I’ll try being nicer if you try being smarter!

Hey, weren’t we all supposed to dead from bird flu by now? Somehow I just remembered that the WHO had been warning/screaming at us about how we were all going to die via this avian affliction, so we’d better purchase our burial plots asap.

I remember that like, a year and a half ago, when the media was really going apeshit about it, I was saying that it was totally a farce. Complete and utter hype. I mean, they were predicting this thing was going to kill is in a manner not seen since the Black Plague. Uh huh. Problem is, during the Black Plague, humans were even more unintelligent than now. We didn’t have this crazy stuff called ‘medicine’, ‘hand washing’ or ‘running in the opposite direction when some dirty fool sneezes all over you on the subway’. We had no idea about germs or airborne whatchyamacallits.

But ohhhh, we’ve got the upper hand on the whatchyamacallits nowadays. Oh yes, we see you, you sneaky bastards. And we know your mortal enemy, Mr. Soap. Ha, suckers.

Anyways, I’m going off on a tangent before I even hit my main point. My main point is…..I hate the media and it’s fear mongering. It is utterly absurd. The media loves to try and terrify people. My way around this is I simply don’t watch the news. The only news I get is through msn.com, or through the free daily paper I read on the subway to work. That’s it. CNN is banned in my house, cuz I simply cannot deal with it.

CNN is great for this. One awesome example is when they flew Anderson Cooper down to Florida last year, in the hopes he would get blown away in some impending hurricane. Well, turns out the hurricane never hit land, leaving Anderson looking like a boob. Since CNN had to fear monger SOMEHOW, they literally had the poor guy standing out there in a mediocre rain shower, screaming into his microphone (pretending he had to yell over the gale force winds), and showing a tree blowing around a bit in the breeze. ‘AH! A slight breeze and precipitation!! SAVE THE CHILDREN!!!!! Jimmy might get a raindrop in his eye and Hilda might catch a cold!’ screams old Coop. ‘Grab your insurance policies before they meet their end in a watery grave which is soon to fill up your basement!’

Apparently, I’m not the only one to notice this. There are books on this tactic.

Why must they do this? Why must the news attempt to scare us? Why is the news such a terrible piece of programming anyhow? I haven’t watched the news in eons, but I’m willing to bet I can give you the basic outline. Here goes:

news broadcasts gifts, news broadcasts gift, news broadcasts merchandise, gifts for news broadcasts, gift for news broadcasts

– First, they’ll open with some lovely local crap. Car accident, stabbing, shooting. Footage of police walking around, staring at the ground. Interview some total trailer trash who can’t speak in complete sentences, saying how scared they are, while looking around behind the camera somewhere.

– Second, they’ll report on some local political snafu. I mean, there’s always enough fodder for this. Politicians are douchebags and easy enough to poke holes through.

– Third (and this will be after the commercial, which they prefaced with a cliffhanger of ‘next….how wearing yellow shirts can KILL your child’) they will reveal some totally craptastic findings from some bogus study funded solely for the purposes of fear mongering. These findings could include things like, ‘If you eat dog poo, you MAY be at risk for illness’, ‘Killer pickles are killers’, ‘What you’re doing wrong in your house that is slowly killing a Nepalese orphan through the butterfly effect’, ‘Why feeling tired is DEADLY’, ‘Breaking news: Lettuce is totally lethal’, ‘Watching the news makes you stupider’, ‘Why your kid is six times likelier to fall down on the way to school if he doesn’t tie his shoelaces and how to avoid this potentially slightly painful and embarassing occurence’. Total. Useless. Crap. Come on. Who buys this garbage?

‘Why a guy crossing the road in Bolivia is going to mean total economic meltdown in Toronto tomorrow. Our advice? Start panicking now!’

Then they’ll go on about bombings in the middle East. Something about Afghanistan. A plane crashed in a forest, and a recall affecting every box of cereal sold on April 13th. Then of course, they’ll end it with a cute pet story from New Zealand.

