What do I think of Barry Glassner’s book published by Basic Books? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
This was an interesting listen done through Audible as I agreed with the overarching thesis that we live in a culture of fear, but I disagreed with much of the terrible argumentation for it. Glassner can often be incredibly contradictory in how he uses data. He will take anecdotes while condemning anecdotes. He will talk about how the media regularly misuse information to put fear into the populace but balk when Trump says the media is the enemy of the people. He will talk about how crime is down so much in America and then point to one of his favorite issues on how we have to get guns off the streets.
When I read this, I was hoping to get not just information on fake fear that terrorizes people, but why it is people are so easily put into a state of fear and I didn’t get that. My personal philosophy has been to never get caught up in a fear craze. When Covid started, I heard some of the first data about people on the cruise ship and how even without a lot of information on the virus, the majority if not all of them made a full recovery. I resolved to not live my life in fear of this virus.
From the start, I did not approve of the lockdowns and I did not support the wearing of masks. My thinking has been that the more we feed fear, the stronger the hold it will be that it has on us. Looking back now, I do not regret any of those decisions.
There are some aspects of Glassner’s presentation that I agree with. I definitely agree with him when he talks about the fear of flying that we have in our country. Plane crashes are spread all across the news when they happen, but little is said about the multiple car accidents that claim many more lives every day. You are far more likely to die in a car accident than you are in a plane crash.
Unfortunately, while there are a few times Glassner goes after liberals in his talking, most of his time is spent going after conservatives. He definitely pulls out all the guns he can when he goes after Donald Trump later on and it’s all the usual stuff that conservatives have heard for years. Glassner has carefully chosen what it is that we should be afraid of in his mind and what we should not be.
Worried about teenage mothers getting pregnant? Don’t be. Listen to this interview of these two girls who are teenagers and want to be mothers soon on the Ricki Lake show. There. Isn’t that better? Talk about climate change? We’re going to all die in twelve years! (As AOC said) Nope. Not a peep about that being fearmongering.
I hope to find a better work on the fear hysteria that we get caught up in, but until then, take my simple advice. Don’t get caught up in the spirit of the age. If all the media is panicking about something, don’t join in. There were people who died of conditions that were treatable because they were scared to go to the hospital and get treated because of Covid scares. Fear can be helpful sometimes, but in a mass population, it can easily reach hysteria.
Don’t go that route.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)