By Jamie, Trail Mix Contributor
30 years ago today I was standing in the media room at the US Chamber of Commerce. We were there to watch the Challenger blast off as Christa McCauliffe had been booked to speak as one of her first engagements following her “Teacher In Space” flight. We all gasped horrified and silent, some crying through the constant replays of the explosion
Within just a few minutes I heard the way that Americans tend to handle such tragedies as the man who had booked her appearance uttered, “She could have just said no.” From that point on the jokes descended into the black humor hole that seems to result following such events. For some reason, as a culture we do this following a major blow just to get to “Pick Yourself Up, Dust Yourself Off, and Start All Over Again.” It doesn’t mean we care less; only that we won’t be stopped by the dangers that exist in all human activities. Unfortunately, it also seems to be a quality we are losing.
Modern media for the sake of ratings and politicians for the sake of votes have climbed on the “be afraid, be very afraid” bandwagon. Whether it is Ebola, Illegal aliens or marauding Muslims they seem to bounce from scare to scare in a permanent state of hysteria that then gets echoed all over every communication platform. Constant fear has the capacity to destroy freedom and when faith in freedom of action disappears, so does democracy.
When it comes to the ghoulies, ghosties, long-leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the night, I for one plan to whistle in the dark, tell another really bad joke, and just say no.