Poster by graphic designer Tricia Riley for an exhibition of student posters about
historic pencil sharpeners from the P.D. Whitson Collection. Department
of Art, University of Northern Iowa.
George Carlin as interviewed
in David Jay Brown, Conversations on the Edge of the Apocalypse (NY:
Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), p. 191—
We’re given many choices to
distract us from the fact that our real choices have been diminished in number.
Two political parties. Maybe three or four large banks now. Credit card
companies, just a couple, a handful. Newspapers, reduced. Ownership of media, reduced,
down to five or six big companies now. Big stock brokerage firms, reduced in
number. All of these important things we have less choice. Then we’re
distracted with these frivolous choices: 21 flavors of ice cream, 35 flavors of
popcorn. You see specialty shops with 35 flavors of popcorn, like
chocolate-walnut popcorn. These are absurd distractions from what we are doing