May 2, 2005

A moratorium, please. This story of a determined anti-Bush activist whose neighbors sicced the Secret Service on her is all too typical of many such stories we've heard lately. It's cause for alarm, not because it heralds the imminent wholesale shipping of liberals to the glue factory, but because it reflects an increasingly corroded civic culture in which "security" is a cloak for sordid score-settling.

What I want to quibble with is blogger Jillian's tag line: "Be afraid. Be very afraid." You know, if there's one movie tag-line I'd like to excise from popular language, it's that one. Please don't "be afraid, be very afraid."

Be alarmed. Be pissed off. Be prudent, even. (As Dave Johnson constantly reiterates, "watch your back.") But "be afraid, be very afraid" is exactly what the bastards want you to do. Like bullies everywhere, their main tool isn't the force they can command, it's their ability to make your fear do their work for them. Stop doing their work for them.

"Be afraid, be very afraid" is the stock-in-trade of our current leadership. Compare their "war on terror" and their belligerent yet never-conclusive military stumblings to the outcome of the war led by the man who told us that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Eloquence isn't optional. Words matter. Be not afraid. [02:14 PM]