March 4, 2003
Sick of Hyperbole
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this word, I will quote dictionary.com:
hyperbole: A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect.
If you aren't completely disconnected from the world right now, you will probably be able to think of several examples of hyperbole coming from both politicians and news outlets. The one that's got me PFFTing this morning was an article on the new Department of Homeland Security's cyberterrorism directorate (by the way, this term "directorate" that they're using in the new department instead of the more traditional "agency" is kind of scary. Didn't the USSR have directorates?). This organization released a document in which it vastly overstates the worries that a cyberterrorist attack on the US is imminent, with legions of politically-motivated hackers clicking away on their keyboards from Russia to the Philippines. Even if this is true, I'm not sure we should all be going off-grid just yet, considering most hackers I've ever heard of are idiot teenagers more interested in attacking IRC networks than major infrastructure targets.
It's not that the US government has a monopoly on hyperbole, either. Time magazine's website had a poll asking which country posed the greatest menace to the world, Iraq, North Korea, or the US. The US had 85%. OK, I'm all for everybody having their opinion, even their strong opinions, and sharing with others or demonstrating or whatever, but this exagerration just pisses me off. I'm sure this poll was basically targetting the kind of people who would choose the US, baiting them, if you will, but still. I don't expect everyone to love America and call it the champion of all that is right and good in this world (cause it's not), but people who honestly think America is a "menace" to the world need to go study some history.
Another group who needs to go study some history are the Americans who are going around saying that Pres. Bush and his administration are restricting more freedoms and in general acting more evil than any other American president ever before. I'm not particularly a fan of Bush Jr., in fact, I'm not particularly a fan of any politician, I think they're all a bunch of crooks and we should know better than to trust any of them, but statements like this indicate an ignorance of history. I have a low tolerance for pissing contests, but it's not hard to go back in the past 100 years to find presidents who had their bad moments, too. Japanese internment camps, anyone? And that was a good president!
Anyway, just PFFT to exagerration and discounting facts that are inconvenient, to everyone in this tiresome debate. Whatever happens with Iraq, I wish they'd get it over with already so the world can find something less annoying to debate.
Published: March 4, 2003