In Chuck Palahniuk's book, Lullaby, the narrator gave us this gem: "Big Brother isn't watching, he's singing and dancing. He's pulling rabbits out of a hat. Big Brother's busy holding your attention every moment you're awake. He's making sure you're always distracted. He's making sure you're fully absorbed...and this being fed, it's WORSE than being watched. With the world always filling you, no one has to worry about what's in your mind. With everyone's imagination atrophied, no one will ever be a threat to the world."
I've always liked that and remind myself periodically to shut off the noise.