A commercial look at Y2K

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I happened upon the following message this morning and thought it might be of interest to the forum readers. Keep in mind, the author is a promoter of Y2K preparedness expos.

"I know that in the last few months many vendors of emergency preparedness products have suffered greatly because of government and business spokespersons telling the country that everything is Y2Kok now! However, as this email is being written on the last day of July 99..... Those of you who pay careful attention have noticed that there are more and more stories everyday of these same spokespersons backtracking on their previous statements and suggesting that we will after all have Y2K related failures and problems. Many government, business and municipal authorities have in fact started to build Y2K "Bunkers" ......Just in case! Consider the following facts.....

The world media (for the most part) are the biggest bunch of panderers and prostitutes in the modern world....they will go to any length to produce ratings and revenue......

Case in point ....JFK jr was one of their own. He hung out in the same social circles as movie stars and news personalities. Sure his death was tragic! But he was made into a saint and a martyr by the very people he hung out with! Yet the story of his death was "used" to sell papers, commercials and magazines. You see the media loves high drama, tragedy and controversy. And they will just put a better spin on it if its one of their own....

Princess Diana.....Same scenario...tragedy, drama and controversy!

Y2K has all the same factors ....and much much more! Tragedy....Loss of power, money, jobs....lives? Drama.... We know when its going to happen (very very soon) Controversy.....Bank runs, economic ruin, war, terrorist attacks, hoarding inflation, starvation, biochemical attacks, digital cash robberies, trap doors in software left for digital terrorism....etc, etc, etc.

Friends, Y2K hysteria has not even begun...the stock markets are already starting to show jitters, banks are very nervous, government officials are starting to realize the preparedness message was the right message.....

Media hype regarding Y2K will make the Princess Di and JFKjr. coverage look like a sixty-second infomercial! The public will go into a buying frenzy that many of you will miss .....because you won't stay in the game.

Don't get me wrong, I started promoting shows in order to prepare my own family. I believe intensely that Y2K will bring great changes to the way we live....directly or indirectly..... We still have a responsibility to prepare those around us who lack discernment and or knowledge. Our country is about to enter the "Twilight Zone" in terms of disasters....man made and natural (God) . Our kids shoot each other down in cold blood...right in school! It is legal to rip helpless babies from their mothers wombs and drop them in the trash can! Countries around the world hate Amerika and all we stand for ( They see us as bullies and hypocrites) Our kids still learn the three rrrs in school.....but now its Rape, Rioting and Retchedness. At Woodstock99 (peace love and music) stories are starting to filter out of perverse and bizarre behaviour, public nudity, drugs, brutal rapes and things that can't be described by decent people.............I could go on and on.

It is time we took back our country from the perverted media and entertainment industries, from government officials who line their pockets with our hard earned money then force us to fund our own destruction.

Freezing, starving , scared people will follow anyone who promises them shelter and a hot meal. A country who cannot feed, clothe and defend themselves .....are ripe for slavery. And don't believe for on second that our beloved pervert (president) won't take advantage of Y2K or any other disaster to keep the power he now enjoys.

We all must make a living (even more so with Y2K coming) But we can make a living changing lives and doing the right thing. We can take a stand for righteousness and liberty. Or we can sit back and decide its not worth it...Enough"

-- For (your@info.com), August 01, 1999


Whether the mass media will sensationalize Y2K is an open question in my mind. One can see the various copy editors/producers struggling with the "angle" to put on this story.

Case in point - the "militia/survivalist" angle. This angle does combine the elements of danger and sensationalism so necessary for good ratings, without leading people to identify with the targets of the story. The problem with this angle is, when you boil it down, storing food just isn't sexy enough or dangerous enough to play up to the angle. There was no follow-up angle. No momentum.

Or consider the "millenial madness/religious nut" angle. It has most of the same problems.

These angles were tried and failed to stick. What about the "straight" angle? For the most part, the reporters have struggled with this one, too. It is a complex story and pretty technical. It takes time to develop, has very little in the way of soild facts to report, and isn't even remotley sexy. It is too a dry an angle.

If some fairly sensational event occurs that has a big, obvious Y2K tie-in, then the media will rush to the story in droves. They will have people's attention, and can really work then story for ratings. At that point, the complexity becomes an ally. Once momentum builds for the story, and public interest is riveted, the story could be sustained for months, or until interst drags.

But this last scenario depends a lot on a big, scary event that has obvious Y2K implications. If there aren't any big events, the media will continue to have problems figuring out how to play Y2K to the public. If they can't find a good angle, the story just flops around like a dying fish on a dock.

-- Brian McLaughlin (bmclaughlin@bigplanet.com), August 01, 1999.

Thanks for the post. Good work.

-- MidWestMike_ (MidWestMike_@hotmail.com), August 01, 1999.

Good thread guys! Lemme sketch out for you some additional stuff:

(1) The mass media needs real Y2K to stop being a "virtual abstraction" and to turn into a "visual reaction", i.e., chemical plant explosions, people queing up at bank doors, etc., before they decide to rivet Y2K onto people's minds.

(2) The signal-to-noise ratio today is still very high against Y2K as it has still to compete against wackos, sects, Nostradamus, 'but it's all a consultant's hoax', valid and probable terrorist attacks, etc.

(3) People still have a hard time undesrtanding the interconectedness we have all woven into the technological webs we weave. Impossibility of going back to manual. International projection of this problem is difficult to grasp. The domino effect harder still. Many abstractions. Too much critical thinking.

(4) Remediation time is up. Finito. Over. Joe Six Pack needs somebody powerfull to explain why many things aren't valid, otherwise they don't understand, and repeat folly such as "But they are working on it", or "The US will be O.Kay", or "it's OTHER countries that will have problems," or "The FDIC can bail out any number of failed banks", or "Mission critical systems are enough, "Missed deadlines don't really matter", "Self-reported success is valid", or "Big companies won't let Y2K affect them because it hurts profits", "The press is optimistic about Y2K?", etc.

(5) Huncky-dory America doesn't want to hear about any of this.

(6) Mass media always cover their sponsors' asses. Y2K preparation deviates from classic expenditures and works against sponsors, the establishment, and consumer society at large. Watch out this hidden agends item.

(7) Y2K is plain difficult to grasp. If politicians, and businessmen can't still really grasp it, why would we expect journalists to be any better?

(8) Don't panic people, please, they are told. Anyway, even if they heard from the press about the threat and the need to prepare, most wouldn't be able to because, you don't have room for the water and the food in most cities, let alone a noisy genset, etc. And what about the money? People owe money as they are. They don't have plenty of dollars left for preps. So mass media sit on the fence, ready to gouge politicians when the right time comes. Y2K will then be a political problem, not a media problem. That's what media wants.

Take care

-- George (jvilches@sminter.com.ar), August 01, 1999.

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