Behaviour through fear (cont'd)

Complain or gush all you like - this is the place to do it.
Post Reply
User avatar
Rorschach
Crazy Person
Posts: 17531
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2003 7:35 am
Gender: Male
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Behaviour through fear (cont'd)

Post by Rorschach » Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:14 am

From here

The problem with discussing subjects so emotive on a faceless forum is that it's extremely easy to over-react, pick people up the wrong way, or indeed misinterpret yourself to such an alarming extent that bowing out is the only option - Blaze, anyone?

Let me start by saying that my comment was not exclusively about anti-rape campaigns. It encompassed anti-rape and anti-violence campaigns but was only part of my objection.
My complaint was part of a wider beef that I have with being intimidated by the government into being a good citizen. I'm already a good citizen. Yes, I realise that I then am not perhaps their intended demographic, but I still feel slightly put out by the whole thing. Maybe that doesn't make much sense but it's how I feel. That's why I posted this in R8R rather than SPPACE. Does my whining pale beside the proven efficiency of such campaigns? Yeah, probably.
Vektor T. Gecko wrote:FWIW, there's been a campaign in parts of Canada that focuses on exactly this demographic, the "rapists who don't think they are because they're not pouncing on girls in an alley" guys.

http://www.crimepreventionottawa.ca/en/ ... e-that-guy

From what I hear, it's actually been fairly effective. 10% is not insignificant, especially for something as low-tech and affordable as an ad campaign.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/bri ... le1359241/
Fair enough. From reading the article on the toilet this morning, I'm not entirely sure that the entire ten percent reduction can be linked to only the ad campaign, but it seems to be a telling factor in it.

But I still don't like it. I don't like suspicious eyes following me around a shop when I'm in to buy something. I don't like coffee shops that take my money before making my coffee. I don't like adverts on the radio telling me 'If you don't renew your car tax, your car may be seized and destroyed' or 'We're closing in on benefit cheats' or scary television detector vans on TV adverts and ominous knocks on perpetrators' doors. Again, I'm not guilty of any of these things and yet the adverts get on my nerves. The IT Crowd quite successfully parodied this type of thing. It's scarily close to the truth:

[youtube]xuxO6CZptck[/youtube]

Maybe I'm being horribly naïve and the world really would turn to shit without the regulatory hand of our elected overlords keeping the cattle in line, but it still irks.
To Let

User avatar
Deacon
Shining Adonis
Posts: 44016
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 3:00 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Lakehills, TX

Re: Behaviour through fear (cont'd)

Post by Deacon » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:10 pm

Your last sentence in that post is the most telling. Overbearing government sucks.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

User avatar
The Cid
Crazy Person
Posts: 7150
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 12:23 pm
Real Name: Tim Williams
Gender: Male
Location: The Suncoast
Contact:

Re: Behaviour through fear (cont'd)

Post by The Cid » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:09 pm

Rorschach wrote:I don't like adverts on the radio telling me 'If you don't renew your car tax, your car may be seized and destroyed' or 'We're closing in on benefit cheats' or scary television detector vans on TV adverts and ominous knocks on perpetrators' doors. Again, I'm not guilty of any of these things and yet the adverts get on my nerves.
Because the tone of these public service campaigns make you feel like you're being accused. Or, maybe more accurately, that the government sees the default position of its people as criminal and a threat to order. The pesky, unwashed masses that haven't submitted enough to their societal betters.
Rorschach wrote:Does my whining pale beside the proven efficiency of such campaigns? Yeah, probably.
Comedian Adam Carolla brings up a similar issue on his podcast. Evidently, Los Angeles police put bumper stickers on their squad cars with messages like "stop human trafficking" and "end senior abuse." The comedian often asks if anybody is seeing these bumper stickers and letting the captives out of their trunk, or deciding not to go break grandma's jaw.

Around here there's been a public service campaign that makes my freaking blood boil. We're not the only US city that has it, either. On public transportation, there's a ubiquitous slogan said and posted all over the damn place: If you see something, say something. Because uninformed members of the public are always so spot on at identifying threats, right? And because we needed to be told that if someone looks like they're going to do something that leads to people dying, we should inform an authority figure. What makes me angriest about this campaign, though, is the implication that we should be ever-vigilant and ever-concerned, for Danger is Right Around the Corner, and if you're not a Good Citizen the whole society's going to fall apart because of the dangerous criminal element.

