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Noam Chomsky Accepts Tide Pod Challenge

Jan 23, 2018

Noam Chomsky, the 89-year old “father of modern linguistics,” historian, social critic, and political activist, has accepted the tide pod challenge today.

His 1969 essay, On the Responsibility of Intellectuals, contained a critique of the Vietnam War and expressed that “intellectuals are in a position to expose the lies of governments” and to analyze their “often hidden intentions.”

When accepting the Tide Pod challenge today, he said “I’m going to stick it in my mouth and bite it.  Gross!” 

The Tide Pod challenge is the latest fad where kids bite into pods of the brightly colored liquid laundry detergent.  It is a dangerous game that has left many sick.  YouTube and Facebook have begun removing such videos from their sites.

Chomsky’s 1988 book, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, written with Edward Herman, is one of his most powerful works in a long and illustrious career.  Here he presents his “propaganda model,” which explains how populations are manipulated by mass communication businesses.

Of the Tide Pod Challenge, Chomsky said, “Appreciate the congrats for it being so gooey.  I don’t want congrats.  I want goo.  We must be smart about how we bite!”

In 2016, Chomsky published Who Rules the World?, which argues that the United States, through its military-first policies and its unstinting devotion to maintaining a world-spanning empire, is both risking catastrophe and wrecking the global commons.  He provides a brilliant anatomy of just how U.S. elites have grown ever more insulated from any democratic constraints on their power. While the broader population is lulled into apathydiverted to consumerism or hatred of the vulnerablethe corporations and the rich have increasingly been allowed to do as they please.

“Ooo,” said Chomsky, a he picked up the colorful plastic pod and drew it to his mouth.  “It’s so beautiful.  How can something so gross be so beautiful?”

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