I was wrong I’ll admit it. See how damned magnanimous I can be? Last year I wrote about how swine flu was being blown out of proportion by the media and compared it to the SARS, birdflu, and zombie outbreaks that were supposed to have happened in previous years. I followed this up with another piece when to everyone’s amazement we all survived another winter: Swine Flu – we might all live shock!
I then predicted that there would be yet another threat this year. Rabid bubonic goat flu or something. But it hasn’t happened. I was wrong. Obviously I’ve been wrong before – I initially thought a remake of Dawn of the Dead was a pointless idea for example – but it’s rare. Rare that I’ll admit it at least.
So what went wrong? It seems the press have realised that the country just won’t stand for another tale of impending disease. You can only cry wolf a few dozen times before we wise up. Instead the media is now bleating on about how they were mislead and that most of their sources were actually in league with the drug companies. It was WHO and the drug companies that exaggerated things apparently. As stated in the always reliable Daily Mail:
“Five of the 15 specialists who sat on the emergency committee had received funding from pharmaceutical giants, or were linked to them through their research.
The revelation will prompt speculation that the ‘pandemic’ was wildly overestimated and largely fuelled by the drugs industry who stood to benefit from the panic.” (Mail, 13/08/2010)
The nasty, evil, self serving drug companies made it seem worse than it was. Thank christ for papers like the Mail for letting us know this. Cynics might argue that the media prompted the government’s panic buying of flu with articles such as:
“Swine flu deaths in UK double as country now has third highest number of cases in the world.” This Daily Mail article recounted how deaths rocketed from 7 to 14 cases and warned that: “the NHS is not ready to deal with a swine flu epidemic because of ‘muddled’ emergency plans and time-wasting bureaucracy.” (Mail, 10/07/2009)
But now we have nothing to fear! We need something. Global warming might wipe out our current civilisation… but not for ages. Obviously I am only including Britain in this, there are plenty of horrendous things happening all over the world already. But we need something in Britain. Something to sell the papers, something to keep us in line. What else is there?
Legal highs – fear for your kids! Meow meow killed two and is linked, possibly, to more! Oh no, hang on, the two in question didn’t actually take any. Still, thankfully that’s been banned. Now there’s the terrifying Ivory Wave, described as being “more dangerous than meow meow” (Metro, 17/08/10). ONE guy has died. This is sad for his family but on closer inspection there’s no need to worry too much yet. Ivory Wave is actually a bath salt. The guy who died might possibly have been killed by his 300 foot fall off a cliff rather than the drug. The lesson here is not to eat household products at random as they can be poisonous or send you a bit loopy.
Double dip recession! Read any reports on this and count how many times the word “possible” occurs. We’re hardly dying in the streets. Go to a third world country and get some perspective.
Paul the psychic octopus gets death threats! Okay, this is a bit scary – I can’t believe how many idiots populate the world.
I remain unafraid. I need the media to fill me with dread, I’m getting all complacent. Something cool. Who cares if it never actually happens, the British public demands something to be terrified by or we’ll run out of conversation in the pub. Here are some suggestions: