Terrified by Terror-Mongers – Football Edition
Dateline: Frederick, MD, where I sit quietly anticipating the Super Bowl and the cute TV ads and sideshows. All manner of hype is used to insure – but not assure – an audience with so much potential for cash outlay. Way too much hype about terrorist threats…
Like gladiatorial events of the past, carnage is always a risk… a potential to thrill...
I’d rather hear about the beer delivery drones delivering 12-packs to ice fisherman, but we hear about fear and threats of disruption. Not just here, but about everything from the upcoming Sochi Olympics to your local shopping mall. Somebody wants you to stay scared!
The culture now is fed-up with the over-security, that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is openly mocked. The New York Times runs tell-all stories from security screeners admitting that their scanners don’t work as advertised while virtually undressing you... plus, all the while you are becoming irradiated on top of becoming irritated!
At the Super Bowl, look to the man on your right. Now look to the woman on your left. There is a two percent chance that one of them is some form of cop, or is in immediate contact with one. Remember when the sport was about sport, and not about halftimes, and ads, and about side-bar stories of player misconduct? Or about beer consumption?
Much like National Hockey League (NHL) fans wanting to see fistfights, or NASCAR fans expecting the thrill of a crash...even when they won’t admit it...it is titillating. One can imagine that some media types almost want to see some terrorism event; they can almost taste it!
A “soft-target” is one where many people gather in the presumption of safety-in-numbers, where attacks are unknown to extremely infrequent. We are not the Middle-East; we are not Jerusalem, but we seem to be becoming more so. A soft-target lacks the extra protection afforded to a big game or known terrorist target, like an airport.
We hover with camera drones, tap our own phone lines, hide plain-clothed officers from 16 branches of law enforcement. Vendors running up and down the stairs have been schooled to watch you… We have radar, missiles, and no-fly zones around the stadium, alert fighters, metal detectors, and snipers. We will zap the terrorists like some fad video game!
And the passion becomes all consuming. The distractions have merged into the hype now. It’s about the adrenaline rush.
Hopefully we can learn to tone this all down a bit, without suffering so much loss of Liberty. My fondest wish now is for an eventless Super Bowl, and for a sport to distract hard-working Americans from their day to day toiling.
Where freedom rings, as we permit it.