As I repeatedly write, The Onion is goofily brilliant. Check out the recent video on the Onion News Network, “New Live Poll Allows Pundits to Pander to Viewers in Real Time.”
I remember reading somewhere how abhorrent public polling in general and “focus groups” in particular are to the value of truth for a society. Our public intellectuals get to be public by pandering to the lies and illusions of the masses and by spoonfeeding their own pet lies and illusions to the masses, with the former often planted and harvested by the latter. The essay contrasted our adulation of opinion with the Socratic quest to see the world as it really is.
Eliot’s poetic lines are oft mentioned with good reason; they recognize a sad fact of the world.
Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Such is life. At least, we have Onionesque derision as cruel consolation for the maladies of men.