The Monkees Saw the Future 50 Years Before it Arrived in the White House

Davy Jones, Mickey Dolenz, Peter Tork, and Michael Nesmith, stars of the TV show The Monkees (1966–1968), which prophesied how television would transform the world in its image. Tork passed away today at age 77. Jones died in 2012. Photo: 1967 trade ad, not copyrighted, in the public domain, per Wikicommons.

With all the charm and catchy tunes, it is easy to overlook that The Monkees (the show) and “the Monkees” (the band) represent a profound shift in contemporary culture and consciousness. The Monkees prophesied how TV would come to generate the reality to which the world conforms—the screen reality of which the world dreams, worships, and becomes. As media theorist…