... from Taxi Driver and Three Days of the Condor, to Guilty by Suspicion and Mercury Rising, to The Sentinel and Syriana, and, well, I can't keep up. For at least half a century, our movies, from simple to complex, have been driven by the idea that official words have no meaning and that government is either criminal or a sham.If you haven't seen the movies:
...you have probably read the standard texts of advanced American attitudes. Thus you have absorbed throughout college, like any number of Hollywood screenwriters and American tastemakers, the idea — from Nietzsche to Wittgenstein to Foucault to Derrida to Chomsky to Stanley Fish — that the words used by any type of official, political entity, like a government, are nonsense. "What is government if words have no meaning?" That could be the motto of The Daily Show.If we're soaking in a culture of nihilism, why are most of us holding up so well?