I keep a weblog like it's still the 90s. For commentary and dissent please visit jontaylor.ca, or various other purveyors of thought online.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

On Wars Destined for Failure

It's pretty clear that the earth is warming. It's pretty clear that kids (and adults) are doing drugs and it's pretty clear that terror is increasing rather than decreasing.

So why do we fight the wars that are destined for failure?

The easy answer is that it wins votes for politicians who promise things that they cannot possibly deliver.

The hard answer is summed up nicely by Drew Curtis, founder of Fark.com in the first chapter of his book that's due it June.
Media Fearmongering

Media loves to extrapolate, especially regarding natural disasters. The general question of any fearmongering article is What Would Happen If Some Wildly Improbable Event Occurred? The general answer is; millions of people would die and civilization as we know it would collapse.

On the morning of the first space shuttle landing since the Columbia disaster I was sitting in the CNN studios in New York waiting to go on. I'd prepared a short three-minute rant on the space shuttle coverage, but I was bumped when the shuttle landing was delayed for twenty-four hours. CNN decided that it was probably not a good idea to have me on to deliver a humorous critique of media coverage of the space shuttle landing before they were done covering it. In retrospect that was probably a good idea, because media coverage of that first space shuttle landing in two years was embarrassing. If you ran a search on CNN.com for "space shuttle" around that time, literally every article was about the space shuttle blowing up.

Incidentally the ratings for that particular shuttle launch were the highest of any shuttle launch ever. Why? Because everyone tuned in to see if it would explode. Seriously. It was like watching NASCAR race highlights consist of just the wrecks. Incidentally, space shuttle mission coverage is still like this today.

Simply, a news agency cannot sell ad space if it bereft of stories. Until something interesting (or terrible) comes along, the media will hype weather, food and sex. This is because most idiots out there in Zombie Land have the mental capacity to talk about weather, food or sex.

I propose that create a ultimate food/sex scandal so that the plebs have something to talk other than the weather (NOT CLIMATE).