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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 4/20/13

Drama Queen Nation?

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  But everyone had to get a piece of that action .. they made sure of it. A 20-something and his 19-year old brother were the perps. And it took a nation to do it:  FBI, ATF, CIA, local, county and state police agencies, the National Guard, and of course, Homeland Security was there to make sure the barn door was closed afterwards.

  Back in the old days local and state police, with assistance from the FBI, would have sufficed. But no longer. Since 9/11 we've spent billions fitting out the nation's first responders with some very expensive and exotic stuff, from hazmat suits to crowd suppression gear, to robots.... and, when sh*t finally hits the fan everyone wants in on it. It's not just big entertainment, but big business too. A recent study reported that, while incomes had fallen over the last ten years in most cities, those cities with the largest Homeland Security-related industries have prospered. 

  Look, I am happy these two Boston characters are no longer walking around free. But, thanks to all of what I just wrote above, the way we now go about all this simply encourages the next drama. When everyone gets what they want, they want more of it. Those two nuts in Boston got precisely what they wanted --- attention, and tons of it.

  And the first responders got what they wanted - a few days of adrenaline pumping high drama during which they got to drag out all that fancy gear Homeland Security gave them after 9/11.

  I'd prefer to see a more mature response, that everyone just dial it back a bit to life's inevitable disasters. When you have billions of souls on a tiny planet, a certain percentage of those folk will be homicidal nuts. Some will be saints. But most of us will be neither.  But we are sentenced to serve whatever time we have on this planet together, like it or not. Most of us will never hurt another person. But that minority of nuts will continue doing just that. And the more souls on the planet the more of these kind of things are going to happen.

  Which is why I believe it's high time we take a long hard look at how we are now responding to these  inevitable events. If we allow catastrophe to become an industry, cultivated by law enforcement and " entertainmentized"  by media, then that's what we're gonna get more of.. more live car chases, more TV coverage of the hunt for the latest bad guy(s).

  We are creating a kind of perpetual feedback loop; bad guys want big-time attention and an over-eager media supplies it. Law enforcement craves action, and the bad guys gladly provide it. Afterward the media lionizes the first responders. 

  Then the closing scene: a sad parade of women bearing stuffed animals and flowers with their puzzled children in tow, preparing the next generation of drama seekers.

It's all become quite the show. And it all makes me very uneasy.

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Stephen Pizzo has been published everywhere from The New York Times to Mother Jones magazine. His book, Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans, was nominated for a Pulitzer.

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