A frightened society is easily kept in check by the powers that be so I suppose someone is benefiting from the news media circus, eh? But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself…let me begin again by taking things back to our formative years:
One day Chicken Little was walking in the woods when — KERPLUNK — an acorn fell on her head. “Oh my goodness!” said Chicken Little. “The sky is falling! I must go and tell the king.”
Hence, ‘Chicken Little‘ has become synonymous with hysterical or mistaken belief that disaster is imminent. I liken the mentality to that exhibited by the prime time news media who have the audacity to scare us silly with stories of impending apocalypse on a nightly basis. Sure there’s a tremendous marketing angle to fear (Steven King and M. Night Shyamalan would agree), but there’s a time and place for such whimsy. Nonsense panic shrouded as news is simply unacceptable.
The stuff we’re most afraid of these days like avian flu, SARS, and eating spinach are statistically pretty unlikely to affect us, but when it comes to reporting and winning over the average American attention span during an 8 second teaser advertisement, the fear factor gets top billing. Thus, we’re becoming a frenzied public scared of sting rays and mosquitoes as every topic is tagged as a special report or level orange impending disaster. Even more worrisome, all these relatively innocuous warnings leave us so numb to real crisis that when a big risk is looming, we easily pass it off as commonplace. And now that we face the greatest threat to the future of humanity, many of us have become too desensitized to notice. Climate Change is upon us.
So while I can’t guarantee that you won’t be the target of some mutant killer bee, asteroid impact, or hijacked plane, I can assure you that our highest concern will not be packaged in a four minute television segment. Instead of giving credence to news written for ratings, I implore you to pay more attention to the increasing climate reports. Start here and learn how glaciers and ice caps will dominate sea-level rise this century. Become empowered by arming yourself with information and thinking critically about what’s happening so you can develop you own opinion unbiased by mass media spin.
Besides, while market-driven, over-hyped news gets tiresome, real life tends to be the most fascinating story of all – and this one’s a choose your own ending…