Saturday, July 20, 2019

Fear of Terrorism :: Personal Narrative Writing

Fear of Terrorism Since the events of 9/11, we in the Western World have finally gotten ourselves in tune with the most basic and vital of human instincts: fear. From the beginning of time, as we cocooned ourselves in our cave dwellings (early precursor of the gated community), and trembled at the prospect of roving sabre toothed tigers, passing storms, and even clouds crossing the face of the moon, fear has been our constant companion. It has been fear of one kind and another that has been responsible for all of the wars, laws and technological developments that have shaped and guided our great civilizations. If it weren't for fear of barbarian invaders, we wouldn't even have nations to begin with. If not for fear of shuffling off this mortal coil, there would be no organized religions. Fear of growing old has fuelled any number of delightful and innovative multi billion dollar industries. Fear of being left behind economically has allowed our cherished multinational corporations to become the most powerful and dominant political forces on the planet, unencumbered by parochial, obsolete laws that had once protected the environment and so-called human rights. Sure, there are naysayers who would point to some of the less savoury aspects of our Western history - witch burnings, wars, genocides - and say that perhaps fear is something negative, something that we need to evolve out of if we are going to survive as a species. It is exactly this sort of namby-pambyish attitude that was directly responsible for the tragic events of 9/11. Fear, and fear alone, could have prevented those despicable acts. Furthermore, I denounce anybody who says otherwise as an intellectual terrorist. Of course, there is no end of things to be afraid of: contaminated water, child abductions, children, AIDS, people with AIDS, unpleasant odours, poor people, drug addicts, teenagers, greasy build-up, bad breath, home invasions, poetry, foreigners, gays, artists, countertop bacteria, organ thieves, unfashionable clothes, brown lawns, shark attacks, dandruff, socialists. Fortunately, there are dedicated corporate scientists working around the clock on solutions - everything from pesticides to space age polymers to missile defense - that will eventually eliminate each and every one of these potential threats. In the meantime, though, it is up to each of us to do our part. If there has been one positive thing that has come out of the terrible events of that September day, it has been the fact that we are now able to give one, all-encompassing label to the seemingly endless sources of our fear.

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