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Saturday, July 16, 2011

John Ramsey Miller

I was thinking about how much of the morning, noon, and nightly news is geared toward frightening people by cherry picking the worst examples of inhumanity from the stacks. I watch very little news these days because I feel better when I don't. I'm not sure a boat filled with people turning over on the Volga does more than make me not want to go on loaded boats on the Volga or even the Yazoo River.

The numbers of people killed here and there don't mean much because we are inundated with 100 killed by bombs here and thirty there. It makes most people not want to travel at all. And it makes you wonder why anyone in the rest of the world would want to come here. Certainly the other news gatherers around the world portray America as the wild west, which it isn't. I mean every place has dangers. I guess it's all about perspective. I kill a Copperhead on the porch, I don't stay indoors or move to the city. I am just more careful about watching where I walk and put my hands.

Since Caylee Anthony was killed by her mother, are we to be suspicious of mothers in general? I see they will be a spate of laws to prevent another mother from killing her daughter so she can party. I suppose having a law that makes it a crime to not report you missing daughter will go a long way toward preventing insane women from killing their children and not calling the police immediately. Everybody knows that murderers plan their activities according to what legislators will or won't allow.

I read that in remote African villages people often burn witches, or people who are shape-shifters. We have the same thing here, but not so much witches or shape shifters, as, say, Muslems or Moonies. Are there still Moonies running around?

Large numbers of people can be manipulated by a very few people fanning the flames of fear. Fear overrules intelligent discourse. You can't use rationale against fear because most fear isn't rational. Leaders often gain power and rule using fear and suspicion to galvanize and keep people from feeling safe. The truth is I feel manipulated by politicians on both sides of the aisle and I think more and more people feel that way. How are people to know the truths of any matter unless they are involved in them. If you manage a checkbook, you know the country is on shaky financial ground. And you wonder how the government can agree on anything that can fix things. You know what they say about having to hit rock bottom before you can face reality and make changes.

I think people who live normal lives like being afraid, but they like maintaining a safe distance from the actual threats. People like thrillers because they are at a safe distance from the bad thing in the book. I suspect that people living with constant real fear don't read thrillers. What would be the point? I don't know if the world is actually more dangerous than it always has been, or if its just that it is so in our faces.

We may become obsolete. I mean, in the face of our reality, what can we possibly make up or add to the mix that is more bizarre or frightening than real?


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