Putting Fear on Mute

Fear (and its flip side, anger) is going to win on election day in 2010. Either Republicans and the Tea Party will convince voters that the Democrats/Obama/Nancy Pelosi are a huge threat to their pocketbooks or other things that voters worry about, or the Democrats will convince voters the same is true of the Republicans/Tea Party. Rather than voting for what we believe in, we are voting for what we’re least afraid of.

Monster emerging from TV

You don't have to kill your TV to ratchet down your fears. Just use the mute button.

This bothers me for all sorts of reasons. Mostly, because it reflects how fear has become the dominant way to make decisions in far too many aspects of far too many people’s lives. Including, of course, unhappy lawyers who want a better work life.

Why? Television, for one thing. More specifically, the commercials on television. Not the political ads so much as the products and services ads. Watch them carefully: An extraordinarily high percentage of commercials are about hyped-up fears.

Now, marketers have been playing to fears for as long as there have been ads. But it struck me that the intensity of fear Continue reading