Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Fear and Consumption

The news has been saturated with violence, like bacteria that starts from within and turns into a plague. I feel like I've just been crying watching the news from the shootings of innocents in the US to mourning the little sister who was brutally raped and murdered in Delhi. I could dive into discussions on both topics, but I'll steer straight onto the situation in the US with violence.

They've been broadcasting "Bowling for Columbine" on TV since the Newtown, CT school shooting. It's amazing that this documentary was done in 2002 and all the observations are relevant, only the statistics would have changed. I saw this film years ago and ironically, since the gun control debates have kicked up, I was actually seeking BFC information. What exactly was the reason for increased gun violence in US, while Canada touts more hunters and they watch the same TV shows and video games?

In my mind, the answer comes from an unlikely source, Marilyn Manson. Here is the quote:

"... I think that's really ironic, that nobody said 'well maybe the President had an influence on this violent behavior' Because that's not the way the media wants to take it and spin it, and turn it into fear, because then you're watching television, you're watching the news, you're being pumped full of fear, there's floods, there's AIDS, there's murder, cut to commercial, buy the Acura, buy the Colgate, if you have bad breath they're not going to talk to you, if you have pimples, the girl's not going to fuck you, and it's just this campaign of fear, and consumption, and that's what I think it's all based on, the whole idea of 'keep everyone afraid, and they'll consume."

We've spent the 2012 being afraid. If Obama wins, the world will end as we know it and all of our freedoms and liberties will be plucked from us. If we hit December 21st, there will be an apocalyptic end to the world. And, oh good Lord, let's not forget the Fiscal Cliff we'll go over at midnight.
There's such a fear permeated through the media.

Marilyn is right about the commercials. They start off asking "are you victim of .." - being fat, having ear wax and using q-tips, having to chop vegetables by hand, etc. It starts at this level and then it goes to the news broadcasts. "Do you know what germs are lurking in your food?"

The common response by gun owners is that they have a gun to protect themselves. Why do they need the guns? They've been fed a steady diet of fear. This is the part I do not understand. If the US were under siege by its own government, as is the case in Syria, one should definitely have a gun. The rebels are defending their homes and families any way they can. In Yemen and other middle eastern countries, there's urgent situations and every day violence. I'm not seeing how or why middle-America with a Subway and Dunkin Donuts needs to have guns to protect themselves.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the
right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

As for the 2nd amendment, I've been doing some more reading into the history of the right to bear arms. Historically, people needed to protect themselves against the tyrannical rulers of the day. There would be a citizen's army versus the royal army. Also, the colonialists had British soldiers raiding their homes and again, it was a need of protection. The country was full of rebels breaking from the current regime.

In the gun debate with the 2nd amendment umbrella, it's important to note that in 18th century, they were using muskets. A skilled musketeer could possibly reload twice in a minute. We're not talking about the 21st century military weapons that make it possible to kill so many people so quickly.

Yes there are wackos and could come after innocent people with knives and axes. However, the difference is the survival rates are higher for a weapon, other than a gun. A gun's intention is to kill.

I don't believe stringent gun laws will be the immediate remedy. Right now, it's critical to get the guns off the streets. I hear reports regularly on the radio about inner city Philadelphia crimes - drive by shootings where bystanders are shot in their homes. We could talk about preventive measures, but the disease has already been spread and needs to be cured.

Circling back to my primary argument about the Fear and Consumption mentality of this country, it does make sense. Jon Stewart has made a career out of dissecting Fox News propaganda of fear. He did a whole show about the War against Christmas. Shouldn't there be an actual news story on the news? If they don't find a fear propagating story, they may lose their raison d'etre.


Anonymous said...

hi Ashini, this is one awesome article. you need to get this published. Please send it to the blue review or whereever Long sent it. People need to read this well written article

happy new year

Ashini said...

Hi - thanks so much!
What do you mean by "blue review or whereever Long sent it"?

I was a bit sick the day I wrote this so I'm not sure this is very coherent. But I had all these thoughts to get out.

Anonymous said...

I meant Lisa Long