“Recent statistics … indicate that approximately 1 in 7 or 42 million Americans cannot read a newspaper or even the instructions on a pill bottle.
"If people cannot read, or if they simply will not, the safeguard of a democracy—an educated and informed citizenry—is in peril.
"The importance of an educated citizenry, as envisioned by the architects of the American scheme of government, is that they have the analytical and intellectual wherewithal to recognize and challenge the inevitable corruption of government.”
“Huxley clearly saw that people would come to love entertainment and trivia, and that those would destroy their capacity to think and eventually annihilate any freedom we may possess. Humanity’s bent toward distractions—that is, the bread and circuses of entertainment — leads them to sell their collective souls for one more voyeuristic peek into a celebrity’s life.”
— John W. Whitehead, in a Gadfly article on Patrick McGoohan’s TV series “The Prisoner.” Superficially a spy melodrama, its social and existential commentary has only become more relevant as the decades have passed.