Assertion, unsupported by fact, is nugatory. Surmise and general abuse, in however elegant language, ought not to pass for truth. Junius


Hysteria's Peace

While lying in bed this morning, half-awake and somewhat feverish, an unusual and disquieting peace came over me. While Sunday morning does brings a predictable calm with less traffic, the ability to actually hear birds and the choice to forgo rushing about (at least until later), there was something else, something more wearisome was in the air. Decidedly absent was the paradoxical security blanket of anxiousness, that deep rooted feeling that the world was going to hell in a handbasket and the corresponding relief that there is nothing to do about it anyway.

"avian flu" terrorism invasion "global warming"

Statistically, I may not be alone. As you can see in the above chart, search queries on Google the avian flu virus has remarkably dropped off the from the high last year when we were all going to cough and snivel our way to oblivion. Terrorism and global warming get a less than energetic shake of the head and the odd "tsk tsk." This fall's prime candidate, a (rumoured) beating war drum for an invasion of Iran, is perhaps driving more fear into people than the other choices. Even this should be put into perspective of more immediate concerns like Paris Hilton's social agenda:

"paris hilton" iran invasion "global warming"

Where are this season's jitters? Has the Mark Foley scandal tripped up the system in Washington? The Washington Post seems to think that Cheney, at least, is up to old tricks, which is kind of scary in its own right, except for sensation that we've heard it all before, as even Bill Clinton pointed out a few weeks ago. Is it that people have simply becoming immune to scare tactics?

Needless to say, the lack of fear induced tension is kind of worrying, if not stress inducing. First, there is less and less to make sharp coffee house remarks like "did you duct tape your window frames yet for the gas attack?" Worse still is the creeping paranoia that, just maybe, something big in the works. Are UFOs going to invade? Is the Earth going to be sucked into a black hole? Or is it just that North Korea simply going to nuke us to kingdom come? Whatever the outcome, please Mssrs. Spin Doctors give me something to worry about.


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