Monday, February 06, 2006

Excuse Me?

I thought this was America. When I was in the Army we practiced on base or in the field, an area that the military owned.
- -: "
U.S. Marine Corps Reservists will hold routine exercises from 5 a.m. today until 3 a.m. Sunday at the Madison Building and Promenade Park in downtown Toledo.

During the exercises, the Marines will wear green camouflage uniforms, operate military vehicles, carry rifles, perform foot patrols, and may fire blank ammunition. The exercises are designed to enhance the Reservists’ proficiency in urban operations.

People are asked to maintain a 30-yard distance from the Reservists, a city spokesman said."
Routine implies that it has been done on a regular basis before or will become regular in the future. Simulated military gunfire downtown between 3 and 5 am, with guys in uniform in an urban city and you don't think it might be misinterpreted?
Nevertheless, some people undeniably did panic. Therefore, what might have caused them to believe that the broadcast was real?

First of all, many people tuned in late and missed the announcement made at the beginning of the broadcast that what followed was merely a staged dramatization. By the time a second disclaimer was made, the most alarming portion of the play had already been broadcast.

Second of all, the global situation in 1938 provided a context which allowed many to believe that such a series of events could be unfolding. Tensions in Europe were rising, and it had been very common during the previous three months for radio broadcasts to be interrupted by reporters delivering ominous news from Europe. Many who panicked later said that they had assumed that the Martian invasion was actually a cleverly disguised German attack.

Interestingly, most of those who panicked were middle-aged or older. Younger listeners tended not to panic because they recognized Orson Welles's voice as the voice of the hero in the popular radio series, The Shadow.
With the public receiving their erroneous, filtered of serious content and one sided opinion stated as fact news, I don't hold out great hope of critical thinking."

What's next, a "dry" run of some terrorist attack that must include real civilian casualties so we can find out if our response system really works? Let me save you some time and innocent lives. It doesn't.

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