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Whatever Happened to Our Old Fears?

I’m just curious, but whatever happened to:

The Imminent Bird Flu Epidemic
Homicidal Postal Workers
Flesh-Eating Bacteria
Satanic Child-Sacrificing Religious Cults
Child Care Molestation
The Evils of Heavy Metal Music
Razor Blades in Apples
School Shootings
Shark Attack


Did these threats just go away, or were they never actually big threats in the first place?

7 comments to Whatever Happened to Our Old Fears?

  • Oh, and killer bees. Remember that one?

  • Alan

    And Swine Flu, if anyone else is old enough to remember the Ford administration.

  • Sarge

    Well, ya never know about the shark one. When my sons were little they’d be playing in the alley after a rain storm and come in soaking wet. To forestall parental annoyance, they would complain about the potholes in the alley. These were wondrous things from which they were splashed by whales and sharks leaped out and dragged them in. Sharks in central Pennsylvania. Who would have thought?

    The swine flu thing wasn’t so cute. I was stationed in Germany at the time, and was in a school for NBC equipment maintainance and detection. The cadre got pretty excited when the ‘Flu epidemic’ hit. At first they said it sounded like a biologial attack. The only people who actually got sick and the only fatality was among the recruits being trained at Ft. Dix, New Jersey. Then they changed their minds. A couple of the officers opined that maybe one of the pet virus’s from Ft. Dietrich did something it shouldn’t have, and they were going to have to clean up the mess pretty quickly, there was either a lot of danger or no real danger. In those days I didn’t believe such things, then they admit that yes, from the nineteen fifties the gov’t had programs in which they would spray or otherwise introduce chemical or biological agents into portions of the population, mainly military personel on the New York subway system and they would somehow track the course of these agents. Here and there a few people actually got sick, and some died from exposure, but hey, it was the cold war. Everyone was considered a soldier and was expendable. Omelets and eggs, I guess. One of the things which one of the officers cited was the ready availability of a vaccine, and that the military seemed to have first dibs on it.

  • Sarge

    meant and on the New York subway system. Sorry.

  • Jim

    Sarge, you make me think of another scare:

    alligators in the sewers!

    Is there an ecological niche for fear?

  • Alan

    If you think of the story line for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, you will remember that the group’s martial arts sensei was actually a rat who got into some irridescent green goo in the New York subway. I forget how the Turtles themselves mutated. NBC equipment, Sarge? that isn’t National Broadcasting, is it.

  • Luke

    Remember the “Japanese Takeover” of our entire economy? Or the media phrase “battle of the sexes”
    Nice divide and distract tactics.

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