Momentary Men, Not Modern

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“We careen from one thing to the next, thumb on the remote. Our presidential debates are not debates at all but more like demolition derbies between competing sound bytes. On virtually all our products, we plaster some form of ‘New! Improved!’ In other words, the product is emphatically not what it was the last time we were foolish enough to buy it. Sermons have deteriorated into 10-minute-long, entertaining sketches of some inspiration mini-thought or other. Momentous event on the other side of the world are summarized for us on the evening news in one minute and forty-five seconds . . . and now this. Continuity bores us. Sustained thought is wearisome. And whatever you do, it better be different from last time. In a culture like ours, fads are just like cotton—the fabric of our lives.”

The Cultural Mind, pp. 169-170