Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Only a champion




Day in, day out on the mind
All comes down to competition
Result of years of preparation.

In those seconds of restlessness
When the body can take no more
Dream of a medal reassure.

Will to succeed is eminent
Breathes through each atom and cell
To have what only a winner can smell.


In the spirit of sportsmanship
Fair play is to be endeavored
The performance to be savored.

Now is everything you pursued
Aspiring in the end
To proudly sing the national anthem.

 A steep climb to that podium
Be the best that you can be
And have what only a champion can see.




Sunday, July 29, 2012

Laters, baby


A review of "Fifty Shades of Grey" by E. L. James.

"When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana's quiet beauty, wit and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too - but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey's singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success - his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family - Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey's secrets and explores her own desires." (Source: http://www.eljamesauthor.com/books/fifty-shades-of-grey)


After reading rave reviews and hearing so much about the novel "Fifty Shades of Grey" by British author E. L. James, the hype finally also caught up with me and I was really curious to discover what the fuss was all about behind this number #1 erotic bestseller. And though I am only on the first installment of the trilogy, I already wanted to share my two cents about it. 

I dare say that I am not adding anything new to the ballyhoo, "Fifty Shades of Grey" is quite the interesting read: it is sexy, entertaining, definitely all-consuming, graphic (to say the least) and overall, the novel still remains lighthearted (quite paradoxical when we consider that the story revolves around the heavy theme of BDSM). Funnily enough, I did have the strange impression I was committing some sort of sin turning page after page. In retrospect, I reckon that this is one of the reasons why people got so fascinated with this book to begin with - it brings one's naughty side to the surface. Unquestionably sensual, oh-so dangerously compelling but still, how reassuring it is to know that we can hide an incorrigible smirk behind closed doors -- or a book. On a side note, it has been discussed that "Fifty Shades" will soon be adapted  to film. I am eager to see how one will be able to block out that smile while watching it [Oh wait, it is dark in the cinemas...] 

Now coming to the theme of BDSM - Bondage and Discipline, Sadism and Masochism that is of course prominent in this novel, it got me into scrutinizing the subject further. I thought that the way this tendency was approached in the book was, to be completely honest, rather soft... softer than I would have imagined (pun intended). Maybe that is the thing about hyping something, expectations are hard to meet (pun intended). Kidding aside, it was beguiling to unearth how this rough subject would be tackled (pun intended, again [sorry I cannot seem to help myself]). Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele discuss the rules between the Dominant and the Submissive early on. The demands are written on paper but as the story unfolds, the reader, much to his disbelief, discovers that it becomes difficult to stick to the rules in their case. In passing, Ana never does sign the contract. Due to the mutual attachment that actually develops from the first moment they meet, the reader understands that their terms come closer to a compromise more than anything else. It is all a question of control, and Christian Grey might be the one in control in the bedroom, but Anastasia Steele surely also had it outside of it. The sense of power in sex, and in relationships, was carefully handled. In the end, perhaps it was a little too careful?

More than the erotic tone of the novel, I guess the romantic in all of us also reads hope in the passionate affair between Grey and Steele. Like the female protagonist also experiences, there are  a few instances in the story where the relationship shifts back and forth from being merely physical to being perfectly cute.  It is in fact heartwarming, but like Ana also constantly questions, it leads the reader to even more confusion. On one side, it is sexual -- primal passion at its best. Later, the reader cannot help but be even more smitten with Christian Grey when he is playful and sweet. Once more, the sex scenes seem purely carnal but then again, it is never only about sex, is it? Neither for Steele nor for Grey.

What I was really taken with in this book was the subject of virginity. For Miss Steele, her physical (and amorous) one and for Mr. Grey, the many 'firsts' he also gets to experience with the young woman. I think the attraction between the two is a surprise for both of them -- and like every other virgin, physical and/or emotional, they have absolutely no idea how to deal with feelings and whatnot. In a way, I do believe that not only Steele falls madly in love with Grey -- but, not written in so many words, and especially not using the word love, Mr. Grey deeply cares and loves her too. Although skillful in the department of (kinky) sex, Christian is obviously even more a virgin than Ana in the department of romance. This twist to the story was probably my favorite part about it. The thing about sex, and love, is that, in the end -- isn't the heart always inexperienced with someone new

Finally, I could not really decide on whether I liked Miss Steele or not. At times, she exasperated me with her alternate behavior and sentiments. Then, I felt sympathetic because the bewilderment must have surely been overwhelming and overpowering. But I devilishly enjoyed Ana's reference to her inner goddess and  subconscious. That was fun. I am also convinced that a lot of inner voices speak in, let us say, such situations. Christian Grey, like he clearly is to Ana, is an enigma. The reader can visualize this disarming and charismatic man. Furthermore, I was sure that he would not remain a one-dimensional character and his transformation in the course of the novel, which equals just a few weeks in 'real' time, is a pleasure to read. It makes you wonder whether people can change. On a narrative level, it was a very easy read. However, I have to comment on the many repetitions that occur. It is a delightful tactic, I agree -- but sometimes, wasn't  it slightly overused?

