Thursday, September 23, 2004

"Imagine a plague you catch through your ears.
The new death, this plague, can come from everywhere. A song. An overhead announcement. A news bulletin. A sermon. A street musician. You can catch death from a telemarketer. A teacher. An internet file. A birthday card.
A million people might watch a television show and then be dead the next morning because of an advertising jingle.
Imagine the panic.
Imagine a new Dark Age. Exploration and trade routes brought the first plagues from China to Europe. With mass media, we have so many new means of transmission.
Imagine the books burning. And tapes and films and files, radios and televisions, will go into that same bonfire. People will attack microwave relay stations. People with axes will chop every fiber-optic cable.
Imagine people chanting prayers , singing hymns, to drown out any sound that might bring death. Anything they don't already understand will be suspect, dangerous. Avoided. A quarantine against communication.
Instead of surgical maskes, people will wear earphones that will give them the soothing constant protection from of safe music or birdsongs. People will pay for a supply of "pure" news, a source for "safe" information and entertainment.
People will be happy to give up most of their culture for the assurance that that the tiny bit that comes through is safe and clean.
Imagine a higher and higher resistance to language. No one talks because no one dares to listen.
The deaf shall inherit the earth."
Chuck Palahniuk

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