Monday, December 13, 2010

Editorial: Maintain your fear, but don't be scared

With today's editorial I get the feeling that the unnamed Courier editor has been taking some writing lessons from JJ Casserly. He dumps out his terrorism file in more or less random, unexamined statements, and in the end leaves the reader with a contradictory non sequitur.

"We need to be vigilant, of course," he says, supporting the ridiculous notion that amateurs keeping a close eye out for terrorists at Wal-Mart could somehow be useful, "and secure our country the best ways we know how. At the same time," contradicting himself, "we cannot live in constant fear. If [the terrorists] smell that, they win." Did anyone else laugh out loud at this?

Having our former governor on the Wal-Mart PA exhorting us to be suspicious of our neighbors is just the sort of absurdist nightmare that lends cheer to the hearts of fundamentalist manipulators of all stripes, including (especially) our home-grown ones. Making distrust fashionable and looking for the worst in each other erodes our social fabric, dividing us, isolating us and making us easy to stampede in whatever direction they like.

Editor, having you think it's reasonable and prudent to write confused, alarmist crap like this is exactly the sort of win "the terrorists" are looking for.

What you're not seeing is who the truly scary terrorists are -- the religious fanatics, the social oppressors, the authoritarians and would-be fascist dictators who wrap themselves in our nation's flag and do everything they can to undermine our values and government from within. You soak up their propaganda from your teevee every night, editor, and here you're doing their work for them.

7 comments:

Coyote Contraire said...

This editorial is ten paragraphs of fear-mongering ending with an admonition not to live in fear, followed by a warning not to let the terrorists "smell" our fear? Yes, Mr. Ayres, it made me laugh too -- then pissed me off and caused me to write a comment to the Courier which was as unreasoned as the editorial itself. Should I be able to calm myself enough to type understandable English I'll re-do it and submit to the C's Church Lady for censorship or (as often happens) for "disappearance". But for now I'm glad you wrote what you did. I was feeling pretty alone for a while there.

Steven Ayres said...

Thanks, CC. Keep a copy in case the Church Lady disappears you and bring your comment over here.

dovh49 said...

Terrorism the bogeyman of our day. If we had a terrorism problem wouldn't we see malls being blown up? We don't have a terrorism problem.

The only thing that could lead to terrorism problems is going over to other countries and overthrowing their leaders, killing their young and old, and raping their women. Wait, that's what we've been doing for the last 50 years. It's amazing we don't see terrorists acts here every day. Time to repent and leave all those countries alone. Get out of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Japan, Germany, South Korea, etc. Let's get rid of war mongering presidents like no more Bush, Obama, etc.

We want peace? Trade is the greatest harmonizer. Let's trade with one another and live in peace.

Steven Ayres said...

Good comment, d, I'd only qualify it by adding that if we want to make friends we have to strive for fair trade.

dovh49 said...

Yes, good point. Fair trade. I think we should be the ones to take the first steps toward fair trade though. Be the leader not the follower.

Steven Ayres said...

And how do you think we can go about doing that?

Anonymous said...

I didn't get a chance to read it yet; I'm still too busy trying to cover my house with plastic sheathing and duct tape !