Okay kiddies. You're Uncle Jason is no longer able to keep his mouth shut...it's time for a good 'ole fashioned rant. Ready? Here we go...
I am so sick of the press jumping on stories that, on the surface terrify the rational mind--BUT if you take 5 minutes to dissect it/think it over YOU REALIZE THAT IT'S 100% bullshit. Now as of late, the "Media" has been having a FIELD DAY with The Economy. Things are bad out there my friend. But The Economy is great because it's really complicated and few people truly understand it.
When I was growing up, they didn't treat The Economy like the weather. But now they do, now every five minutes they over-analyze The Economy. Instead of talking about cold fronts and pressure centers...its points on the Dow. They've made a fetish out of it (think about it there's an all-Sports channel, all-Weather channel, and an all-Financial channel). War is good, but something a little more abstract, something a little less control-able is better because everyone is against the economy being bad. No one (that's not insane) is rooting for the SARS virus to wipe us all out. And we've become obsessed with "updates."
This is the result of 24-Hour News. We've become used to learning about something not only "as it's happening" but sometimes before it's happened. What this means is a lot of times we get news reports that are literally "Well Jim, we don't know much...but something is going to happen" (REPEAT FOR 12 hours until something happens and/or something breaks). And don't get me started on reporters. These people literally are shit. I should know, because I have a little journalism experience...albeit on the small scale. Reporters today grew up AFTER the generation that looked up the Woodward and Bernstein. They think reporters should "take on" things (institutions, social trends, people) because that's what they previous group of reporters/newsmen did...but they're missing the WATERGATE point (which is Woodward and Bernstein stumbled upon a major political scandal).
Those guys took down Nixon and created the notion of the Crusader-Journalist. This has changed news and given reporters even more of an ego problem. Now we have these "journalists" like O'Reilly, Dobbs, Beck, etc. They all admit they're not reports, that their shows are editorials and not news reports--and yet, it's all very much presented as news. And since they have good ratings, modern news is becoming very similar to editorials.
So we are obsessed with getting news and reporters have forgotten that they're supposed to be "reporters" (i.e. REPORT things). But there is another component--the Death obsession we all seem to have.
You are going to die. I am going to die. We need to get over it, and yet we can't. We're obsessed with death. Further, like all selfish/self-centered bastards and we'd LOVE to think that when we die--the world will be going with us. At the same time, we don't want to die, we want to live forever. So we're really mixed up folks, but the bottom line is: we are fascinated by death and destruciton.
So we like it in our news. So while The Economy is a good, complicated scary story (reporters like it because of the ratings, and it makes them feel important) nothing is better than something like Swine Flu. We're scared of it, we don't fully understand it, AND the Government likes it because it takes attention away from the "real" problems (like The Economy).
The Government? Yes kiddies, your Uncle Sam LOVES it when something bad (that's not his fault) comes along to distract us while he continues to steal from us (both our money and our Rights). Another good thing about a crisis/scary thing like Swine Flu is that it makes us all children--we all run to "Daddy" Government "Daddy! Something scary! Protect us!" Of course they can no more protect us from Swine Flu than they could put a man on Pluto...
Which brings me to my point. I do not fear Swine Flu. For one thing, there are bigger things to be scared of. Like what? How about REGULAR FUCKING FLU, you know that bug that mutates every year and makes it's rounds during the winter? That virus kills 36,000 people every year in this country (Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). How many people have died of Swine Flu, a couple hundred? Swine Flu is a pussy compared to REGUALR FUCKING FLU. But Swine Flu is "sexy" in that it's something new and not 100% understood.
The media's done a good job getting us all worked up about it (for ratings) but I wasn't going to say anything (or write such an annoyingly long post about how I feel) until I saw this story online with the headline: "Scientists Fear H1N1 HIV Combination." The article is mainly about how the World Health Organization is fearful for patients with HIV/AIDS who could die as a result of Swine Flu targeting their compromised immune systems. BUT, the reporter/writer tries to lead the Scientists down the proverbial "rabbit hole" of: "What if Swine Flu combines with HIV and makes a SUPER VIRUS!"
Jesus these people make me sick. The sad part is, most of you out there eat this shit up. I just laugh. That's pretty much all I can do at this point. So, if you want to be scared, by all means--you have my premission to be scared/anxious/worried but just remember this is all smoke and mirrors (and hype). Forget it and worry about real flu or how fat you are (like me).