Monday, October 02, 2006

You Will Die Painfully...

What is it with the media’s current obsession with scaring us?

It all stems from 9/11. For months after that the papers & current affairs TV shows were filled with items on how terrorists would kill us all and destroy our lives. Slowly, as 9/11 faded from the news new scare stories emerged.

We’ll all be killed in 2012 by an asteroid strike apparently. That’s as long as SARS doesn’t kill us all. It didn’t though did it? Just over 813 people died in the 2002/3 SARS outbreak. 3000 people die daily from Malaria – that puts things in perspective.

(SARS has since been declared wiped out by the World Health Organisation – only the second disease ever to be given this status, the first being smallpox.)

Luckily just as the Media was running out of scare stories 7/7 came along and gave terror pundits another month long frenzy.

2006 has seen things get worse.

It all started with the dreaded H5N1 – Bird Flu to you and me. If the papers were anything to go by 2006 would be the year that the population of the UK was decimated. So far it hasn’t been – but of course the new flu season is just dawning. I have no doubt that there will be another feathered flu frenzy in the coming months.

Summer 2006 saw the papers striking fear into potential fliers once more. Apparently there was a threat to all UK/US flights and as such you weren’t even allowed to take a can of coke onboard. (What were the terrorist going to do – pump you with dangerously high sugar levels?!)

Lately it’s the Earth its self that’s going to kill and drown us. Global warming has been everywhere.
I’m all for doing my bit – I’m a keen recycler and I think we should passionately care for the environment though I do have one problem with global warming. No one can 100% say it actually exists. Mother Earth is very powerful, how do we know it’s not just part of a natural cycle – the Earth coming out of an ice age?
Don’t overfill your kettle they say, it uses the most energy in the house to boil it. So what happens when you accidentally put too much water in? Do you pour the excess away wasting precious water or do you save water but boil the kettle wasting precious fossil fuels? Gah such dilemmas!

Give it 10 years I really do think we’ll be a nation of paranoids. The minute someone coughs they’ll be put down for fear of spreading flu. Billions will be poured into anti-asteroid missile programmes and terrorists will live on every street corner – probably next to the paedophiles that live everywhere according to the tabloids.

It seems that fear must sell papers – otherwise all these stories wouldn’t be so sensationalised. It’s just if I want scary stuff I’d rather rent out ‘Saw’ or ‘The Hills Have Eyes’. It’s time the news did what it’s supposed to and just give us the facts without the hyperbole.


Chris said...

Read 1984, Smeg: it's how a Government controls it's public, by frightening them.

smeg_head said...

Fantastic book. I studied it at GCSE. Weird how George Orwell pretty much gets the feeling of paranoia and Nanny State alive in society of today almost spot on. He also perfectly predicts the lottery!