"Television. The drug of the nation.
Breedin' ignorance and feedin' radiation."--The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy.
In my last post, Fearmongering 1, I talked about how Thefearmonster employs a vast sales force of Fearmongers to spread fear and I focused mainly on the media but with a brief mention of politicians. So let's look at how they and the government in general promote the spread of fear, both with the positive intent of protecting the public as well as manipulation to further some personal or political agenda.
9-11, with the relentless coverage of the collapsing Twin Towers, was a devastating emotional shock to the national psyche as well as to our own. What up until then had been a relative feeling of safety and security was ripped away in those few minutes of film coverage. Recent studies have concluded that some people have actually developed PTSD as a result of viewing those images over and over even though they were not personally involved.
Following the attacks, the Department of Homeland Security was created and along with it the color-coded threat conditions. Remember those? Does anyone even remember the color threat levels? What was the highest? I don't remember. And of course, beefed up security at airports with its passenger screenings. "The old color coded system taught Americans to be scared, not prepared."--Rep. Bernie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) It was disbanded in 2011.
When I was a kid growing up in the 50's it was during a perceived threat of nuclear war with the Russians; people built bomb shelters and we used to have bomb drills in school. The fire drills had one alarm sound, bomb drills a different one. We'd get under our desks crouched on our knees with our arms clasped over our heads until the all-clear sounded. The only benefit I could see to this drill was that in a nuclear blast it made it easier to kiss your a__ goodbye.
There were also public service announcements on TV with instructions on what to do in the event of a nuclear attack and how to know if you were in a nuclear blast. First hint: There'd be a bright flash and you'd be instantly vaporized. I'm serious, they really put this stuff on TV. It was scary stuff and I remember being on the alert for bright flashes when I was outside.
So what can we do to protect ourselves from THEFEARMONSTER's media blitz. Here's an antidote: We need to be informed and not immediately panic when we hear or see these stories but to take a breath and view them critically. This does require making the time and effort to investigate and gain more knowledge and a broader perspective from other information sources. Unfortunately, few of us have the time or make the effort to do so but it's well worth it.
I refer again back to Gavindebecker.com and his book, "The Gift of Fear" and how to analyze threats, whether from the media or government sources. And of course, Andrew Weil's News Fast. By doing these simple things, we can do a lot to lower fear and anxiety in our lives.
By the way, from low to severe threat the colors were green, blue, yellow, orange, RED! (We never got below blue or above orange.)
Next Time: MOVIES THEFEARMONSTER DOESN'T WANT YOU TO SEE