in a dark time, the eye begins to see (morris berman, part 4)

To wrap up the interview, Mr. Cox remarks, Isn’t it ironic that in the Information Age we seem to know less and less about the world. To which Mr. Berman replies with his final statement:

“The Gulf War was portrayed by the news as the war of graphics. We’re fed lots of information but we learn nothing. . . . We think in thirty second soundbites , and the information industry caters to that mentality. In formation is instantly packaged so we don’t have to think, though we think we’re thinking.

But there are significant countermovements. Some people are dissatisfied with the larger culture and they’re moving away from a packaged and prefabricated world in which everything is handed to them in the form of a Harlequin romance.

Like many authors, I get the most remarkable letters from people all over this country. Dramatic stuff. Not everybody has been so overwhelmed by the media that they want to stuff their pain, questions, and doubts [and] believe in the Gulf War, and think everything’s just fine. There are people who want to get to the bottom of their pain.

On a hidden, somatic level such change might be afoot and that’s a hopeful possibility. Here’s another quote from Roethke: In a dark time, the eye begins to see. Not Utopia perhaps, but just possibly a nonformulistic experience of life. And that’s not half bad, you know . . .”


From an interview with Morris Berman for Omni magazine by Murray Cox (August 1991 issue). And not once in the five pages worth of exchange with the interviewer did Berman mention “shock and awe,” the horrifying phrase conjured by the evil warlocks in the White House to sell the murder of tens of thousands of people, the destruction of countless ancient buildings, and the illegal plundering of countless historical and cultural artifacts.

Of course, that was not germane to the topic—I just wanted to mention it in case you have forgotten the countless horrors and crime leveled upon the Iraqi people by the American people.

Aside from Mr. Berman’s books, he oversees a rather interesting blog, Dark Ages America. DAA is noteworthy not only for his observations, but for the many comments he receives from his readers and his interacting with them. Go ahead and give it a read.

Comments, suggestions, additions, and arguments welcome!