We live in a carefully crafted, expertly maintained state of fear. A fearful, subdued, worried population seems easier to manage in the long run because it is easily influenced and doesn’t show too much initiative, nor does it too actively seek change.

The trick is to keep the crowds ignorant of their own fear; to make everybody think less, and only about specifically chosen topics; to feed weak minds and their too vivid imaginations with shocking, disturbing news but then convince them that those are the facts of life.

Human beings are morbid by nature. They instinctively seek the sight of blood and the thought of suffering. So the media feeds them just that, deliberately choosing to avoid cheerful, happy subjects, as they serve no purpose in controlling the masses and will not profit anybody, especially not said media.

People watch the news and read the papers to be shocked, to get assaulted by other people’s suffering and to bathe into the so-called reality of familiar concepts such as drama, crime, politics and gossip. Those things, while evil and negative by nature, serve the greater human need to justify one’s own weakness and struggling.

Yes, I’m broke, I’m stressed, I’m unhappy, I’m being cheated on and I’m cheating myself, I hate my life, I’m on drugs, I never do anything useful or chase after my dreams, I am unable to receive love or give it properly, but SEE, it’s not really my fault, the whole world is bad and full of pain, hatred and failure. So if it’s all so terrible out there, heck, my own troubles aren’t so bad after all, and they make me part of the community.

So rather than seek an improvement to their condition or a solution to their blindness, people then turn to distraction as a cure, or at least a relief to their pain. And distraction, not surprisingly, comes from the media too. Ridiculous TV series and soap operas allow the audience to watch more of the same drama happening to imaginary people, so that they don’t loose touch with life’s daily misery. And reality TV manages to tap into those same morbid needs, turns them into money-makers, and through the wise use of mankind’s natural voyeurism tendencies, keeps people safely away from the real reality, the one where the world might actually be pretty and fair, and a great place to live in.

Note: I’m using the forms “they” and “people” very loosely here so that nobody will feel singled out; pointing fingers is not my goal. All I really can talk about is myself, so no, I do not watch the news nor do I sit day after day in front of the TV to follow a soap’s never-ending saga. BUT, I am guilty of other things, cynicism and a patronizing tone, among other things. Oh, and buying cappuccinos only for the foam. And crossing streets while the hand is up or the walking man white. And taking better pictures with my right index on the shutter than my left.