Showing posts with label Barry Glassner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Barry Glassner. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Our Culture of Fear

I hate the media. They suck. And here's why

No one was nervous at my school or either of my children's schools. No one was afraid and no one was worried for their safety. People were just sad. But this speaks to a very large problem with our culture that was first identified in Barry Glassner's fantastic book, "The Culture of Fear" and later in Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine." The media needs fear to in order to peddle their corporate owned shit. If people are afraid, they buy more crap.

In so many ways, this is tremendously irresponsible. They are creating a perception here that doesn't match reality. Yesterday, most of America simply went on with their lives and they did so without any trepidation. They didn't spend their mornings panicking and surveying suspicious mini-vans. Where are the stories about that?

All this kind of garbage does is make everything worse.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Managing Fantasies, Wasting Time

Last in Line recently sent me an amusing email that apparently has gone viral in right wing circles of late. Essentially, it says that the new health care law will somehow morph into sharia law and that's been Obama's secret plan all along. Being the reasonable man last in line is, I know he sent it in jest but I found his note to be serendipitous considering Bill Maher's final new rule last night. It starts at about 2:25

While this is amusing, I find the truth of it to be very frustrating and sad. "One reason nothing gets done in America is that one of the political parties puts so much more into fantasy problems." Indeed. Not only is it holding us back from advancing as a nation but it may well threaten our status as the leader in a unipolar world. Dangerous when you consider that it is our democratic society combined with our military and economic strength that keep the world in line.

My other thought on this was...does Bill secretly read my blog? Because this does sound an awful lot like things I have said. Or maybe it's the simple fact that he feels the same frustration I do that we have to waste our time managing people's fantasies. Ignoring them clearly won't work as it was these fantasies that, more or less, won back the House of Representatives.

His list is quite ridiculous, though, and when you hear it all together one has to wonder how much longer are we going to have to dither with these manufactured crises? We have real problems that we need to deal with and the screaming about the New Black Panther Party pushes us backward.

Of course, this makes complete sense when you consider one of my favorite books, recently updated, by Barry Glassner. In The Culture of Fear, Glassner's essential point is that we are afraid of all the wrong things. It is our perception, not reality, that has changed. I submit that perception is exactly what the right wing media (in particular the right wing blogsphere) very much want to control. They have found great success in doing this and will continue as long as there is an audience.

So, what would cause them to lose that audience? Teachers and media outlets like NPR.

What a coincidence....
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