Catastrophizing

Right now people are losing portions of their retirement because people are freaking out over the unknown.  I am talking about the “Brexit”.  Brexit, is a catchy name for a procedural trade vote at this point designed to instill fear.  Brexit is a media creation.

So of course, the fear is sweeping through the financial markets.  Driven by Wolf Blitzer and his desire to over-dramatize everything for ratings.  For example, the vote results are breaking news.  Despite the fact that the vote was pretty much called 11 hours ago.  The Dow closed about an hour ago, so our 611 point drop is about an hour old.  But if you listen to Wolf Blitzer, the financial markets are in free-fall and investors are panicking.  I am waiting for the “unconfirmed reports” of people jumping out of windows on Wall street.

Now, will the UK leaving the EU cause issues?  I’d say that is likely.  Will it be the end of either the UK or Europe?  No.  No, it won’t.  You really believe trade and travel will stop?  The UK is not about to start a cold war with Brussels and Germany.  This is a renegotiation of how countries do business and a seizing of control over those decisions that was voted in through xenophobia and nationalism that we already knew were an unfortunate force in the world well before the results were confirmed.  It’ll take up to two years and there will be agreements.  None of the elites who run governments will want to lose too much access to the precious money that rules them.

And it isn’t just Brexit.

Now they are talking about North Korea and how we are all basically going to get nuked.  Because Kim Jong Un having nuclear missiles that may or may not be able to reach us is apparently somehow scarier than Vladimir Putin having enough to wipe out all life on this planet.

And the upcoming story?

The flooding “disaster” in West Virginia that has already killed twenty people.  Don’t get me wrong, that is very sad.  I feel for the families and loved ones of those lost.  I feel for those who lose property and livelihoods.  It is very sad when anyone dies.

But why are they catastrophizing about it?  Is it only for ratings?  Does it even matter?  Because as they are hitting you with hours old “Breaking News” of a “Financial Meltdown” and the “Seismic Shift in the economy” and the “Bombshell vote”, what aren’t they reporting on?

They aren’t reporting that the leave campaign was driven by xenophobia, hatred, and promises of things that can’t actually be fulfilled.  They aren’t talking about how our isolation of North Korea on the supposed basis of their human rights record while being so cozy with those with worse human rights records just helps to drive and fuel conflict and mistrust.  They aren’t talking about our own lousy human rights record.  They aren’t reporting that the flooding that is killing people is during the hottest year since we’ve been keeping track.  Again.

We are all victims of an intricate propaganda campagin designed to get us to stay home in favor of those who are so angry they will blindly support the agenda of those who pull their strings.  We are all victims of the intricate propaganda campaign designed to get us to burn out on the public process.

We are all victims of an intricate propaganda campaign designed to keep us afraid and divided among ourselves instead of looking at those who will profit from it.

You can resist this by paying attention, researching beyond the headlines, and staying engaged.  Or you can succumb to fear and panic.  It is your choice, but choose wisely.  One choice is the smart choice, and the other would be a catastrophe.

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7 thoughts on “Catastrophizing

  1. I think you need to go back to decisions that were made years ago. During the time of Cronkite, Huntley and Brinkley the news was a public service. It was a responsibility to inform people about what was happening in the world. Straightforward. Unglamorous. The networks lost money on the news . (It cost more to produce than revenue generated by ads) . The news did not pay for itself.
    Then a new breed of CEO took over the networks. They wanted the news to pay for itself. To do so, it had to be more entertaining than just giving good information. The competition was not to produce accurate news, but entertaining news.
    Then came cable and all the channels. Suddenly, the news, which had been for an hour or half hour each night, became a 24 hour cycle. The emphasis was not on reporting news, but on filling 24 hours. With excitement .So. go find exciting stories. Or make them up. Anything goes as long as you fill time and get people to watch. The more exciting, the more watchers.
    So, a nutcase preacher in Westboro with a congregation of a couple hundred people now is “news”. Someone who would not have been giving a second look in the 1960s. Donald Trump, a crooked conman with a loud mouth is the candidate for POTUS because he is given free publicity and foisted on the national stage by the “news”. A tragic attack in Benghazi, Libya becomes a 4 year “news” item because a political party knows how to manipulate one network in particular.
    Ironically, the real “news” is much more difficult to obtain today than it was when there were only 3 networks. There is so much garbage and unfiltered misinformation today that it is hard to find accurate sources.

    (Talking about Brexit, my take: https://josephurban.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/lesson-of-brexit/ )

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ethics. Credibility. Integrity. Fact Checking. Unbiased Reporting.

    What do all of these things have in common? Apparently nothing when it comes to the media.

    Liked by 2 people

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