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Jan
02

New Year, No Fear

Many New Years’ Resolutions are quickly broken, but a good one to stick with would be to give up living in fear. So says Dr. Phil in yesterday’s episode.1

Every year, we make resolutions. We make resolutions, but we never keep them, right? Come on, be honest. We make them about losing weight, exercising, getting a better job, fighting less with our spouses, going back to college, or some other self-improvement that sounds good when emotions are high. But boy, it fades in the cold morning light of February, right? Well, this year, I want us all to make a very different and very real commitment. I am calling it New Year, No Fear.

Of course, it is not so easy to give up the fear with the pervasive presence of the popular press. As I explain in The End of the World Delusion,2

A story about the end of the world is sure to sell papers or secure higher ratings, regardless of how true it is or whether or not the writer of the story even believes the claims… alarmist media coverage on such doomsday predictions as global warming, the Y2K “crisis,” the Mayan calendar, and others has not served the public well at all, inciting only panic if anything.

So rather than merely informing the public, and objectively reporting on the facts, there are many instances in which the media instills a sense of fear in the readers/viewers. What does this make the media? As Christopher Titus points out,3

Let’s define “terrorist organization.” A terrorist organization is an organization that keeps you scared all the time and makes you change your behavior. What does CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC do all the time? That’s right, that’s right! Wolf Blitzer? Terrorist. Glenn Beck? Terrorist. Nancy Grace? Terrorist. Her and her plastic surgeon.

Terrorists don’t have to work on a plan or blow us up. The news scares us so much, we’re scared all the time! They just sit in their cave—or the mansion in Pakistan. “Achmed, take off the grenade blazer. You don’t have to go today. No, the 72 virgins can wait. Glenn Beck’s going to call the President the Antichrist, watch this. And we all know the Antichrist is Gary Coleman’s wife.” Oh? She pushed a midget down the stairs!

The only news organization that is not a terrorist organization is the BBC. Because the BBC can make the worst thing sound okay. “Hello, welcome to the BBC. Satan has re-entered the planet. He’s picking up babies in his talons, biting off the heads, and sucking out their souls. We’re in for 1,000 years of darkness, all hope is lost, and now—the World Cup update.” Doesn’t feel so bad!

So what is the resolution here? Cartoonist Bruce Beattie provides one possibility:

References

  1. Grealy, B. T. (Writer), & Hermstad, L. C. (Director). (2015, January 1). New Year: Mama drama [Television series episode]. In McGraw, P. (Producer), Dr. Phil. Santa Monica, CA: CBS Television Distribution.
  2. Deering, J. (2012). The end of the world delusion: How doomsayers endanger society. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse.
  3. Titus, C. (Writer), Chapman, J. (Producer), & Karas, J. (Director). (2011). Neverlution [Motion picture]. Sherman Oaks, CA: First to Battle Entertainment.

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