Everyone Panic!

It is an incontestable fact that nothing can inspire outbursts of stupidity quite as quickly as parents’ love for their children. This, of course, is quite understandable: the demands of having to take care of a completely helpless, utterly dependent creature for years at a time would drive even the most rational of people to fits of paranoia and overreaction. And nowhere is this more apparent than when it comes to the fits of outright moral panic which sieze hold of the population.

There’s nothing more entertaining than a moral panic…at least when one can see it from a safe distance. It is, as I have recently learned, not so much fun when one is the object of them*. The latest such panic (the existence of which I only became aware today) seems relatively harmless compared to, for example, the so-called “Satanic Panic” of the 1980s**: it seems that some innovative teenagers have devised a means of distilling crude moonshine from hand sanitizers. Now, understand, I don’t want to underplay the health hazard of drinking 60%-alcoholic hillbilly swill; but on the other hand, I sincerely doubt that this is an overly widespread phenomenon. Moreover, I would bet almost anything that the very same teenagers, if denied access to hand sanitizers, would take very little time to devise some other means of exterminating what few brain cells they have. I therefore don’t see why anyone should worry about this, much less waste thousands of dollars replacing their sanitation fixtures with the non-distillable foamy lather variety.


*During the recent provincial election in Ontario, the Conservative Party’s primary campaign strategy seemed to consist of shouting “OMFG teh liebruls are trying 2 turn YOUR CHILDREN into tranniezzzz!” I was unamused.

**Or the European Witch-Craze, for that matter.


About thevenerablecorvex

I have the heart of a poet, the brain of a theoretical physicist, and the wingspan of an albatross. I am also notable for my humility.
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One Response to Everyone Panic!

  1. zinemin says:

    Reminds me of a recent news story about teenagers getting drunk by putting hard alcohol into their eyes.

    I agree with you that such stories have zero news value. It simply confirms the fact that stupid people exist. I think these stories are not mainly so popular because people seriously panic about it. Rather, they provide some entertainment and thrill.

    And of course the news paper needs to put a ‘panic’ spin on it in order to keep the moral high grounds about why they even write about something like this — whereas in reality, it is likely that their writing will just spread the stupid behaviour….

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