"Keep everyone afraid and they will consume"

I've never been a big Marilyn Manson fan. I really did enjoy all the hysteria and righteous uproar he caused in his time at the top of the charts, and he does put on one hell of a show in concert, but the music never really captured me.

Still, one thing Manson said has stuck with me for years. In an interview with Michael Moore in Bowling for Columbine, Manson touched on an aspect of American culture that I had never thought about before, but have been unable to ignore since viewing the interview: the culture of fear.

In the movie, Manson says, "...You're watching television. You're watching the news. You're being pumped full of fear. There are floods, there's AIDS, there's murder. Cut to commercial. Buy the Acura, buy the Colgate...And it's just this -- it's a campaign of fear and consumption. And that's what I think it's all based on, is the whole idea that, keep everyone afraid and they'll consume."

But it's not consumerism these days, now we've got the President on TV trying to convince us that we need to abandon the specific prohibitions provided in the Constitution and allow him to station military troops--in a law enforcement capacity--in our cities. Why would he do this? Why, bird flu, of course! Be afraid of the deadly bird flu! The bird flu is coming to get you! Bird flu! Bird flu! Bird flu!

WTF???? What about SARS? What about Anthrax? What about Smallpox? What about Mad Cow Disease? This bird flu thing is just the latest in a long line of irrational fears used by this administration as a blunt object to bash the country into letting it do whatever the hell it wants, Constitution be damned.

Well, I'm not afraid of the fricking bird flu. I'm afraid of losing the remnant shreds of freedom and democracy I still have in this country. With this administration in office, that's a very rational fear to have.


Johnny said...

I think about this every time I see a home security commercial, "Cops" (bad boys, bad boys), etc. Bowling for Columbine is a great movie. I really liked the part about being in South Central LA. Truth is, Montgomery, WV is probably a far more dangerous place.
Fear is the new religion. When you combine it with the information overload we are bombarded with on a daily basis, it's not to hard to see how 100,00 civilian Iraqi deaths is covered up by "we're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here." Great for us, bad for the Iraqi's.

MariGerard said...

Word, Word, Word AND Amen Brother, Amen Brother, Amen Brother!! I can'r believe we aren't even a full year into this baboons Final term. It seems like he's been screwing us for decades already!

Anonymous said...

Excellent point. They keep it coming too. Today I heard on the radio that a man had contracted it by eating COOKED chicken. Could I have some fear with chicken sandwich, please?