Frighteningly Over-Inflated

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Halloween is almost here again, but this year I won’t be giving you a cheap scare with a German coffee commercial. Instead, I’m offering up a family-friendly Detuned Revue and a list of things we shouldn’t be scared of in our everyday lives.

Whenever I read or listen to the news, magazine articles, politicians or other mass communication sources, I’m amazed at how they can continually peddle anxiety masquerading as information. They have pages to fill each day and airwaves to keep alive and careers to preserve, so they have a lot of incentive to draw attention to themselves with compelling stories.

Over-inflation and sensationalization of the facts is inevitable, and based on my own experience with this blog and podcast, I can’t really fault them for pumping up their copy to ridiculous proportions. There’s so much competition for attention that aggressive tactics are usually the only things that work. You have to have a unique angle and the guts to sell it fearlessly, or your words will be for nothing more than your own personal amusement.

So despite all the hype, I’ve come up with a list of items that frequently pop up in the news to frighten us, but that are probably far from anything we need to worry about. They’re just being used to sell more access to information, to control our behavior and/or to earn political points.

The Ain’t Skeerd List

  • Cell phones linked to cancer and infertility — European research always claims this, but not many U.S. studies. When governments pay all the health care bills, they tend to be overprotective of their citizens.
  • Global warming — the granddaddy of media and political goosebump mongering. Yes Virginia, our planet is warming. No Virginia, we shouldn’t panic or place blame. The climate is changing and we will adapt. If it turns out to be our fault, we’ll fix it.
  • Loss of Privacy — another favorite bugaboo lead that sends everyone running to the safety of the news feeds. We can’t be engaged with modern society without our privacy being breached to some extent. Google wants to dig up my roanoke +virginia +”hermaphrodite escort service” -midget query and hand it over to the FBI? Who cares?
  • Militant Islamic Terrorism — the threat is real. The war is on. You or someone you know might be killed in a terrorist attack. However, the overall threat is overstated. Terrorists will not change our lifestyle or religion. They don’t have the means to create destruction on a mass scale, even if they obtain nuclear weapons. They will only influence policy in that more policies will be directed against them. They cannot and will not win any sort of ultimate victory…ever!
  • Internet Crash — “experts” have long predicted that as more people get connected and usage increases, the Internet will not be able to support the traffic. But the Net is a hearty beast, and lots of genius went into its design. The upgrades that have been done so far will sustain it until the “Internet 2” or whatever replaces it. So keep on surfing and downloading with wild abandon, kids.

Please have a happy and safe Halloween! And watch a lot of scary fictional movies for me.

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5 Responses

  1. Thanks for dispelling so many myths. But you leave me with one burning question.Just how many hermaphrodite midgets are available as prostitutes in Roanoke, anyway? I would imagine that would be a pretty small group of individuals, no pun intended.

  2. oh… I misunderstood… you don’t want midgets.That increases your odds dramatically.

  3. I have nothing against small people in general–just getting a little burned out on the ones with dual genitalia.

  4. So this is why you are getting home late after work everyday? Why wasn’t I invited?

  5. Because 3’s a crowd, and when I’m with 1 hermaphrodite it’s already too crowded!

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