existed to spew limitless numbers of independent, self-reliant, resourceful, and ambitious minds onto the scene, who could predict what risk to capital might strike next? To minds capable of thinking cosmically like Carnegie’s, Rockefeller’s, Rothschild’s, Morgan’s, or Cecil Rhodes’, real scientific control of overproduction must rest ultimately on the power to constrain the production of intellect. Here was a task worthy of immortals. Coal provided capital to finance it.

    Through the dependence of the all on the few, an instrument of management and of elite association would be created far beyond anything ever seen in the past. This powerful promise was, however, fragilely balanced atop the need to homogenize the population and all its descendant generations.1 A mass production economy can neither be created nor sustained without a leveled population, one conditioned to mass habits, mass tastes, mass enthusiasms, predictable mass behaviors. The will of both maker and purchaser had to give way to the predestinated output of machinery with a one-track mind.

    Nothing posed a more formidable obstacle than the American family. Traditionally, a self-sufficient production unit for which the marketplace played only an incidental role, the American family grew and produced its own food, cooked and served it; made its own soap and clothing. And provided its own transportation, entertainment, health care, and old age assistance. It entered freely into cooperative associations with neighbors, not with corporations. If that way of life had continued successfully—as it has for the modern Amish—it would have spelled curtains for corporate society.

    there is absolutely no question as to why al, bearer of light/truth will never direct anyone away from his thrown shadows (current tv) on the wall of Plato’s Cave.

  2. Michael Dawson said on October 22nd, 2007 at 10:58am #

    TV is not innocent, though it’s corporate ownership certainly makes it much less so. But even when publicly owned, it is vastly inferior to books. Nobody who is a TV-oriented, non-reader could have written this critique of Gore’s book, for instance.

    And speaking of underlying power, why do you think TV is now so dominant in our “marketplace of ideas”? That’s because corporate capitalism requires mass TV addiction. Nothing else can possibly achieve the requisite kinds of marketing “penetration” and political demobilization.

  3. Michael Dawson said on October 22nd, 2007 at 10:59am #

    TV is not innocent, though its corporate ownership certainly makes it much less so. But even when publicly owned, TV is vastly inferior to books. Nobody who is a TV-oriented, non-reader could have written this critique of Gore’s book, for instance. Check out Neil Postman.

    And speaking of underlying power, why do you think TV is now so dominant in our “marketplace of ideas”? That’s because corporate capitalism requires mass TV addiction. Nothing else can possibly achieve the requisite kinds of marketing “penetration” and political demobilization.

  4. Lynn Long said on October 22nd, 2007 at 1:03pm #

    Al Gore may not be a visionary but he has been way out front on many issues like the internet, climate change, alternative energy and Iraq. The telecommunications act of 1996 was a very different animal than the 1994 bill which was blocked in the senate. The 1996 version was a compromise which fell apart when the corporations went to court and blocked many provisions. The bill also relied too heavily on FCC control which also went south when Bush took over. Good faith is not in the Republican lexicon.

    I also can’t see Gore as a friend of the corporate media else why would they have made such a concerted effort to wreck and distort his 2000 campaign. As for not contesting the election results the only appeal past the Supreme Court is divinity and I don’t think it would have helped much.

    Nor was there much point in mentioning impeachment, in fact any issue that depends on our corporate puppet congress and senate. It ain’t gonna happen.

    Gore has the best chance of anyone out there right now of winning the 2008 election but he’s walking away from it, unless he’s pulling off the best George Washington campaign since George Washington. Otherwise I think he really would like to see great changes in our government but realizes that no politician has the power to buck our corporate/facist state right now, even the president.

    No one is perfect but I think you’ve gone pretty far off base on Gore. He opposed the Iraq invasion and predicted what would happen so I can’t see that swearing fealty to bush. And do you really think pointing out the inconsistencies of the 911 fairy tale would accomplish any purpose except to feed Fox, Coulter and limbaugh? He’s not going to win the Pulitzer for his book but so far he’s one of very few democrats to walk away from the DLC and the corporate mess we call a democratic government.

