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Friday, June 17, 2016

Fear is the Lock

I guess the fear of someone or something different is hardwired. Some Darwinian programming. Fear can be handy, but it's easily let out of hand. I see it with the safety armour applied by high-strung parents before kids do anything. I see it when someone new moves into the Shire. We're a fearful society. Personally I blame the Tylenol poisoning for the world being this way. Just as I can pin when the world went to shit on one single day, never to improve again- September 25, 1980- so it's clear to me that everyone's spines fell out their asses the day Tylenol was poisoned.

This begat a toxic churning miasma of insurance corps changing things, the popularity of suing anyone who has ever offended you by deed or thought, and the general paranoia that years of nuclear threats, urban legends, and unreliable street drug quality brought.

And some floating fears became reality. Terrible killers of all sorts, from the quick to the depravedly slow, from the singular to the organized group. Maybe the horrors of what people do was always this widely perpetrated, but we just didn't know so much about it. We know about it in a few seconds now. In full color, real time. And then it's replayed hundreds of times until it's all imprinted. I can recall the falling of the Twin Towers much clearer in my mind than my own mother's face.

Being programmed with this much fear must be paying off for somebody. Nothing in this modern world is promoted without a profit motive. War certainly pays off its investors. Fear is an efficient economical means of control. So the rich and the powerful get to stay that way with a regular injection of fear among the masses. Add that to the run-of-the-mill psychopathy ordinary people live in every day, and there's a steady supply of fear to suit any occasion or personality type.

This past week two killers turned the fear up. The Orlando gunman who killed 49 people in a gay disco he frequented, and the rumored Britain First nut who shot and stabbed a young British MP to death in the street. WTF. These 2 maniacs lost the plot and twisted our reality. And this happens often, not once every few years. It's bound to happen a couple more times this Summer, maybe not the exact scenario, but enough to rip off the scabs that'd just settled. There are few who'd copycat Mr. Rogers, and many who'd copycat The Zodiac Killer.

It's a pretty scary world.

Fortunately we know

At least, when we aren't threatened and not deciding between fight or flight.
I have no answers. Just an idea. Question your fears.


Geo. said...

Excellent post! The rational mind MUST question fear or all action becomes mindless. A crime becomes terrorism, deception runs to general reform, all of it leads to profit for the military industrial complex. These are very big deals! But they stem from the way news spreads in the tiniest social enclaves. People relish the wicked fun of learning of others' mistakes and misdeeds. Nobody gossips about other people's virtues. Amplify that with the power of media and you get a population of xenophobes --which is not just a neurosis, but an addiction as well. Pardon my jeremiad, Laura, I just had a nerve left that needed the floor.

Elephant's Child said...

Sadly fear and its incestuous cousins (depression for one) are very, very skilled liars.
And those bright lights who enrich our world tend to travel incognito.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Whether or not the Tylenol poisoning was the start of it all, I wholeheartedly agree with you about the insidious powers of fear. Even worse, the media and some politicians seem to revel in stoking the embers of fear, as though they want it to grow and burn out of control, until it smothers all logical thought. And every time I read a news article or hear a newscaster reiterate that the massacre in Orlando was the "biggest mass shooting in U.S. history," I shudder. Not because it isn't true, but because I worry that some wacko will take that as a challenge.

But, hell yes! Fear is a liar. We may only get one go-around, and I'll be damned if I live it in fear.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

It does not take an action to incite fear. Fear is very lucrative to those who seek power and riches and it only takes a whisper to bring many to their knees. We now have all the information about anything and everything at our fingertips, yet, too many choose to listen to what feeds their fears.

Austan said...

Geo.- All true. Danger is omnipresent in varying degrees and is real, but fear is a choice. I'm tired of people who claim inability to control themselves and their reactions. The gossipy histrionics so prevalent everywhere and in all media these days is to be mocked. Looking forward to your nerve taking the floor more often.

Austan said...

EC- Sad that we cave to our lowest common denominators and what we should aspire to being is ignored.

Austan said...

Susan- The inflammatory media needs shouting down. I'm gonna look up what happened in the Yellow Journalism days...

Austan said...

Arleen- Yes! How is it we have the knowledge of the ages at our fingertips, but we're less educated- and don't care about it- than ever!?