« How to captivate an audience | Main | Voor één keertje in het Nederlands (or at least partly...) »

March 14, 2006



I don’t profess to speak for the entire American population, but am simply one individual trying to make sense of the seemingly contradictory information we’re receiving. While I believe mass hysteria would be counterproductive and very dangerous, blind reliance on government to protect the population is an equally large mistake in my opinion.

Your point about a “post 9/11 fear industry” may be correct. There are a handful of opportunistic people and businesses trying to capitalize on that fear, such as the first company I mentioned in my post. The language along with the photo has the sole purpose of creating anxiety which, it is hoped, will translate to online purchases. *That* I find disturbing.

I hope other readers will weigh in with their thoughts as well.

Hi Andrea, thanks for your comment. I would like to make absolutely clear I was not being judgmental. As a matter of fact, I think it's great there are people, like yourself, trying to make sense of things. After all, I can imagine lots of people (including myself) don't really know what to think/belive/do or not do anymore. I was only trying to look for other people's opinions on the matter. So in that respect: I share your hope of other readers weighing in with their thoughts.

This is an interesting one. Sitting, as I do, between continental Europe to which we are officially tied and the United States to which we sycophantically cosy up to (and by we I mean Tony Blair's Government speaking 'on our behalf'), I feel like I'm in a strange middle ground.

The Brits on the whole have adopted a typically lazy attitude to the situation. Despite frequent news reports and the Daily Mail's usual attempts at scaremongering masquerading as journalism, the Brits seem to be optimistic to the point of indifference; a cross between the European laissez faire and the British sense of indestructability.

The two biggest reactions seems to have been over doctors allegedly stockpiling Tamiflu despite reports of national shortages. Perhaps after 'mad cow disease' and the foot and mouth crisis, we think we're old hands at reacting to animal bourne epidemics?

apologies for the poor grammar at the end of the last post - not quite awake yet obviously

No problem - thanks for the input, regarding insight in 'la condition anglaise' as well as vocabulary-wise (sycophantical - had to look that one up ;-).

Hmmm, all of the shelter-in-place comments at Andrea's site were started by Ike, and Ike is a PR guy for the Red Cross. So, the preparedness thing is big with the American Red Cross right now. I know, I am also a PR volunteer for them.

At any rate, most of us haven't done anything extraordinary to prepare, I admit that I haven't and I was 2 miles away from the Pentagon on 9/11, so I have some perspective. Still, I think that a lot of people like to play on fears for profit. As my husband has told me, the advertising here woudln't be tolerated in Europe.

Hello Serge -- pleasure to make your virtual acquaintance, if such is possible.

I do work for the American Red Cross, and believe me, many people with more expertise than I are still trying to wrap their heads around this Avian Flu thing. No one knows specifically what we'll face, and as an organization, we're getting ready for a host of scenarios depending upon which roles we'll be expected to fulfill.

The most important now is fostering a sense of control, and diminishing the panic mode. The biggest disruption for the uninfected will be the quarantine at home, and those inconveniences can be easily overcome through decent planning and stocking of readily available items. Since most of those items ought to be part of a family preparedness kit anyway, we're not talking about a giant stretch here.

Fear has always been a big selling motivator, and it's not just peculiar to the U.S. Remember "Skylab Repellent?" What we Yanks *do* have is a robust economy, and a higher percentage of people with the required disposable income to purchase "speculative" technologies -- the "just in case" and "better safe than sorry" machines like generators. Those with a lower standard of living are less likely to make peace of mind a buying priority.

Excellent conversation!

Just out of interest Ike, who were you referring to as 'those with a lower standard of living?'


I think peace of mind is everyone's buying priority...

If you ask me, the question here is how quickly people lose theirs...

Sam, I am merely referring to those who have less disposable income.

Peace of mind is an important guide for purchasing, but hunger, shelter, and clothing have a more tangible impact. Think Maslow.

The comments to this entry are closed.