Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Panic Breeds Death

Some of y'all might have heard: some guy tried to blow up a plane sometime around Christmas. The pantie-bomber was unable to detonate the explosive tied into his underpants, however, and only succeeded in torching his own testicles. This whole thing could have been an epic vasectomy fail had not the talking heads and 24 hour news cycle jumped in to sell advertising by screaming "fire" in a crowded theatre.

Now, a lot of masochistic right wingers are engaged in one upping each others' "torture this guy" fantasies. After sex, nothing sells books and talk show appearances in this country than whispering "snuff film." Remember, those are the 'family values' Americans.

Others criticised the President's "non-response" to the near-tragedy. I had to remind my father that the only thing the last administration would have done is argue over which color our terrorist warning system should change into. Lest we forget that the same pundits hollering about this were the same ones defending Ol' Dubya for vacationing during late August and early September 2005.

I can see legitimate criticism of Janet Napolitano's ludicrous "the system worked" comments, but the situation is no where near "heckuva job, Brownie."

The long and short of it is, it has been a slow news month. You can only talk about the weather for so long, and most folks in the media have the slightest idea what to say about the economy or healthcare. So they go back to their old standard selling point: sell fear, make profit.

I've only read two articles about the pantie-bomber situation that I think have much worth (there may be others I haven't come across yet):

David Brooks (of all people) hits on some major cultural points that are worth exploring, even if he does fold it into his 'big government bad' narrative.

Ann Abblebaum at Slate investigates how fear and politics undermine the very organizations we expect to protect us.

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