It's Sunday and I find my thoughts turning to prophecy. This is largely due to my recent pop in over at Kevin Baker's site. I give him a look every week or so to see if he's still spouting Bircher nonsense. Most of the time, this is usually the case. But a post from last Friday caused me to sadly shake my head.
Kevin put up a quote from another site which essentially was no different than a Chuck Manson looking dude holding up a sign on a street corner which says, "The End of the World is Coming." Kevin himself than commented, "Our major cities may very well burn." The ensuing comments detail possible alignments in inter-city warfare. I've seen a few of these types of posts here and there but this one was starker than I have ever seen. Honestly, if this is what he and his readers truly think, I find little difference between them and your typical apocalypse cult. I guess I shouldn't be surprised as the right has been trending that way since the evil socialist gun grabber, Blackie McBlackerson, took office.
These sorts of things never end well. Take a look at Glenn Beck. He was riding high at Fox-spewing dire warning after boiling pit of sewage prophecy-and when it kept not happening, he lost viewers and Fox gave him the boot. He still has his radio show and will likely find some sort of TV outlet but people have stopped paying attention to him. Being a member of the right wing blogsphere, as Kevin is, means that he will always have that niche just like Beck does.
But I have to wonder...what is the half life for predicting the end of America? Doomsday scenarios have become more prevalent as human beings have less ordinary things to worry about but, folks, Red Dawn never fucking happened! The logic of the United States' geostrategic position made that scenario impossible. Yet, we still things like Home Front, a video game written by John Milius ( a fave of Kevin's), that depicts yet another one of these faux scenarios. There is no doubt in my mind that there are many people who think that this has a good chance of happening. This leads us to recall point #1 from Boaz's 14 points.
1. Panic Mongering. This goes one step beyond simple fear mongering. With panic mongering, there is never a break from the fear. The idea is to terrify and terrorize the audience during every waking moment. From Muslims to swine flu to recession to homosexuals to immigrants to the rapture itself, the belief over at Fox seems to be that if your fight-or-flight reflexes aren't activated, you aren't alive. This of course raises the question: why terrorize your own audience? Because it is the fastest way to bypasses the rational brain. In other words, when people are afraid, they don't think rationally. And when they can't think rationally, they'll believe anything.
I don't know. I mean, I get that they have no real solutions to offer that work in reality and likely are avoiding real problems in their own lives which leads to the creation of these paranoid fantasies but with this sort of talk, I have to question their sanity.