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The Culture of Fear in America
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califunky



Joined: 06 Jul 2002
Posts: 225
Location: Japan
The Culture of Fear in America  Reply with quote  

*an attempt to raise the level of discourse on this board, idiots shag off please*

This post involves reflections on Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine

in discussions with my friends lately, we have been struggling to grasp at something that is desperately wrong with American culture, that something that makes the american people so insular and fearful about the world around them, something which i think can be seen as a root cause of many problems which face us today

i think Michael Moore comes very close to identifying this thing in discussing the nature of fear in America, most notably, the way american media sensationalizes, emphasizes and propogates fear.

I think maybe the best and most insightful quote comes from that nice catholic schoolboy Brian Smith (otherwise known as Maralyn Manson)

"Its a campaign of fear and consumption...keep everyone afraid and they'll consume"

I think to a big extent this cuts to the heart of the matter, not just fear, but the culture of consumerism which is so dominant and recognizable in America.

In the history of modern advertising and consumer culture, the intent of creating a consumer mindset is to create insecurity (ie FEAR) in order to cause spending

i think that the natural extension of this is that fear creates good docile consumers

the point of all of this, is that i want a little dialogue on how we counter this.

WHAT ARE THE SOLUTIONS?

lets brainstorm, please begin

c
Post Fri Feb 07, 2003 8:07 am
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tinkleDRINKER



Joined: 25 Jul 2002
Posts: 788
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I think that what you stated in your post is plausable (i.e that american media propagates fear), but i have a few questions?

1) do you think that this phonomenom is unique to american media, or does it pop up in other countries?

2) do you feel that this propagation of fear is the fault of the media or the audience?

3) Are you open to the possibilty that the "fear" you are talking about, is a metaphyscal inadequacy unique to the constituents of capitalist economies? Therfore, the problem is not that the media utilizes fear to exploit consumers, but that the consumers are so metaphysically bankrupt that fear is the only tactic that they respond to.
Post Fri Feb 07, 2003 9:13 am
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MessiahCarey



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 10924
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Okay. A culture of fear that the media perpetuates. I've already accepted this idea as an axiom.

The better question is "To what end does this tactic lead those who use it?".

What's the objective? To me, that's the mystery.

- Shane
Post Fri Feb 07, 2003 9:19 am
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Buddy Peace



Joined: 21 Jul 2002
Posts: 1652
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I'd suggest that those who provide what is being consumed have a sort of control over those who are consuming it. It's just a thought. If you took away water, petrol and electricity then the general public would be in a very bad situation. As long as the people providing these have control over their supply, they in effect control those who use it and depend on it.

It looks a little paranoid looking at it now, but I guess that could be one aspect of this consumption picture. Or maybe I listened to that Presage CD too much. Respect.
Post Fri Feb 07, 2003 9:26 am
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Buddy Peace



Joined: 21 Jul 2002
Posts: 1652
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It may of course be simpler than that - if it really is the case that people in fear people consume more, it's probably just a monetary issue. I'm not sure, but it's made me think a little on my lunchbreak, which I appreciate a lot.
Peace, I'm off to get my minimum wage on. I'll seeya.
Post Fri Feb 07, 2003 9:30 am
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duke_city



Joined: 05 Jul 2002
Posts: 3208
Location: San Diego,CA
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tinkleDRINKER wrote:
I think that what you stated in your post is plausable (i.e that american media propagates fear), but i have a few questions?

1) do you think that this phonomenom is unique to american media, or does it pop up in other countries?



I see even worse fear in many people in European countries who have very heavily skewed ideas of what America is like not to mention how they perceive black people.

America is not unique in having fear tactic media but the consumption part of does make us unique. Nowhere else can so much fear directly affect the economy of a nation.

Brian
Post Fri Feb 07, 2003 9:33 am
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tinkleDRINKER



Joined: 25 Jul 2002
Posts: 788
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dallasbboy wrote:

America is not unique in having fear tactic media but the consumption part of does make us unique. Nowhere else can so much fear directly affect the economy of a nation.


i don't know if i follow your idea correctly - could you elaborate, so that i can obtain a better understanding of what you are saying?
Post Fri Feb 07, 2003 10:29 am
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duke_city



Joined: 05 Jul 2002
Posts: 3208
Location: San Diego,CA
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tinkleDRINKER wrote:
dallasbboy wrote:

America is not unique in having fear tactic media but the consumption part of does make us unique. Nowhere else can so much fear directly affect the economy of a nation.


i don't know if i follow your idea correctly - could you elaborate, so that i can obtain a better understanding of what you are saying?


Well what I was trying to say is in other countries that have fear tactic media like the US there is no way for the public to react by going out and buying guns and comando gear.

I think there was a little clip in "Bowling for Columbine" where they showed that any sort of perceived calamity that was shown on TV, gun sales significantly rose immediately. After 9/11 especially there was so much increase in gas mask and firearm sales, in countries like Japan, England and Sweden this same kind of relationship doesn't occur because it can't there is no places to equip yourself with such items.

Marilyn Manson definetely had the most intelligent things to say in that movie.

Brian
Post Fri Feb 07, 2003 10:37 am
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sleeklegend



Joined: 05 Jul 2002
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they actually have a book with, if i remember correctly, the exact same title as your thread's. I forget who wrote it, however.
Post Fri Feb 07, 2003 10:40 am
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califunky



Joined: 06 Jul 2002
Posts: 225
Location: Japan
well  Reply with quote  

i am not so well informed on this, but it seems like no, other countries do not have the same culture of fear that we have, at least not in the stark media portrayls of violence

in the movie it was not depicted to be that way in canada, and it definately is not that way here in japan, and as far as i know its not that way in england either

when i am talking about the culture of fear i am mostly talking about "escalators of death" and "what you don't know about this teddy bear might kill you" its this bullshit that the local news outlets ram down our throats about nothing being safe, every single night there is some bullshit ad tag for the local news about how "this suv will kill you" but in the end it is just bullshit bad journalism...i don't think that sort of thing exists anywhere else in the world

i think that keeping people in a state of fear leads them to seek outlet, seek a socially acceptable way to cope with the stress of constant fear. now while some people turn to drugs or booz or whatever, i think that for most of the american public, the socially acceptable narcotic is consumerism. Buy this shit, it will make you happy, we fucking promise.

as far as the title of this node, yeah there is a book mentioned that has the same or similar title, which is why i named it the way i did, i would like to read that book if some of you can grok on where i can find it

peace

c

no, really PEACE
Post Fri Feb 07, 2003 11:22 am
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tinkleDRINKER



Joined: 25 Jul 2002
Posts: 788
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[quote="dallasbboy
Well what I was trying to say is in other countries that have fear tactic media like the US there is no way for the public to react by going out and buying guns and comando gear.

I think there was a little clip in "Bowling for Columbine" where they showed that any sort of perceived calamity that was shown on TV, gun sales significantly rose immediately. After 9/11 especially there was so much increase in gas mask and firearm sales, in countries like Japan, England and Sweden this same kind of relationship doesn't occur because it can't there is no places to equip yourself with such items.

Marilyn Manson definetely had the most intelligent things to say in that movie. [/quote]

Do you feel that media sources like, usa today or NBC news, have a direct realtionship with companies that sell guns and survival equipment, that allows these media sources to profit (meaning the gun companies pay them off) by running stories that place fear in americans?

I think that the relationship between fear and profit, is based more on the idea that media sources sensationlize tragedy and perpetuate fear because americans (not that i believe this is unique to the USA) like it! increased consumers of media, translates to increased revenue from sponsers. From what i see, these tend to be car companies, fast food chains, and the like. so, i am skeptical that there is a hidden realtionship between gun companies and prominent media sources.

against my better judgment, i am going to say that, although i believe that there is a relationship between gun sales and percieved calamity. i have to say that correlation does not mean causation.

what do think?
Post Fri Feb 07, 2003 11:31 am
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califunky



Joined: 06 Jul 2002
Posts: 225
Location: Japan
censorship rules  Reply with quote  

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/02/05/1044318661158.html

check this, its sad
Post Sat Feb 08, 2003 7:06 am
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PHIL LACIO AKA P DAWG
the godfather of troll


Joined: 18 Oct 2002
Posts: 4825
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mansons name is brian warner but anyway

michael moore was on to something about the notion of fear in society
with the news and media
Post Sat Feb 08, 2003 9:00 am
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quasifoto



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 975
Location: Albany
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califunky, that was an interesting link. imagine the thinking process of covering up that piece. make believe it's not real? who gives a shit? fuck em they're not american? we'd look pretty dumb with that in the background, that was close. assholes.

god damn i must be the only one who hasn't seen bowling for columbine. the first weekend i could find a sitter was the first weekend it stopped playing in my area.
Post Sat Feb 08, 2003 10:05 am
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quasifoto



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 975
Location: Albany
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and... yesterday when the new terror alert came on it didn't scare me this time, it really pissed me off. it's just such bullshit. they tell us to be on alert, but not of anything specific. what's a better way to freak people out? keep up with our current path and we'll have these more and more as the rest of the world gets fed up.

and during bush's union address didn't he say something about how he took care of the terrorists? asshole.
Post Sat Feb 08, 2003 10:11 am
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