Meanwhile, a very recent speaker from the state house here is currently serving a prison term for corruption. Maybe we should put those "if you see something, say something" signs in the halls of government. Perhaps that's where the true threat lies.
Rorschach wrote:Maybe I'm being horribly naïve and the world really would turn to shit without the regulatory hand of our elected overlords keeping the cattle in line, but it still irks.
That's really my underlying problem with these things--the idea that members of government are Your Betters, and you must be fully reliant on them or you will likely starve or be killed by the horrible "public." Perhaps I'm often guilty of going the other way, and seeing every politician as a worm trying to eat society away from the inside, and that's no better of a mentality really. Of course, I wouldn't feel this way if I didn't feel like public service campaigns and the people behind them weren't yelling me into a corner and swatting me on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper.
Image
Hirschof wrote:I'm waiting for day you people start thinking with portals.

User avatar
Deacon
Shining Adonis
Posts: 44016
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 3:00 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Lakehills, TX

Behaviour through fear (cont'd)

Post by Deacon » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:05 pm

The problem is that these programs are primarily political tools by people looking to increase their own power and standing by increasing government size and power. Sure there might be some True Believers with brains as soft as their hearts talking about how they're doing The Lord's Work. But facts don't enter into it. If there's any fall off in the number of incidents of whatever it is, whether rape or border jumping or beating up old people, then it's declared a success, as though that's the reason. If there's not, then they say imagine how bad it would be without the messages and we need to spend more to do it harder. And because your average soccer mom feels it can't hurt, they have no problem with it. You know, for the children.

It's the same with most dumb government stuff. Even though the DOJ concluded an "assault weapon" ban wouldn't reduce crime--both because so few crimes are committed using them and because criminals don't really concern themselves with following the law--the call will go out to ban them because soccer moms think they look scary. They pointed out that turning good people into criminals by requiring universal background checks won't help anything either without a prolonged period of gun registration and a compulsory seizing of weapons, but that doesn't stop politicians from "doing something about this problem." Nobody stops to ask if there's actually a problem to be solved nor what the best way is to solve it much less whether it's the government's role to "do something" in the first place.

It's like a distasteful version of a rock you claim keeps away bears. If there are no bear attacks, then you're clearly a hero. If there are bear attacks, you argue we just need more rocks, that it's common sense, that we need the government to go door to door and force families to display a rock prominently in their house, a rock worth a few pennies that the government is paying hundreds for.

The reason it irks you to have these messages is partly because it makes you feel like you're being condescended to at best and accused at worst but also because you probably inherently understand the lack of actual effectiveness of the fundamental concept and hopefully because somewhere in the back of your mind you're tired of Big Brother staring at you with beady, suspicious eyes.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

User avatar
The Cid
Crazy Person
Posts: 7150
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 12:23 pm
Real Name: Tim Williams
Gender: Male
Location: The Suncoast
Contact:

Re: Behaviour through fear (cont'd)

Post by The Cid » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:29 pm

Deacon wrote:It's like a distasteful version of a rock you claim keeps away bears. If there are no bear attacks, then you're clearly a hero. If there are bear attacks, you argue we just need more rocks, that it's common sense, that we need the government to go door to door and force families to display a rock prominently in their house, a rock worth a few pennies that the government is paying hundreds for.
To me, it's more than even that. Using this analogy, if you have a rock and there are still bear attacks, it's clearly your idiot neighbors' fault for not getting with the program, so you'd better make them get a rock and do so in a hurry. It couldn't possibly be that the rocks don't work, it's just those damned non-believers that are ruining the plan. Get them.

In this way, nothing bad is ever the government's fault, just the fault of people who disagree with the prevailing local opinion. They are the problem, never the government. Blame others. Blame civilians, blame voters, blame the underinformed. Don't blame the people who were on watch when bad things went down. It's not their fault that people are trying to think for themselves and act for themselves. If only we had given them our total and unconditional support, we would never have these problems.

