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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Panic Bell

CBS News promises to show us this week that bridges aren't the only great structures in America that are in danger of collapsing.

It's another fine example of the media sounding the panic bell and taking advantage of a soft and impressionable populace that will gather their families round the television set and listen to yet another reason to basically run for our lives.

I've asked PAE readers a few times here whether you think media dictates what the viewers should want to watch, or if it's the other way around, that the media simply serves up what it knows the public prefers.

But let's not forget the government's role in the media. Generally regarded to be a collection of left-leaners, particularly on the news side, the media loves to scare the shit out of us, which is more of a Republican tactic. Nonetheless, the quick tease on CBS showed aerial shots above a dam, so I'm wondering if one of those might collapse soon.

Our alarmist culture seems unwilling to consider, however, that a dam, much like a bridge in Minneapolis or perhaps just the alternator under the hood of your car, has a shelf life. Nothing lasts forever, and the networks need to quit always playing up the blame angle, and just accept that a dam might break somewhere sometime. It's not always so simple that you can just point a finger at an engineer or a team of experts. Once in a while, as the great philosopher Forrest Gump opined, shit happens.



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