Thursday, April 23, 2015

bad news is normal


Without getting into a tantrum fueled tirade against the steep decline in quality in journalism ( the steep decline in quality effects everything nowadays and is only a surprise because it seems surprising, given decades of the same ), it used to be the business was summed up by the simple "if it bleeds, it leads". Treat news as a car ride. As soon as there is a wreck on the side of the road everybody slows to five miles an hour trying to get a good look at the puddles of blood and if you get lucky, the occasional disjoined appendage. This was no different than in Hollywood, picking an actor based on the simple question "would you hump her/him?", pandering to the base instincts. It might seem dishonest, but when you run things on a capitalistic model, money talks and bull walks. If your competition only reports the highest standard news and analysis and loses money, the fear mongering becomes the new business model. But what concerns me today is the end result of all this bad news. We have gotten to the point where it effects our good judgment. Because even when you know better, your mind is still tricked. You go to the movie, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is only a waking dream, a hallucination, and then when nubile teenagers ( played by twenty-five year olds ) are stalked and slashed by mentally imbalanced chainsaw wielders you get the crap scared out of you ( or, are deliciously happy at the blood and violence. Or both ). The brain is still fooled.


We have become so desensitized to bad news that it is now no longer abnormal. This is a coping mechanism. Take the most horrific news, say, thirty percent of an entire nations population driving off to death marches and refugee camps which are just slower death events, and we think nothing of it. Just more bad news ( before, starvation was concerning. Now, whole populations dying is normal ). When a nuclear reactor is still melting down years later, we think nothing of it. Compare that to the hysteria of Three Mile Island ALMOST melting down. Now, even survivalists and the most ardent doom and gloomers remain numb from bad news as old news. Nothing gets us excited anymore. We have our coping mechanisms in full on damage control mode and they run 24/7. Which is why waiting for bad news to act ( such as, finally leave the big city, or buying a more rational quantity of storage food ) is a losing strategy. No insanely bad news actually motivates us anymore. Look at the Ebola scare which produced zero action amongst survivalists. No, buying Gatorade and Pepto is not a true reaction. Leaving civilization behind might have been. It wasn’t just because we weren’t sure it would be a real pandemic or not ( the WHO and others have queered that for us by habitually overreacting and over hyping all new strains of anything ). It was because we are inoculated to bad news. Don’t rely on bad news to motivate anymore. Allow logical analysis to guide you, and panic early because it makes sense. Let after-event panic be the forte of the unprepared masses.


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  1. Numb to the sounds of the screams of the dying.
    That is already normal. Think how people would have reacted just 20-30 years ago to the threat of disease that can be contracted like flu and kills you by causing you to bleed out of every hole in your body in agonizing pain in just a few days.
    Even with the Journalists reassurances it is far away our nation as a whole would have done what preppers do today, AND would have slapped a quarantine on travelers so quick it would have made heads spin. AND would be revisiting the issue every few weeks with scientist who are supposed to be making a vaccine or cure for it.
    Now? meh. Less reaction than AIDS had originally.
    Talk about the boy who cried "wolf"...
    Of course maybe that is the INTENT, or maybe it is just a side effect of our 24 hour news cycle, where news is beat to death by pundits and anchors before it is a day old.

  2. After having not seen any TV news in 15 years other than a fleeting glimpse maybe 3 times, I actually watched about 5 minutes of it recently, maybe CBS, and was amazed and almost entranced by it. The news dood had as much makeup as a cadaver readied for the funeral, and everything had the word "fear" in it. The CDC feared this.....Local police feared that.....

    I was in a burgerking at the time and the flatscreen was on the wall with the sound turned off and it was like a 2 ton heavy thing lifted off my back when I left that joint.

    Note to self: Next time I go to burgerking sit where I can't see the liar box.

    1. Todays TV news makes the dancing/bachler shows look professional and true

  3. I was living beside TMI when it went, ya should have heard that steam release. Woke the whole town up. Geiger counters 30 miles away spiked. Most folks don't know half of what happened there. And that was an almost meltdown. Wonder why it took 20 years to bring that reactor back online.