Civilians fighting with other civilians over the incompetence of government gets us nowhere, but it helps elected officials retain their cushy positions.
Image
Hirschof wrote:I'm waiting for day you people start thinking with portals.

User avatar
Deacon
Shining Adonis
Posts: 44016
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 3:00 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Lakehills, TX

Re: Behaviour through fear (cont'd)

Post by Deacon » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:46 pm

Sadly, you are correct. It becomes a question of marginalizing the individual rather than an honest evaluation of needs and whether a particular solution may be correct. Republicans are either dumb rednecks or incredibly successful old white men who are thus clearly cartoonishly bigoted villains from old Captain Planet cartoons. Democrats are either lazy layabouts content to live off their neighbors and blast their Ford Festiva's sound system or image-conscious college graduates who latch onto whatever the latest feel-good fad happens to be. And because everything's big and complicated in this modern world, each side can always blame the other. In the end, nobody is held to promises made, and you're a seriously tiresome idiot if you even ask about it.

Like HuffPost Politics on Facebook and check out the message that adjoins the link to an article, then read the comments below it. Watch really any show on Fox News or MSNBC. It's all a bunch of incredibly frustrating bullshit where commentators are actively either preaching to the choir or eviscerating anyone who disagrees. And even when one participant actually manages to talk reasonably about actual facts, they're almost never joined by whomever is across the table from them.

And it's because of this low level of discourse and short attention spans of spoiled Americans that the government keeps--I was going to say creeping up but there's nothing slow about it--expanding rapidly and spending imaginary money taken from our neighbors and stolen from our children, mortgaging our future for the sake of being seen to be "doing something" now.

So whatever those ads cost, no matter how useless they are, they're definitely worth it, and we need to make more, because the only thing that matters is making the right people "feel" better.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

User avatar
The Cid
Crazy Person
Posts: 7150
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 12:23 pm
Real Name: Tim Williams
Gender: Male
Location: The Suncoast
Contact:

Re: Behaviour through fear (cont'd)

Post by The Cid » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:45 pm

Deacon wrote:Like HuffPost Politics on Facebook and check out the message that adjoins the link to an article, then read the comments below it. Watch really any show on Fox News or MSNBC.
I am increasingly convinced that the people behind the film Network were time travelers. Every month that movie (from the seventies!) becomes more accurate regarding the current state of news programming.

I don't want to get too America-centric here, as Rorschach started this thread, but it deeply bothers me the way we do things here when it comes to politics. I especially hate when it becomes a regional thing--"red states" that blame bluer regions for all of the world's problems and vice versa, something I'm sure both of us encounter in our deeply partisan parts of the world. Our regional differences are some of my favorite parts of this country. We'd be so boring if everyone in this country were part of one homogeneous culture, who speak and think the same. We should embrace these differences; the fact that Bostonians, Chicagoans, Californians, Texans, and friendly midwesterners are all in this together kicks ass. Instead of embracing that, though, people often prefer to stay in their local camps and distrust everybody else.

No, I don't think we'd magically solve our problems by respecting one another and getting along, but it could start to move us forward. Imagine if political discussions almost never devolved into shouting matches the way most of them do now. Imagine people seeking out dissenting opinions not to poke holes in them but to see why someone would reach a different conclusion. If we weren't constantly being divided in what I call the Civil Cold War, we'd be there.

Of course, that plan would actually make things more complicated. We'd need to ask some really difficult questions and occasionally make some painful decisions. We'd have to admit that all of us are very easily capable of being wrong a majority of the time. It wouldn't make the political process any easier. It would, however, give me some confidence that when things do get done they'll get done in a thoughtful manner.
Image
Hirschof wrote:I'm waiting for day you people start thinking with portals.

User avatar
Rorschach
Crazy Person
Posts: 17531
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2003 7:35 am
Gender: Male
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Re: Behaviour through fear (cont'd)

Post by Rorschach » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:39 pm

The Cid wrote: I don't want to get too America-centric here, as Rorschach started this thread.
No no. Go on. I was about done complaining anyway.
To Let

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests