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get the red out's Journal - Archives
Posted by get the red out in Environment/Energy
Wed Oct 14th 2009, 01:45 PM
There is a camaraderie in group fear, the dread that can be whispered about among our own, it brings people together more solidly than just about anything can in our modern world. I am starting to believe that the fears that bring us together are substituting for real community, for positive aspects of life that no longer enthrall and gather us together as they once could. In our negative based media, fear sells like nothing else, and I think that is the case because fear is a new bond for people, where other bonds are so transient. Especially when the media tells us that our little clan is very much alone.

I got the notion of the “camaraderie of fear” early this morning, a relative, who is overall a very decent and educated man, has been worked up for DAYS online about the horrible Obama and his insane environmentalist friends are going to end coal mining in eastern, Kentucky (where he lives and where we both grew up) and destroy the people’s livelihoods; to paraphrase two days of lengthy verbiage. And that is how most of the people there feel, from what I see. The reason for this opinion is that the giant coal companies themselves are pushing this, often with the help of the media; Sean Hannity and some country music stars were brought into a huge sponsored by Massy Coal Co. to push this false meme just across the border in WVA recently, http://www.dailymail.com/Business/20090906... . This was simply a well planned bit of emotional hostage taking. There was a similar company orchestration with public hearing last night in Pikeville, Ky on proposed changes to a 1982 federal regulation allowing valleys to be filled with dirt and rock left over from mountaintop mining. Miners got the day off to attend and their companies bused them in from several surrounding states: http://www.kentucky.com/181/story/975668.h...

People respond, they bond together and come out in droves to follow their company’s lead and despair and rage over their future. When I think of this, it’s probably more bonding than any of them are used to (I know it would be more than I am used to). Bonding is a positive thing, feelings of community are positive; but where our ancestors bonded to find the strength to stand up to “big coal” and courageously demand unionization and fair treatment of workers; now the companies dictate a bonding of fear, the coal companies are calling the shots for the emotional state of the people. Fox News didn’t assist our great-grandfathers on UMWA picket lines, if Fox had existed back then, they would have called every miner that died for his cause a “terrorist” and a “socialist”.

I know there isn’t much I can say to friends and family back in the coal fields of my state that would help in any way. We all know what it is to fear for our jobs, the economy being what it is. And last year during the election I clung to my liberal buddies here in Lexington almost in stark raving mad terror of the potential of 4 more years of Republican hell. But so much of their fear is under corporate control, and I wish they could see it. If people could see that talking instead of spewing could get more accomplished than the temporary salve of holding each other’s trembling hands on cue, maybe my state could start pulling itself up by the bootstraps. If they could just remember what these coal companies tried to do to our ancestors, virtually enslave them for profit, maybe they would question some of what they are being fed. The power of the right wing media to assist the corporations is so strong in the so-called “red states”. I wish this corporate/Fox/religious right control in southern and rural states would loosen up enough so we could all see ourselves as simply Americans again. The big shots have taken enough advantage of people’s character flaws, which we all possess whether liberal or conservative. Wishful thinking on my part but it is better than finding solace in the fear.
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