Growing Up In Hysteria — A Millennial Perspective

It started on a quiet September morning in the year 2001. As I ate my frosted flakes a Boeing 767 hit the North Tower, soon after, the South Tower followed suit. Even though I watched both impacts, the images failed to register, I was merely five. Despite this fact, the tension and fear was palpable as my parents stood somberly, their eyes fixated. This was the beginning of my relationship with the American media. From Fox to CNN, the impact was displayed on constant loop. “Bin Laden!” they repeated until it was carved into my skull. A month later, on a Sunday in October, we went to war with Al-Qaeda.

From then til now, the pressure has not let up. All day and all night the suits on TV scream of the horror. They warn that all has gone mad and that danger is near. On the heels of Columbine, more school shootings ensued, from Tucson to Red Lake to the carnage in Blacksburg. The temperatures are rising and ice caps are thawing. And like a stale stench in the air, the war was still going. Clips of beheadings and men strapped with explosives containing a deep thirst thirst for Western blood. Soon after came Katrina, but before you could take a breath another scandal erupted, oil covered the Gulf, gay night-clubs shot up, Trayvon Martin, Gabriel Gifford, Casey Anthony all flooding our TV screens 24 hours a day.

At 15 years old I believed humanity was doomed. That all of these events were related in some way and were coming together to generate a climax of epic human destruction never before seen.

Today, at 20 years old, I can now breath. I have removed the narrative. I absorb the facts of events but skip town before Nancy Grace or Bill O’Reilly can provide their input on events and cleanly fit them into their dramatic tales. Cable news has blurred the line between information and entertainment. Political analysis is littered with hyperbole, and gross exaggerations have fueled the feeling of divide and impending doom. Jesters masked as experts always shouting, arguing, refusing to compromise — all in in the name of, not information, but views.

Our socio-political climate is one of constant change in which variables and information evolve as time passes. Which leads me to ask —why do our pundits provide static opinions of a world that is fluidly evolving everyday?

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