What is it with the fear these days?

Parents drive their kids to school because of all the sexual predators around, much more than when they were kids.

Except, oh wait, there are less than there used to be.

People who get on planes worry about if the plane will crash leaving their son an orphan, so perhaps only one of them should go. Then they get into their car and drive around without wearing seatbelts.

Is this new after 9/11, has it always been there, or can I just blame the damn news shows for “Will your child be gruesomely killed this weekend?.. find out after the break!”

There aren’t any more dumbasses today than at any point in the past. You just know more of them now that you’re older.

It’s always been there in some form. But I do think it’s getting worse, as the media feeds on our fears. The actual crime rates may be down (I don’t know that, but those are the figures thrown around), but the reporting of them is way up and more sensationalized than ever. We all know this. I’m not saying anything profound or new.

So what is it you are asking, XPav?

And information is easier to spread nowadays than it was say 20 years ago


Israel, happily, is less prone to that than the States. It’s one of the few things I appreciate about the country.

Even during the worst of the Intifada, Israelis were still riding the buses. Even during the worst of the shellings last summer, life went on as usual for the many who refused to leave their towns and find refuge in the South.

My vote goes to the eeeevil media for their scaremongering tactics (excellent viewing figures of course). I concur with Aaron, except the UK is my comparison. I haven’t lived there for 8 years now, but I did notice a huge difference in news reporting when I moved to the US. I attribute that difference to the similar difference in fear levels between the two countries.

I have co-workers who are scared to go to areas of LA that aren’t even dangerous, just a bit more run-down than Santa Monica etc. I think the perception has become poor area = dangerous, rather than any more realistic conclusion like compton = dangerous, poorer westside neighbourhood = not dangerous, just a bit run down and grubby-looking.

Wait, aren’t you scared?

I am absolutely buffaloed by the people who insist I man up and take it in the teeth for the great Clash of Civilizations – “Come ON, people, this is the EPIC LAST WAR!! You just don’t have the stones to face that fact head-on!” – who at the whiff of an actual terror plot will, with no apparent sense of irony, transform and run around shrieking, eyes rolling and Hello Kitty panties flashing like Japanese schoolgirls who have just realized that the call is coming from inside the house!

Friend of the family operates in one of those watch centers in Barrow-In-Furness in north England. She keeps an eye on her two boys (pub-going lads in their 20s) and they often ‘wave to mum’ when they’re out on the gas, and she gives them a nod-nod of the camera in return :)

Downside is it’s much harder to pick up a drunk floozy if mum is keeping an eye on you I guess.

Simply put, fear sells.

You have to watch the news, because if you don’t you will miss all the dire warnings about the hazards to your life.

You have to buy the latest pill, because if you don’t you will die from some horrible disease.


If you don’t you will be depressed, smell funny, will suffer from horrible allergies and in general will have a miserable existence.

If you don’t have the right cell-phone service, your calls will be dropped and you will be put in the poor house from all the “overages”.

Etc… Etc…

Nearly everything in this country is marketed by fear. It is pretty sad state. I would not blame the marketers because it works and people let themselves be manipulated.

The other tactic is to suggest that rampant materialism is the only way to be happy in life. I am not sure if this is worse or better then the whole fear tactic.

The professionalism is astounding. If she’s married, does she also keep track of her husband? Better yet, what’s the going rate for giving me a heads up before my wife comes home? Knowing this would surely allay my fears of being caught in a compromising situation.

Blame the TV show Cops?

Wasn’t this covered by Michael Moore in “Fahrenheit 9/11” when he popped up to Canada and compared the news in Windsor/Toronto to what was on the news in Detroit just across the border?

If my memory is correct, he was pointing out that style of “fear journalism” is pretty unique to the US, and it causes more fear than the information imparted alleviates.

And Al Gore has made quite a lot of money off this.

Yeah, that cynical, fearmongering fat-ass. Thank god Spoofy is here to expose his true nature.

If a fishmonger sells fish, then a fearmonger sells fear. Whether the content of his presentation is accurate or not makes no difference.

Al Gore probably reads Penny Arcade too.

God, and remember how he was always hitting on Tipper Clinton during the presidency?

Total fucking freak.

My girlfriend and I have been noticing this kind of stuff more and more every year. Every advertisement has a nice little hint of fear whenever possible.

Don’t use colgate? Prepare to choke to death on your own teeth as they rot out of your head. Don’t clean with Lysol? Your kids will get every single food-borne illness known to man, then die. Don’t use Febreeze five times a day? You’ll die of embarassment when the dinner guests arrive. Don’t drive an SUV? Your car will be hit by an SUV and you’ll die. etc…

It has become especially grating and hilarious when it comes to disinfectants. Apparently microscopic death lurks on every surface of my house, and cleaning with “Ye Olde Cleaner” is tantamount to cleaning with raw chicken.