  5. josephD said on October 22nd, 2007 at 7:18pm #

    I have tried to give an honest assessment of Al Gore’s book, Lynn Long, not of his suitability as a candidate. He should stick to politics and stay away from philosophy and the vision thing. He’s out of his depth. He should tend to the less glamorous work of defending the Constitution, doing pr for the IPCC, and selling the green economy. He’s a decent and well-intentioned man with an inflated opinion of himself accompanied by a great deal of political ambition. On the dark side, George Bush is very similar, but a C- student to Al’s B+. If he had not caved in to the political thugs in 2000…..I admit to anger and disappointment…..the Force would have stiffened his spine and we might not now be cowering under the shadow of this war on terror.

    Gore demonstrated a sad lack of political courage when he allowed the 2000 election to be stolen from him. He had the people on his side and he could have loudly challenged the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and scared them off. All he needed was a quick consultation with any of the Constitutional specialists in his camp to generate a NYT headline about bogus 14th amendment arguments and the violation of state’s rights and the 5 right wing hacks would have run for cover and the recount would have continued under Florida law to his inevitable victory.

    Gore had no business kissing the hem of Bush’s robe following 911, either. He poses as a visionary defender of reason, but did not show the circumspection of a palsied Robert Byrd and others of his party. He abandoned reason in his response to the destruction of the WTC, and proudly gave himself over to unbridled emotion of the lowest sort – uncritical patriotism – at a moment when leadership demanded restraint and reflection. Barbara Lee demonstrates a greater capacity for reason than he does.

    His book, which is part of the carefully crafted package of the new Al Gore, presidential hopeful or not, demonstrates a profound reluctance to confront corporate power. To be of service to the Constitution, he has to draw his sword and face the dragon. Have an Oscar and a Nobel Prize given him a new courage and resolve? Could he be more than Clinton’s sidekick now?

    When Amy Goodman asked Ralph Nader whether Al could face down the corporate beast if he had the power of the presidency in hand, Ralph Nader said: “No.”

  6. josephD said on October 22nd, 2007 at 7:59pm #

    The just-posted contains an untruth. I did give an assessment of Al Gore’s suitability as a candidate. Couldn’t help it. Even so, in the Democratic field right now, he’s probably the best bet. I don’t vote horse races, though. I vote conscience, character, and issues. Gravel, Kucinich, and Nader, if he were running, are the only candidates I would consider. Corporate media selects the candidates and then frames elections as horse races so that voters know more about process and the candidates’ chances of winning than they do about the candidates.

  7. Lynn Long said on October 23rd, 2007 at 11:16am #

    I must admit to disappointment in Gore for not pressing needed issues or for that matter not being brutally truthful. His “what you can do” suggestions for energy conservation to combat global warming amount to throwing a kitten at an attacking bear. But how would Americans react to the truth when the truth sounds like a conglomeration of conspiracy theories and doomsday prophecies? Not a great way to cultivate credibility. Or is it? My best guess is that between Foxwashing and denial he would only be preaching to the already converted choir. Perhaps I am being a bit like my doctor; she believes that Hillary is only laying low with her true agenda and when she gets elected just watch out. No comment.

    Probably it is grasping at any hope in what seems like a hopeless time. Calling presidents dictators and the worst ever is about as common in American history as the fundamentalists congregating on mountain tops awaiting the second return. When it finally happens who’s going to believe it? Incremental Fascism
    is seeping over the door sill and most no one notices that their feet are wet. I would find it entertaining to watch the mindless majority get their just desserts if they weren’t dragging me along. Nor do I expect much improvement. I don’t think Americans have shown much fight since the great strikes of 1877. That’s a long dry spell.

    So for the present I will go on believing that Gore is watching the water shy horse; to believe otherwise would be giving up any hope. At some point reality will bite deeply into the sham and delusion of America’s mindless consumerism. At that point people will either roll over or raise holy hell. I’ve often wondered what American history would have been if a unitary leader had arisen in 1877. Maybe we’ll get a second chance to find out. Gore? Who knows. It will depend on the people he has around him because that’s what makes great leaders, not the leader.