All in all, I now grasp what the whole fuss is all about and it is fun to read; perhaps not literary brilliance but certainly worth it, and I am keen on reading the next two installments of "Fifty Shades".  Laters, baby. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A heart that listens


A heart that listens when not asked
Your gift to me as I unmask
The sordid details no one likes
Those that leave a scar on the psych.

You cannot continue as if
The soul did not shake like a leaf
To the revelation just made
How you see me after I strayed.

Though you stay quiet in exil
You hurry back after a while
Ask my vile heart to listen
It can be fixed what is broken.

The way you look at me, the same
Cannot grasp why you're not in flames
You insist I will understand
What love can endure when it's grand.





Thursday, July 19, 2012

Trust salon


Like any full-blooded woman, I have a thing about my hair and every day is a gratifying -- and at times wearisome -- ritual. Admittedly, it is complicated to describe what is the obsession right there; because I am convinced that it is more than wanting to look nice - or even just presentable (isn't a bad hair day, quintessentially, an all-embracing problem?). But known fact is that I put a tremendous amount of effort, time and one must confess - money - into caring for them. Yes, my hair is quite valuable to me because... well, I genuinely, absolutely love them. As simple as that. Consequently, I consider the occasional salon time a well-sought after, worked-hard-for, hopefully well-deserved me-time. And I reckon that this kind of feel-good factor should always be made a priority in life; as it surely does not come as often as we would like, or let ourselves indulge. And in a fast-paced society such as ours, it is imperative to unwind from time to time. For me, something as ordinary as going to the salon preciously provides that.

I have been going to the same one for many years now. I adore my parlor, and each time I enter is, once more, a treasured time to relish and relax. Unquestionably, the reason why I am a loyal customer is because my hairdresser has the ability to answer to all my desires. I trust him: he knows my hair by the inch and recognizes precisely what they need. And when I ask for more than a straightforward trim, I am glad that he gives me his honest opinion on whether that idiosyncratic cut or treatment sees me fit. In addition, when he suggests something new, I usually agree and put my hair -- and  trust -- in his hands. True to form, I have never once left the salon disappointed.    

So, much to my discontentment, my eyes saw red when I discovered that my favorite hairdresser left the parlor as well as town. Saddened, it really felt like the end of an era: though we only met one or two times every couple of months, I grew very fond of him. As trite as this might sound, I believe that you build some sort of relationship with your hairdresser over time; and that tie is essential to your well-being. Sincerely, if a person manages to make you feel good about your hair or yourself -- especially on days when you need it the most -- then that is one constant, dependable, healthy relationship you must value and be grateful for... even if, ironically, you generally know nothing more about him/her outside that specific context.  How strange, and divine, it is to have someone you hardly know contribute to a dose of your happiness... I will miss him, more importantly, I will miss his excellent services. 

In desperate need of a new hairstyle, I went into a state of panic once I realized that my faithful friend had already gone and I did not take any measures into finding a new one. I was acquainted with the other hairdressers at the parlor, but after also observing them while I was getting my hair done all those years, none of them quite fit my criteria. So I searched the Internet for new salons, asked friends and visited those forums for a recommendation. I also walked around town, in the process finding out that hair parlors invade the city (in passing, it is funny how I never really payed attention before).  It took me a while to take a decision because I was so picky. And even though I saw one that could be suitable to my taste, I continued having misgivings and would not take the next step. Can I really trust this hairdresser?, I repeated, I mean, I'm trusting him with my hair -- and he might make a complete mess! Plus, it is not as if I can hide them if it goes awry. My companion stopped me right there and then, insisting, Well, you will not know if you can trust him unless you try. Right, of course he was right.

