Last week, New York Times columnist Kevin Roose published an article so lunatic that the George Orwell estate should consider suing him for swiping the Nineteen Eight-Four author’s intellectual property. In his vertiginous piece headlined “How the Biden Administration Can Help Solve Our Reality Crisis,” the alleged “technology” “reporter” blunders into politics with the aplomb of Gomer Pyle on a roaring drunk attempting to conduct the New York Philharmonic.
In one eye-rolling statement after another, the reader begins to believe that Roose must be a nom de plume. “Roose” means “to flatter or praise” and his obsequiousness about Bidenism is so overblown that he will need rhinoplasty. (Try “roose” the next time you play Scrabble.)
The naïve pajama-boy opens the piece by inferring that the 74 million folks who voted against Biden were all propagandized zombies whose minds were homogenized by One America News and QAnon.
As one of the earliest authors on the subject of information warfare, including a series of textbooks used in American and allied war colleges, called Cyberwar, I find his callow interpretation of “reality” laughable.
The real problem is that Roose, despite his television experience, seems to be a video illiterate, like millions of his generation who have never been a day without their smartphones or other Internet-connected devices.
And as Orwell predicted, it’s really easy to be turned into walking pablum when one has no practical idea of how to determine the veracity of video being directed at you.
Thus, Roose behaves like Gomer Pyle after buying a new Corvette:
Shazam, Sarge! I just got me this new Corvette for only $50 a month . . .”
“Pyle! You see those little words at the bottom? They’re called the fine print. And that comma under a period? That’s called a semi-colon and it starts a clause and it ain’t no Santy Claus. You’re paying for this Corvette till 2091 and it cost you $8 million!
And like Pyle-the-functional-illiterate, Roose-the-functional-video-illiterate has missed the whole problem: If you do not understand analogous “grammar,” “syntax” and “vocabulary” of video, you might justifiably be characterized as an ignoramus and be easily be misled. (Think of the witch trial from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”)
If your day includes nonstop alerts from Twitter, Facebook, and every other online favorite and you have never understood how cinematic storytelling works, you are the problem, not the purveyors of B.S.
Thus, Roose’s nonstop vomiting of absurd Stalinist ideas like truth commissions, “reality czars,” and comprehensive threat assessments of “domestic terrorists” is Communist-light on its face.
Roose should start a truth commission of his own and admit he’s Lavrentiy Beria reincarnated and that his whole career has been a low-cal ruse.