Are you telling me this is all people want to hear about? This is all that happened in the world today that is newsworthy? I find it hard to believe. And of course, when their overhyped, under-researched and backed-by-nothing garbage stories fall through, they just never mention them again and move on to the next media-created fear tactic. I’m not sure why they do this. What I’m even more baffled by is why people keep coming back for more.

My advice? Stop watching the news and go kiss some chickens. Cuz as far as I can see, bird flu isn’t your biggest concern.

 

A fellow hater of the news, I see.

You should be more concerned about listening to that boob tube in your living room corner over there. Living your life in fear created by others is stupid. It just is. And it pisses me off.

Add that to the list I guess…..

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Comments on: "Um, where’d that darned bird flu get to?" (7)

  1. Dana Michelle said:

    Completely agreed!! I often get looked down on by people at work when I tell them I refuse to watch the news. They tell me I should be more concerned with the world around me. I make a point to understand what is going on in the world, but over-exaggerated news stories is not my idea of a credible source. At least once I’ve added more than “that influenza epidemic in our region is scary” (responded with “yeah, terrifying” and similar unintelligent responses where people simply repeat the crap the news said) and actually discuss something with a relevant point they stop hassling me. And usually stop talking to me about the news (which is a bonus!)

    Just because your small talk is about what you watched on the news the night before doesn’t make it any more relevant than your conversation about your children or the effort you put into making your casserole last night. It just makes people think they sound more intelligent.

    Oh, and kudos on the use of “douchebag.”

  2. Agreed. I don’t watch the news either. However, for comic effect, I do put Nancy Grace on while I’m doing my ‘before I get to work’ routine around the house at night. That shit KILLS me. I LOVE it. It’s kind of like Flavor of Love, except it’s a different sort of person that cares about it. You know, people who drive mini vans all by themselves.

    I get enough real news from reading the paper online and skipping the over-hyped crap. I do not go to msn.com however, but that’s only because I’m a Linux/Free BSD obsessed Microsoft hating bitch.

    Also, one of my fave zinesters wears a shirt that says ‘Anderson Cooper gives me a boner’. 😛

  3. I will defend myself by qualifying the msn.com thing. It is my homepage at work, and I am unable to change it in the options……the powers that be have blocked that option.

  4. I’m afraid to say that I’m jaded, I just assume that when the current president of of the U.S. is speaking he’s lying, and possibly using unfounded fear tactics which he’s used many times before. Notice how they are no longer paying any mention to”weapons of massive destruction” anymore either. This to me just isn’t news to me, it’s just another example of a miss use of power from our fuck up relatives to the south.

  5. greenmetropolis said:

    No shit, y’all. Weapons of mass destruction. “We have yet to find them!” Maybe they just aren’t there?

    Remember my disgust at the recent ‘study shows rock stars are more likely to die young’? It was on the fucking news that night. And the only reason I know this is that I was at the gym, and it was on repeat on the middle television. It was inescapable. I did power-walk a little faster though.

    I also blame my mothers incessant news-watching routine for every single one of her neuroses, including her fear of light switches and their blaze-causing tendencies.

  6. Hahaha, I loved this; in addition to admiring you for drinking Second Cup 😉 , you’re quite hilarious! I loved these the best:

    “next….how wearing yellow shirts can KILL your child”

    “What you’re doing wrong in your house that is slowly killing a Nepalese orphan through the butterfly effect”

    “Why a guy crossing the road in Bolivia is going to mean total economic meltdown in Toronto tomorrow”

    Hehe 🙂

    -Romi

  7. Finally! Someone who shares my concerns about bird flu fear-mongering! Every time I search the web for bird flu, the engine comes up with sites that preach fear about a disease which “may become a pandemic”. There was the WHO, and then the Centre for Disease Control.
    I’m glad to hear your viewpoints on the media, although I don’t see a problem in people getting news from traditional media as long as they are aware of the ‘caveat’.

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