Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lets Play "The Fear Mongering Game"

We're quite the fearful nation. We're scared of sexual predators, terrorists, and whatever the flavor of the week is on our nightly news. A few months ago I was talking to some fifty-something year old guy about computers and we started talking about the Internet and the first thing he mentioned was "there are sexual predators on the internet." Do you think this guy is worried he'll be targeted by "sexual predators?" No mention of Nigerian scam artists, spammers sending you offers of cheap meds or find "flirty singles" in Timbuktu, cyber-bullies, or the loads of OTHER problems of the internet.

It made me think about all the things blasted in the media lately to scare the crap out of the public.

Let's play "fear mongering" game. I'll start off by listing as many events that was blasted over the airwaves over the years that got people afraid to leave their homes. Lets see how many we can come up with. Remember, these are fears where a few isolated cases created widespread panic or called "epidemics," or REAL epidemics where there was a lot of misinformation and acts of hate committed out of fear:

1. Sex offenders/ stranger danger
2. Terrorists
3. People sending powdered poison/ Anthrax in the mail
4. Swine/ Pig Flu
5. Bird Flu
7. Occult Ritualistic Abuse occurring in Day Care centers
8. Pit Bull attacks
9. Meavy metal/ violent movies/ Dungeons and Dragons/ violent video games turning kids into parent killers
10. School shootings
11. HIV
12. Food recalls (they'll recall millions of pounds of a product because it MIGHT have some virus that gives you diarrhea)

That's just for starters. Anyone else remember a good scare lately?


  1. I can't believe I forgot Y2K!

    As an aside, someone sent me a wonderful reply:

    Want a scare for your list? "Knowing that Congress is in-session!"

  2. Halloween and sex offenders

    Christmas and sex offenders - Santa clause

  3. This reminds me of Michael Moore's documentary, Bowling for Columbine. He talked about how we are conditioned to fear African Killer Bees, and here in Chicago we are fearful that the Asian Carp are going to kill all the other fish in Lake Michigan. So we put poison in the canal to kill them before they begin their killer frenzy. They killed 100,000 pounds of fish and only one fish was the Asian carp.

  4. Someone emailed me and mentioned to me "The War of the Worlds" by Orson Welles. That one was pretty good.

    I remember those old 70s killer bee movies, long with rattlers, piranhas (they've redone the movie, by the way), sharks, that movie "tremors" with those eels or worms, etc.