He gave a wonderful, insightful talk on US foreign policy that would’ve rankled the nationalistic zealotry of the Far Right (had any attended); was logically eye-opening to political Moderates; and preached to the choir of the Left. Given the majority of the filled-to-capacity auditorium tended toward this latter demographic, Dr. Chomsky’s words had many a sympathetic ear to listen.
The local newspaper’s coverage, however, comes across as troll bait.
The headline of “Noam Chomsky: US policy serves ‘the masters of mankind’” seems to imply nut-job-conspiracy-theory-cabal-Illuminati-mumbo-jumbo, misrepresenting the actual theme that the US government itself endeavors to be the “master of mankind” by projecting its authority through its foreign policy.
Likewise, the gist of the article neglects the majority of the talk, instead focusing on the more salacious tidbits from the Q&A session afterwards regarding Chomsky’s recent response to the death of Osama bin Laden.
Now I realize Dr. Chomsky’s views can be unpopular, if not polarizing, but he’s one of the most important figures in the modern intellectual discourse of political dissent. Wasting column-inches on his response to being called “stupid” by a commentator, even including it in the article’s lede, is tabloid journalism.
Eh, I’m digressing. This post wasn’t intended to be a media critique (for that, read Herman & Chomsky’s watershed “Manufacturing Consent”).
Anywho, after the talk, Dr. Chomsky had a book signing. I got my notebook & “Essential Chomsky” signed. While patiently waiting in line, I took a couple of snapshots; nothing of import or consequence. I printed a couple to accompany his autograph in my notebook on the Pogo.
UPDATE: You can watch his talk over on youtube: