Panic over North Korea is about television ratings and maintaining a perpetual state of fear. Don't fall for it
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
Holy guacamole. Have you seen Twitter lately? We can't even find the latest drug-induced Louise Mensch outbursts in our "feed" — they've all been buried by a never-ending avalanche of 140-character hyperventilations about impending war with North Korea.
I have good news and bad news. Breaking from tradition: The good news first.
We're not going to war with North Korea. I say "we" because it doesn't matter what your nationality is — American, German, Eskimo — whatever invented power structure that makes you pay taxes is not going to "strike" North Korea.
And some more good news: North Korea is not going to "strike" anyone, preemptively or otherwise.
I hate to generalize so forgive me in advance, but during my short time on Earth I've noticed a familiar pattern: People ignore the real, everyday miseries that make life unbearable, like America's 20% child poverty rate, while delighting in every opportunity to stroke-out about abstractions and conjectures. Maybe it's a coping mechanism? Or maybe it's just more exciting to get swept away by visions of nuclear holocaust, as opposed to doing something with tangible benefits, such as reading a book or pruning your azaleas.
Yes, we've seen the "reports". China says war can come at any moment! Japan's Anime army is on high alert! A navy fleet is on its way (has already arrived?) to take up position off the coast of the Korean Peninsula.
And most concerning of all: Trump has already launched a salvo of provocative tweets. At least they're cheaper and more effective than anything Raytheon produces, right?
But allow me to repeat myself: We're not going to war with North Korea. And if you think we are, you're being played like a harp.
Now for the bad news: Governments, media, and other useless cartels of human scum are trying to whip you into a frenzy. Probably because it's good for television ratings and keeps many millions of people in a perpetual state of fear and anxiety. It's way easier to explain to the wage slaves why their children are malnourished if they're too afraid to care or make a fuss about it.
I'm not supposed to do this, but I'll let you in on a little industry secret: The media loves to scare the shit out of people. We love it! It's what we do best. It doesn't help anyone or anything, it often times creates a bogus sense of inevitability and doom, and it's great for ad revenue.
Don't fall for it. Turn off your iPhone 666 and go for a walk.
When was the last time you took your poor, diabetic dog for a walk? Put a leash on Fluffy and treat him to an ice cream cone. And make sure to get one for yourself, too — you've been awfully hard on yourself lately.
The internet is a powerful tool. But like any powerful tool, it can empower you, or make your life miserable.
You should of course read Russia Insider as often as humanly possible, and click on all of our annoying ads, but does anyone need to spend hours every day in a urine-stained corner, tweeting frantically about the End Times? Only if you're Louise Mensch or a member of her Al Nusra Twitter Front.
We are all human and we are all incredibly vulnerable and easy to manipulate. But as the great Kenneth Clark once said: Have confidence.
As Ken puts it:
At this point I reveal myself in my true colours, as a stick-in-the-mud. I hold a number of beliefs that have been repudiated by the liveliest intellects of our time. I believe that order is better than chaos, creation better than destruction. I prefer gentleness to violence, forgiveness to vendetta.
On the whole I think that knowledge is preferable to ignorance, and I am sure that human sympathy is more valuable than ideology. I believe that in spite of the recent triumphs of science, men haven't changed much in the last two thousand years; and in consequence we must still try to learn from history. History is ourselves.
I also hold one or two beliefs that are more difficult to put shortly. For example, I believe in courtesy, the ritual by which we avoid hurting other people's feelings by satisfying our own egos. And I think we should remember that we are part of a great whole. Which, for convenience, we call nature.
All living things are our brothers and sisters. Above all, I believe in the God-given genius of certain individuals, and I value a society that makes their existence possible.
Western civilization has been a series of rebirths. Surely this should give us confidence in ourselves. It's lack of confidence, more than anything else, that kills a civilization. We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion just as effectively as by bombs.
Have a peaceful, relaxing weekend. And don't forget to walk Fluffy.
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
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