Sunday, October 31, 2010

Are You Scared Yet?

Today's beautiful sunny Seattle afternoon will, in a few short hours, give rise to little goblins and ghouls and ghosts shrieking and wailing. "Trick or treat!" is tonight's theme, but alas it will extend a few more days past tonight. Indeed, bigger goblins and ghouls and ghosts have been shrieking and wailing for months, hoping to scare you into voting their way just 2 days post-Halloween.

Even though after Tuesday's elections all the campaigning ads will slither back into the crypts, their tricks will still linger in the air like the stench of sewage. While we all claim we hate those attack ad, fact is they work. Seems like no matter who you vote for, we are (again) facing the End of Civilization. If you want to check out how much truth, or lack thereof, is behind your favorite political messages, visit PolitiFact.com.

A few weeks ago I was chatting with a marketing manager for one of America's largest retailers. Prior to that he'd been in marketing for one of the major TV broadcasting companies. He left because he was fed up with "the scare." As much as possible, news just had to be presented with maximal scare value. Even the weather had to be scary.

A critical aspect of "the scare" is to present the event, but give you absolutely NO clue how to accurately assess or mitigate any risk you could face (other than stay at home and keep glued to your TV). (Strategic Living's Self-Defense 101 and Weekend Workshop classes cover these bases for your personal safety concerns.) One antidote: stop watching TV news. You'll not only feel safer over time, you'll be better at assessing real risks and engage in more enjoyable and productive activities. To help you, artist John Boak created these little posters that you can tape to your TV screen. Not only do they remind you to keep the TV off, they'll nicely obscure your view.

Get your information from real life, not from entertainment.

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