Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Even They Are Scared

I watch CNN a few times every day. Most of the news one hears these days is scary – reports of sieges, war, terrorism, an economic depression, political controversy, the energy crisis, global warming, fundamental religious groups, drugs, crime, violence… an endless list of unsavory and scary stuff. Every once in a while, when there is a lack of generally scary news, they’ll show us the exploits of a cat who sensed the carbon-monoxide in the basement and raised the alarm or of a funny cockatoo, but on the whole the reports coming into the newsroom are not what we want to hear. Even the music on CNN mirrors this. As CNN cuts back to the newsroom from the adverts, they play a very scary soundtrack – it’s the kind of music one hears on apocalypse movies when the human race is on the brink of extinction, or the kind that plays when Frodo and his gang are fighting the forces of evil in order to save Middle Earth. The music has always seemed very very scary and also very very familiar. I found myself wondering what it reminded me of. And this morning it struck me! It’s almost identical to the music played in the “Saw” movies when they recap Jigsaw’s bizarre and sadistic schemes that lead up to the usually horrifying and gory climax. Now, when CNN executives approved of playing such music to represent themselves, maybe even they (and perhaps especially they) were scared that most of the news that accompanies the music would also be scary! I wonder how long ago it was that scary and sad news was the exception rather than the rule.

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