In George Orwell’s frighteningly prescient novel Nineteen Eighty-Four members of the Party in Oceania had to participate in a daily Two Minutes Hate. During the Two Minutes Hate the Party members are shown an image of Emmanuel Goldstein and are expected to scream obscenities, make threatening gestures, and perform other acts that demonstrate their hatred of the author of the book The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism.
Here in the United States that theme has been taken a slightly different albeit related direction. Instead of Two Minutes Hate we have a daily routine of Two Minutes Fear. Although the theme is slightly different the purpose is the same: instill loyalty to the State. Where Oceania’s Two Minutes Hate tried to accomplish this by focusing the populace’s anger at an outside source the United States plays on the populace’s fears. By instill a deep fear of pretty much everything the State tries to convince people that it is the only thing keeping them safe.
Halloween was yesterday so today’s Two Minutes Fear is not surprisingly Halloween related:
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) – The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office will offer free Halloween candy X-ray screening at the Washoe County Courthouse and the Mills Lane Justice Center the day after Halloween.
Court security staff will screen candy at the X-ray stations inside the courthouse entrances from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, November 1, 2016. The Mills Lane Justice Center is at 1 S. Sierra Street and the Washoe County Courthouse is at 75 Court Street, both in downtown Reno.
Can you remember an incident in your neighborhood where a child ended up getting a piece of candy that had an embedded needle or razor blade in it? I’m guessing you can’t because the number of times that that has actually happened is so low that it is a statistical anomaly. If you’re worried about protecting your children you’d be far better off taking them to swimming lessons to protect them from drowning than getting their Halloween candy x-rayed by the Sheriff’s Office.
There is no value in taking candy to get x-rayed and there’s no conceivable way that the people running the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office are ignorant of that fact. After all, they have access to the number of criminal instances that have happened within the county and therefore know that the number of cases where metal has been embedded into Halloween candy is either zero or damn close to zero. But playing to people’s fears is what the State does. Why throw away a perfectly good opportunity to subtly encourage the people of Washoe County to be slightly more dependent on law enforcers to feel safe?