  8. Lloyd Rowsey said on October 25th, 2007 at 7:11am #

    This is a wonderful piece, JD. And the cynic-comedian in me simply can’t resist adding, “would that it had come out in TV Guide, in about 1978.”

  9. Lloyd Rowsey said on October 25th, 2007 at 7:15am #

    Er, parallel universes, you know.

  10. gerald spezio said on October 26th, 2007 at 8:13am #

    Joe, you don’t take any prisoners, and I don’t see why you should.
    Why a guy with your no nonsense brains, should write novels is a question that I dare not discuss.
    You have graced DV with some straight, honest, and tough talk.

    Al Gore is the best mainstream candidate, and that is bad enough.
    But I fear that will are going to get Hilarious whore and continuing Muslim murder stuffed down our throats.

    I read much of your site, and have a single nit/criticism concerning your limited discussion of Tesla and free energy.
    Joe, you write; and I will read.
    Grazi.

  11. gerald spezio said on October 26th, 2007 at 8:27am #

    kikz, your referral to John Taylor Gatto’s work made my morning.
    Especially the chapter playing on Plato’s foul republic.

    I think that Gatto is a tough intellectual tackle, and well worth our attention.
    If it weren’t for you, kikz, I would have missed him.
    Great stuff in the grand tradition of Paul Goodman and Ivan Illich

    I read much of Gatto’s great site, but I was really moved by this powerful factual commentary about grads of colleges of so-called education; in a footnote, no less.
    These intellectual boneheads run the public school system.

    *For instance, for those of you who believe in testing, school superintendents as a class are virtually the stupidest people to pass through a graduate college program, ranking fifty-one points below the elementary school teachers they normally “supervice,” (on the Graduate Record Examination), abd about eighty points below secondary-school teachers, while teachers themselves as an aggregate finish seventeenth of twenty occupational groups surveyed. The reader is of course at liberty to believe this happened accidentally, or that the moon is composed of blue, not green, cheese as is popularly believed. It’s also possible to take this anomaly as conclusive evidence of the irrelevance of standardized testing. Your choice.

  12. gerald spezio said on October 26th, 2007 at 8:30am #

    kikz, your referral to John Taylor Gatto’s work made my morning.
    Especially the chapter playing on Plato’s foul republic.

    I think that Gatto is a tough intellectual tackle, and well worth our attention.
    If it weren’t for you, kikz, I would have missed him.
    Great stuff in the grand tradition of Paul Goodman and Ivan Illich

    I read much of Gatto’s great site, but I was really moved by this powerful factual commentary about grads of colleges of so-called education; in a footnote, no less.
    These intellectual boneheads run the public school systems and the educational establishment in general..

    *For instance, for those of you who believe in testing, school superintendents as a class are virtually the stupidest people to pass through a graduate college program, ranking fifty-one points below the elementary school teachers they normally “supervice,” (on the Graduate Record Examination), abd about eighty points below secondary-school teachers, while teachers themselves as an aggregate finish seventeenth of twenty occupational groups surveyed. The reader is of course at liberty to believe this happened accidentally, or that the moon is composed of blue, not green, cheese as is popularly believed. It’s also possible to take this anomaly as conclusive evidence of the irrelevance of standardized testing. Your choice.

  13. josephD said on October 26th, 2007 at 4:08pm #

    Thanks to kikz for John Taylor Gatto. What is amazing about this man is that after 34 years in public schools, his powers of reason and imagination have been magnified like Solzhenitsyn emerging from the gulag. It is painful even to think about what goes on in schools. It is only made bearable by the fact that we are not born empty and blank. So many little essences do survive snuff-attempts by the public schools. John Taylor Gatto, for example.

