Check out this article by Chris Hedges over at Truthdig about illiterate America. It's interesting (although I'd like to know where Hedges got his numbers from) and this quote:
The most essential skill in political theater and the consumer culture is artifice. Those who are best at artifice succeed. Those who have not mastered the art of artifice fail. In an age of images and entertainment, in an age of instant emotional gratification, we do not seek or want honesty. We ask to be indulged and entertained by clichés, stereotypes and mythic narratives that tell us we can be whomever we want to be, that we live in the greatest country on Earth, that we are endowed with superior moral and physical qualities and that our glorious future is preordained, either because of our attributes as Americans or because we are blessed by God or both....reminds me of another, somewhat more straight-forward quote from a famous George Carlin (R.I.P.) routine:
If honestly were suddenly introduced into American life, the whole system would collapse! No one would know what to do! Honesty would fuck this country up!Yeah, sort of hits close to home, eh?