The Mass Marketing of Fear
Scene I: 1 minute 90 seconds: Morning rush hour in downtown
Cut to the first commercial: Extra Strength Tide with Bleach turns our gray dingy whites, bright. Commercial II is an ad for antibacterial kitchen wipes. Commercial III shows somebody’s mother baking cookies in what can only be construed as a state of pharmaceutically induced glee.
The message is clear. If we purge our homes of bacteria and get our whites really white then we can manage chaos. We can manage death. A mitotic growth of products offers a glimmer of control in the face of prime time’s line-up of denitrifying corpses. Lock the door and sanitize your counters.
Contrary to commercial media’s fixation with the bleeding lead, the FBI’s compilation of crime stats shows that last years murder rate hit a 40 year low. Despite cuts in police budgets and the fraying safety net, all incidents of violent crime including murder, rape and armed robbery are lower now than they were in the 1970’s. This trend is expected to continue as the