This is from an American friend working and living in Tokyo, Marc A. Its funny how alarmism and statism can magnify things.
By looking at the way TV stations and politicians are behaving, it doesn't take much of a heart to notice most of them seem to be speaking as if they almost wished things would get just a little worse... Pardon my being so straight in such a difficult time - but the way the planet tends to react (from my friends to my family to unknown people on the internet) after dark events often surprises me more then the event itself, the very emotional way we reacted after 9/11, or after H1N1 with all the vaccines and everyone exploding public budgets just to buy all the containers of sanitizer soap in sight...
Over the past few days, I've been getting calls at 2am from (otherwise happy) girls crying their heads out (from too much TV mostly) asking me if there were still people living in Tokyo or if she had been left behind all alone, many are dropping everything behind just to run to the airport to flee with legs to their ears, friends abroad are calling me as if the Earth had been flipped upside down... I remember when, 2 years ago, Ron Paul got criticized for suggesting we may want to relax a bit on the level of madness with respect to H1N1 and was booed by several especially after they had counted some 4,000 deaths attributed to the epidemic...
Anyway, TV stations have called me - and I can tell you they really don't want to hear that we're working on a solution and hopefully we'll have most fix soon, they want to know how much worse things get now and how early, how afraid I am and how quickly we can all blow up and can we take pictures of the stuff broken on your floor and of the gas-heater not working, and if I don't give them what they want, they just move the microphone off and go chat with the lady next door who's still sobbing...
the level of statism in government and the political class is directly proportional to the statism in mainstream media and the wordsmith intellectual class. Or put another way, the level of corruption in government is directly related to the corruption in mainstream media. By corruption I mean both the actual corruption in the use and abuse of public funds (notice how mainstream media select which corruption and robbery cases to expose and which ones to remain silent), and in the corruption of certain beliefs and discipline, like the corruption in climate science and their policy recommendations of more regulation, more taxation and more cronyism.
So if there is a 1 to 1 symbiotic relationship between the political class and the mainstream media, then there is a tendency to picture a bad thing as worse, or a worse situation as worst. The badder the better :-)
That could be the main reason why many people blog and express themselves as directly and as spontaneously as possible.
The problem with such corruption and opportunism by the political class and the mainstream media, is that people have the inherent drive to survive and overcome difficulties, especially for ordinary japanese citizens who have been through various challenges and humiliation -- WW2, severe earthquakes and tsunami every 2 or 3 decades.
Earthquake 2: Japan Tsunami and Economic Preparedness
Earthquake 3: Previous Japan Earthquakes and Tsunami