Why Do We Like The Bogeyman So Much?

Curt-lineby Curt Kovener

We claim to want to live in peace, but we really like scaring one another. There is the preacher from the pulpit warning of Armageddon and hellfire & brimstone. There are news reports of latest insect or animal spread virus, disease or illness. There are threats (real and imagined) of financial doom, another depression, crop failure and food shortage, bubonic or black plague or Ebola or Zika or (insert your favorite scary disease).
Do you remember all of the foolishness written in 1999 about the coming Y2K problems when our calendars flipped over to 2000? And do you remember how worried we all were? Did devastation occur? Did the power go out? Did computers quit working?
Nope. The sun even came up the next morning shining brightly on the new millennium.
Then a few years back we were warned that the ancient and wise (and extinct) Mayans had a calendar that only went to 2012. What did they know that we didn’t? Was the world going to end in 2012?
Nope. I rather think the reason their ancient calendar, carved in stone ended with 2012 was because they ran out of rock.
But we just like to scare ourselves…even when there is nothing to be scared about.
Of course the biggest conjurers of the boogieman are our politicians and elected officials.
Some who warned about the ‘war on coal’ was killing jobs, now that they are elected are saying that it was natural gas that was the enemy of coal causing it to lose market share and that market conditions will probably continue to drive down the use of coal and jobs won’t be coming back. That’s not such a big deal here because there’s not many coal mines or natural gas wells in Jackson or Scott County.
Then there is the Evangelical inspired ‘war on Christmas’ where it is claimed the godless are trying to remove all religious references from the holiday. Of course, those who study history know it was the church which took over the pagan Winter Solstice holiday and re-branded it as their own original idea…even though no one is sure when Christ was born…and there is no Scriptural directive for celebrating Christmas. The same believers who want to lighten up Halloween and make it not so scary don’t mind trying to scare others that “them non-believers” are trying to abolish the Reason for the Season.
And we are warned of the latest threat from the extremist (insert your favorite scary group) that could come to America to a city near you to do harm.
It is really easy to scare us when the perceived bogeyman doesn’t look like us, doesn’t dress like us. It’s easier to be afraid of a foreign threat when it is our domestic neighbors that pose just as great a threat.
I find it a typically human response that we are quick to label those of foreign extraction who do harm as Muslim extremists while we excuse a white bread American man who is mentally or emotionally deranged, has the same access to guns as you and I do who shoots up a mall, church or school (not hypothetical as it all has happened) as just an unfortunate, regrettable situation.
WARNING READERS: As we approach the season of “tidings of comfort and joy” we should all be on the look out for the next bogeyman around the corner.
Have you heard the latest forecast for the coming winter?