Keep Them Afraid And They Will Consume

Bigger problems have always been replaced by smaller ones. As soon as the joint forces of the world manage to put out one fire, 10 more spring up. It is a comically tragic game of whack a mole that we are pretty terrible at. We seem to have the need to beat some catastrophe quota at the turn of every new century. We’re always in a state of worry. There has to be a time when we question the reason behind this longing for fear we seem to have. Why haven’t we figured out a way to get rid of it?

You turn on the television and its bombs and guns. Rape and violence. Vote for our government and we’ll protect you they promise. The channel cuts to commercial and they show you cosmetic ads. The ad reads normally. However the message behind whispers- ‘buy this zit cream or girls won't look at you’ or ‘Buy this toothpaste or people won’t talk to you’. It isn’t explicitly created but it’s fear innately built into our society.

There is an integrated reflex system built into our minds by the experiences of our species in its primitive stage. When we trip on a wire in the dark, our immediate response is an image of a snake. It is the programming of fear due to an evolutionary trait required for survival. Now, in modern society, there may be different criteria to ‘survival’. Social customs and obligations which we need to have in order to participate in the theatre of everyday life. The feeling of insecurity when we realize that we have bad breath in public is not unknown to anyone. This response of vulnerability has somehow been ingrained in our minds. These newer involuntary reactions definitely did not originate due to our primitive forefathers. This is a new type of fear has been generated by the modern era. It was the slight of hand of a magician we never noticed. He slipped the fear into our minds and left without demanding applause. He reaps validations only through the corporations and governments that benefit so heavily. We don’t explicitly advertise fear but it is the watermark behind the news stories, commercials, and political promises. We have developed a new response system. We are left with a culture of fear that has grown through the cracks in the tiles and now supports them. It’s a beautifully intricate web that we’ve sewn into everything unknowingly. We use it ruthlessly. Corporations, media, and governments have huge volumes of chips bet on this concept.

The rate of violence has been declining for a long period of time now. We may be living in the most peaceful time in the history of our species. But the series of onslaughts we receive through the media on stories of war and terrorism is at its highest. We open the papers and there is never a shortage of the supply of horror stories. The ones from which, we can never go home. The suits, however, are never far behind, speaking into 30 mics as they stand before the podium and flashing lights. Conveniently present to utilize the brief window after the period of fear to reflect a positive image for their campaign.

Our species has issues. It is clear as the bright of day. Still, we find ways to stand up and appreciate the smell of coffee and cigarettes in the morning. We find ways to exist in a highly dysfunctional society and that is commendable at the least. Finding moments where we aren’t stuck in the extremely influential web of modern society is what we should dedicate more efforts towards. Maybe take a second to forget about the news and invasive commercials and just listen to a song.

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