Monday, April 29, 2013


Because we, as a nation, as a people, as a society, have no grasp of history--even recent history--we are in the grips of periodic upwellings of Hysteria.

Truly, the Boston Marathon bombings were horrific. But we act as if they were some portend of "TEOTWAWKI." (The end of the world as we know it.)

We forget that between 1974 and 1983 when they presumably moved to a retirement village in south Jersey, the FALN--the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberacion Nacional, a Puerto Rican terrorist group was responsible for more than 120 bomb attacks on American soil, including attacks on Fraunces Tavern, four midtown attacks in 40 minutes in mid-town Manhattan and sundry other explosions around New York and Chicago.

Ultimately, FALN activities resulted in 72 actual bombings, 40 incendiary attacks, 8 attempted bombings and 10 bomb threats, resulting in 5 deaths, 83 injuries, and over $3 million in property damage.

No, instead of realizing that terror/anarchy/hatred and explosions always have and always will exist, we act, as a society, like teenagers who believe that theirs is the first generation to discover sex.

In marketing, we have also succumbed to hysteria.

The hysteria of media that's changing everything.

Google +, Pinterest, Foursquare, etc. are all supposed to kill or have killed traditional advertising. Agencies up and down our metaphorical Madison Avenue scurry around like blind mice chasing these tiny bits of marketing hysterics. Entire disciplines and specialties spring up like flies spontaneously generated from piles of offal. Facts and data are ignored.


Everything new is relevant.

Everything old is dead.

Everything needs re-invention.

The world is ending.


Anonymous said...

“There are two kinds of fools: one says, "This is old, therefore it is good;" the other says, "This is new, therefore it is better." William Ralph Inge

Jeff said...


Hasn't hysteria always existed? It seems like a constant for which there if no escape. Everyone is hysterical because every hiccup in life, every unexpected moment reminds us how little we control.

Take, for instance, the black plague. When the plague came to town and everyone started dying the world as they knew it was ending. This led to plenty of hysterics and multiplied the number of dead.

The challenge, then, is to transcend the hysterics. To know how to act despite feeling like the world is crumbling around us. This might come from an understanding of the past. But it definitely comes out of seeing through the hysterics to a real solution. That clear-headedness is what has worked in the past and, I am convinced, it is the only thing that will continue to work.

george tannenbaum said...

That's exactly my point, Jeff.

Hysteria is over-reaction.

We need thought and experience.


Anonymous said...

We live in a terrified world now which the media whips up to a frothy pitch. Its not the fault of digital technology George, its the media centric universe we live in.