2006/08/18

Chill Already

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With all the scary stuff in the news of late, and some people over reacting, I want to offer some advice to any readers I may have. I know that most of you who comment on this blog don't need to hear this, so I'm just putting it out there as food for thought for someone who may.

For you people who still watch a lot of TV (or TV "news" anyway), here is some "sage" advice from your "old" pal Pandabonium (who doesn't watch TV at all):


Turn off the TV (News at least), and have a wonderful, relaxing weekend, because all the hype is nothing but that. Scaring people is a very old tool of politicians and of the corporate media (Hurst newspapers of a century ago come to mind). There is power and money to be had in promoting fear. "False flag" terror (where a government commits or causes a terror act and blames it on someone else) is not new. It dates back at least to Rome in 70 B.C. when Marcus Licinius Crassus manipulated people's fear of the rebels led by Sparticus to get Romans to surrender their republic to the rule of Emperors. The same scheme has worked in variations many times since and is in play big time today.



As President Franklin Delanor Roosevelt said, "we have nothing to fear but fear itself." And as Pandabonium says, "If you don't study history, the world is a mystery."

So please turn off the damned TV (or at least the so-called "news") and with it the constant barrage of hate speech and fear mongering, and go about enjoying your life and doing the things that are truly important to you. Try it for one weekend, for me, OK?

If you are interested in what is behind the events in the world, as am I, that's fine, but you won't learn it from CNN, FOX, MSNBC, ad nauseum.

Over half a century ago, a great American journalist, H.L. Mencken (1880-1956), observed, "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and thus clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."


Don't buy into the fear. Instead, go and have yourself a great weekend in what ever way suits you. There, I've said it umpteen different ways. Now go have some fun.



*Cartoons are "Calvin and Hobbes" by Bill Watterson, my favorite comic strip characters. My other favorites are Gary Larsen's "Far Side" cartoons, and of course Charles Shultz's "Peanuts".

11 comments:

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Io, ji ha, yes, oui oui! You are probably writing to the converted, Panda. Anyway, thanks and the pics are delightful. Yes, I am sitting up, back straight, watching TV news, then start to slump with the startling grabs of disaster, until I eventually fall on the floor, feet in the air! Any ordinary optimistic person ends up with a mind like a dog's breakfast after watching half an hour of it.
I listen to the radio a lot, TV less and less.
W.

The Moody Minstrel said...

I'd love to keep the damned tube off for the weekend, but my kids are far too addicted to Cartoon Network.

nzm said...

Wise words.

I haven't watched TV news for years, and all little credibility was truly lost for me when watching the TV channels battle to outdo each other during and after 9/11. Truly disgusting, and from what I've seen on websites which are discussing what's emanating from Lebanon, it hasn't changed.

I'm constantly reminded of a phrase used by Justice Peter McMahon who was the judge who presided over the hearings for the Air NZ Mt. Erebus crash some 20+ years ago, when he called the presented evidence "an orchestrated litany of lies".

Pandabonium said...

Wendy - I know. Most readers here already know this, but there are lots of lurkers who may not. Glad you like the cartoons. Watterson does a good job of capturing a kid's imagination I think.

Moody - I'm hip. The cartoon network doesn't hype fear all day, so I wouldn't worry about that. (other than it teaching them to be couch potatoes).

NZM - that Erebus crash was a terrible accident and as I recall the authorities did a typical "blame the pilot" report on it. Interesting choice of words by that judge.

Martin J Frid said...

Calvin is one of my big favourites too. A great take on life, any day of the year.

As for TV I'm usually trying to catch the classical music program on NHK on Sunday evenings - usually world class performances and interesting cultural bits too. News? 'Nuff said!

Pandabonium said...

Martin - Glad to hear you like Calvin guys too.

Hmm... I have failed to tune in to NHK's classical program. I've been missing out there.

I'll give it try. Thanks. I played trombone in the Maui Symphony Orchestra for many years and did one concert with the cummunity orchestra here in Kashima as well. K and I went to a concert last year in Mito with the NHK Orchestra. All just a way of saying I appreciate the wake up call!

Martin J Frid said...

Good to hear that. I sing (2nd bass) in a couple of choruses in Tokyo, we did Dvorak this spring, and next year there will be Mozart's Requiem. I'll let you know the details!

There are six symphony orchestras in Tokyo, and a lot of great guest performances too. I just wish they had the cheap ticket offers too... It is indeed a kind of elitist hobby, unfortunately.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Hmm...Martin J Frid, are you familiar at all with the Tokyo Sinfonia and the quarterly dinner concerts it does at the Foreign Correspondents' Club? I've heard they're pretty good. Apparently 6,000 yen or so (not exactly cheap, I know!) covers both the concert and the food. The orchestra is directed by Robert Ryker, who is both a music professor in Tokyo and head director of a number of orchestras worldwide. (I've met him...he's a very interesting character!)

Martin J Frid said...

Hi Moody, thanks for the tip, I had no idea about those concerts.

Robin said...

TV? I haven't watch it for the past 1 year.

It is just a monitor that plays my fav DVD.... which is Mr Bean.

Anonymous said...

How true! News is but about fear. Its got to do with lack of excitement in our own lives.
And hey...calvin is fantabulous.
tc,
anish.