    Gerald Spezio, you exalt me with your compliments and then you go and step on my blue suede shoes. The novel is the expression of the ultimate human ambition – to create reality itself! Don’t you ever get tired of your old non-fiction world and yearn for some variety? And let’s be honest here. You’ve got one of those awful things in your bottom drawer…out of sight….but not forgotten…

  14. gerald spezio said on October 27th, 2007 at 6:01am #

    Joseph, one of my favorites from the master, George Ade.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Y08hAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA199&lpg=PA199&dq=george+ade+the+man+who+%22didn+t%22+care+for+story+books&source=we
    b&ots=ZUQfeI8K0H&sig=0JyKbr4w_n8Oc6eKUxXUJpgKlxY#PPA195,M1

  15. gerald spezio said on October 27th, 2007 at 6:04am #

    Joseph, if IT is in the bottom drawer, I hope that it stays there out of anybody’s sight.

  16. kikz said on October 27th, 2007 at 1:01pm #

    joe/gerald
    glad y’all enjoyed gatto. he’s a hero of mine…..of sorts.
    i, however feel quite illiterate, as i note the author’s you both quote/reference are quite unknown to me, as of yet. my autodiadactic deep dive efforts are still in their infancy. 🙂

    i do have another recommend, from my personal “required reading list” somewhat along the same theme, basically… rooting out the “unseen hand that has shaped our country & world”.

    more info/reading augmenting Gatto’s robber barons’ escapades-
    Gustavas Myers’ History of the Great American Fortunes
    http://yamaguchy.netfirms.com/7897401/myers/myers_index.html
    great stuff on the formation of the supremes.

    along w/writings of Eustace Mullins, and many others i have yet to dip a toe in. just delete all after the .com, you’ll find the main index page.

    yamaguchy, who maintains the site, has taken great pains to gather/research/upload these offerings, and i’m eternally grateful, as he’s the only current online link i can find for Myers’ work.
    if you find you enjoy the site, please let him(?) know, and direct him here…. he may visit, and i’m sure his presence on DV will be a positive addition 🙂 his commentaries on various essays offered on InformationClearingHouse have greatly elevated the tone and scope of discussions there 🙂 in the past i’ve recommended Myers’ work offered on his site… and apparently someone who visited, suggested he visit ICH and join in. possibly, we’ll be as lucky here.

    hatt-ip to yamaguchy for all his efforts, and the public service he(?) performs in sharing knowledge/w us all, here online.

    footnote on gatto, he’s trying to get a movie made concerning his book, and i wish him well. if any of you happen to know of any sources for help in the assoc. production areas please let him know. i’ve no idea as to how far along his efforts have gotten, to date…

    thanks for your indulgence on my longwinded reply.. didn’t have too much time to edit, and i have 3 preteens underfoot this aftn… please forgive any mental lapses 🙂

  17. Hue Longer said on October 29th, 2007 at 2:14am #

    I loved reading this thread…thanks to all for the learntaimnent

    My humble offer to this conversation would be my curiosity over why anyone would assume as a given that Al Gore has any good intentions.

    Many can understand then borrow (or borrow some of) the truth, but that doesn’t mean they are somehow flawed in courage or intellect when they betray it.

    I’ll never forget his smug demeanor when he filibustered and forced Perot to answer to ad hominem and non sequitur….I’ll guess lying, insincere, shitty little attorney prince over stupid (by itself anyways), flawed, well intentioned coward.

  18. Hue Longer said on October 29th, 2007 at 2:16am #

    heheh and forgive me too for my lapses…I’m drinking

  19. josephD said on October 29th, 2007 at 9:05pm #

    gerald, George Ade is on to something. In our day he might have taken up programming and retired on the proceeds from novel-writing software. Without too much effort, he could have cataloged all possible human interactions and further condensed them into broad archetypal situations and in his wisdom pronounced the total range of human interaction finite and knowable. He might sigh and complain there is nothing new under the sun in his surfeit of wisdom, yet he’d be wrong. Good fiction is irreproducible, like fingerprints, despite the common situations………………http://www.renovationpress.com/ATsample.html

  20. hp said on October 30th, 2007 at 4:08pm #

    Al’s daughter married one Andrew Schiff a couple of years ago. Descendent of THE Jacob Schiff. Nuff said. .