Terrorism deals in a culture of fear.
Terrorists win when we change our habits out of fear.
You don’t think those last two are results of terrorism? Think again. Never mind Al-Qaeda, Hamas, or ETA – the biggest terrorist in your life is the 6 O’clock news
In a culture where everything is dumbed down to the lowest common denominator, news stories are distilled to those which strike an emotion – and fear is the easiest to hit.
Think about the recent newscasts you’ve seen. Are there long stories detailing the how and why of the financial crisis, or are you seeing video of murders, rapes and fluffy kittens playing with bears?
Think about the promos you see before the newscast comes on. “Can the air you breathe kill you? Find out tonight on Action News On Your Side!” or maybe it’s “Are your children’s pyjamas a deathtrap? The Investigation Probe Exclusive Tonight!”
It’s always a question, it’s never really answered and it’s asked to put you in an emotional relationship with the news story.
Why do they do it? To get you to tune in.
If the tease was “Tonight, we’ll explain exactly why the stock market fell 5%” do you think more people would tune in versus “How canopeners are the sinister death trap lurking in your home.”
The media are the real terrorists here. You and I living our traditional city lives with our kids and our jobs are not in danger of any crazed jihadist wanting to burn our homes down – but if you turn on the news, our kids are being snatched, our mothers are being murdered, and there is drug use and gunplay on each.and.every.street corner of the city.
IRRATIONAL FEAR OVER RATIONAL THINKING
Here’s an entry about the chicken little crying over the economy in recent months:
What strange, conflicting times we live in. Every time I turn on the radio, read a newspaper or check the internet, there is discussion on the recession. They talk about people getting laid off from companies in the thousands….. The future looks bleak.
I however, I still get up every morning. I have my coffee, eat my toast and drive into work. Sales are down but I’m busy. Very busy. Gas prices have dropped. Retail sales are everywhere. Buying a house is almost affordable again (if it ever really was in my life time so far). Theoretically, we should be on top of the world. All this while I hear about the thousands of people losing their jobs. Conflicting emotions to say the least.
But I am now thinking more than ever before, that it could be me. It could be me to lose his job. To lose his home, his car, his worldly possessions. Aren’t I living paycheck to paycheck? Do I really have any real savings? How many degrees of separation lie between where I am now and me living in a cardboard box. How frightening it would be to lose my job right now. And the ironic thing is that I’ve never felt that way before.
[Two Weeks Til Friday]
Where did his fear come from? Without “the news” he’d be strolling along merrily doing what he’s always done, but here comes the big bad 6 o’clock news telling us all about how we’re going to lose our jobs, our houses will be foreclosed and we’ll be lining up for food stamps.
Sure, that is happening to some, but the media flip the story on it’s side to spread terror and fear and lure in viewers by making it seem like we’re all going to hell and Mr Goodlooking Anchor with Miss Investigative Reporter is the only team who can save us.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?
Then let’s spin it over to parenting. Drive by any school yard and you’ll see the lineups every morning at 8 and 3 as hundreds of parents drive their SUV the 10 blocks it takes to get their kids to school on time. There’s no more ruffling of the hair as the kids scamper down the block with backpack and lunch bag in hand, laughing and teasing with friends along the way.
Now we must lock them in armoured vehicles and drive them to school under the watchful eye of security agents (us) because there are bad people out there wanting to steal our children.
“Some people cite safety concerns, but the chance that a child will be injured in a car accident are astronomically higher than that he will encounter evil doers out to sell him into child slavery on a chocolate plantation or something.” He’s probably right, at least statistically. But parental fear is a very real thing, whether reasonable or not. There are plenty of things I did as a young’un that I have trouble letting my kid do, like go to corner store.
The news media will make us believe there are dangers on every street and our children are at risk. The reality is they’re more likely to drown in the bathtub than be snatched on the way to school.
Why are we so afraid? Why are we letting this war on terror be waged against us?
We’re smarter than this. We know better. We need to turn off the news and get our lives back.
Terrorists only win when we’re afraid. Right now we’re scared as hell.