Saturday, January 4, 2014

Sometimes a snow storm is just a snow storm

Saturday, January 04, 2014

The ranting over what amounted to an ordinary snow storm shows how pathetic media has become.
And how much we tend to believe in the hype.
I stopped off at the supermarket after work to get a few cans of cat food and found the aisles mobbed and the check out lines so long I almost gave up and went home without my purchases.
We are suffering from global warming, but not every storm is a super storm that my local radio station (CBS) can exploit.
Sometimes, a storm is just a storm.
But we act as if we might starve if we do not stock up.
I talked to my neighbor about it while shoveling the walk yesterday morning, and she was as appalled by the over reaction as I was.
The problem goes back two decades to that time when the United States first invaded Iraq and people on this side could not get enough of scud missile reports, glued to their radios and TVs for a blow by blow account.
This was the first time I noticed the insane need to instant information, and something I believe led to the impact of internet news – a kind of extension of the insane nightly body count we used to get during the evening news during Vietnam.
A rubber necking mentality where we cannot get enough gruesome reports, and cannot get them soon enough.
For the news industry with not enough major events to justify our existence, we have to hype up everything until the real thing comes along.
So every terrorist threat is treated like a new 9/11 and every storm treated like a Sandy.
This idea that we need to keep people scared scares me, because it suggests manipulation, and an acceptance of the monstrous behavior of groups like the NSA who justify their intrusion into our private lives with the idea that they are keeping us safe.
A scared population serves this group well, because we believe anything they say, hyped up inside with the inner fear that we might not survive the next Sandy or 9/11 when as Freud once pointed out we get our wish for it.
The NSA and other political powers tend to make enemies of us around the world, and then defend us from the enemies they create, and so every snow storm becomes a major tragedy, and every threat becomes an excuse for additional erosion of rights.

I keep thinking of the guy who wanted to put explosives in his shoes, or in his underwear, and how similar it sounded to the plots the CIA used to create to go after Castro in the early 1960s. Sometimes a terrorist is just a terrorist, regardless on whose side he’s on. And sometimes a snow storm is just a snow storm, no matter how much the radio wants it to be something more.

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