This episode promptly got me into thinking about trust because fundamentally, the reason why you will (eventually) become a loyal customer is because you (grow to, have to, must) trust the hairdresser. You trust him/her with a part of yourself, something that is more or less of substantial value to you, something that you know will stand out - and whether you ever took notice of it beforehand or not, hair says a lot about who you are deep down. Thus, finding a hairdresser that you trust is, ultimately, letting him have a piece of you in his hands. Certainly, trusting somebody is allowing him/her to have a piece of you in their hands...

It applies to all our relationships, doesn't it?

Trust is a main, if not the main, element on which any fruitful relationship relies on. It is a notion that is so central to the blossoming (and mere survival) of relationships - and as Professor Robert C. Solomon once wrote, "trust [should be] built step by step, commitment by commitment, on every level." Without it, none of us could actually function properly. Hereof, when you get to ponder on the relationships in your life, principally with those whom you trust with all your heart, you grasp how sacred that kind of tie is... and whether you ever took notice of it beforehand or not, the numbers are usually not that high. Because trusting another party is indeed hair-raising, it comes with a lot of uncertainties. Like putting your trust -- and hair -- in the hands of your faithful hairdresser, pining your faith on somebody implies trusting him/her with a part of yourself, something that is more or less of substantial value to you, something that you know will stand out -- and what you wholeheartedly share with someone is, ultimately, letting him/her have a piece of you. It is a present to the privileged, no doubt; but it is scary, it is unequivocally terrifying. Reality is that, once you grow older, many turn more suspicious on whom to trust because of letdowns, bad experiences and broken promises. And all will confirm that a damaged trust is incredibly difficult to fix -- or even save. But if you are blessed enough to forge a loyal connection to another individual, then that is definitely God at work. As Walter Anderson underlines, "we're never so vulnerable than when we trust someone - but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy."

In general, the people you trust the most are longtime -- lifetime  -- friends, lovers, co-workers and loved-ones, with whom you have good times and survive trials. They praise you in your heyday and lift you up when you have shortcomings. They know you by the inch; and love you anyway. Once more, if you are fortunate enough to have that constant, dependable, healthy relationship; then you must continuously value that person and be ever grateful for your bond. But the thing about something as cherished -- and yet as hard to find -- as someone you can truthfully trust, you are likely to keep it safe in your bubble and stick to the familiar ones, those whom you know you can count on.
Of course it is not at all a terrible thing but, all of a sudden, this peculiar observation got me into questioning when was the last time any of us got to blindly trust someone new? In this case, people you have good vibes with, yet that are still very much close to being strangers: whether you got to meet them at university, at work, at a gathering, through a friend, etc. The beauty of the universe is that people will keep on coming into our lives. Many whom will matter, many who are (un)fortunately just passing by. Consequently, I couldn't help but wonder how and when do you really know if a person -- anyone really -- is... point blank, trustworthy. More than sharing a presumably cosmic connection, is it testing him/her?  Is it time that will be defining?  Especially since it is common knowledge that it takes years to build that kind of unmitigated trust. Let us be honest, it is a grueling process to put your confidence into somebody new. Not necessarily because you are shaded with distrust to begin with (though disappointment does that to you); but because trusting someone will always be such a high-risked act. The risk to feel utterly exposed, the risk to have your trust taken for granted, the risk to have rotten judgment, the risk to get your heart torn apart. So you resist, you are picky.

It is normal to have reservations, it is expected to be wary -- in particular when it comes to trusting one with something that is so golden to you: your story, your failures, your past, your dreams, yourself. And rightfully, you are less than keen to give that information to an acquaintance. And it is at that precise moment that my companion's advice quickly came in handy. Like recently being forced to find a new hairdresser, it is true that nobody and nothing will ever guarantee if you can trust someone with your hair --  excuse me, your life until you actually try. In hindsight, the people you (grow to, have to, must) trust blindly had their beginnings too, didn't they? And the only way you will ever get "a history" is because you have learned to trust them in time. But it all begins with that turning point. Take a leap of faith. Take the next step. Because though there might be negative outcomes that you cannot possibly foresee, and truth be told, not each person in your surrounding will deserve something so valuable; yes, even so, you shall not refuse the other remarkable, wonderful risk that come along putting your trust into another party: the merit of forging new, meaningful bonds. The start of something... magnificent. New friend. New confidant. New relationship. Trust is the core element of any fruitful, exceptional, long-lasting tie. Once you try, once you trust; you love. And people who will treasure it will matter. And how divine it is to have someone contribute to a dose of your happiness... So when if you see the chance: you must never close your doors, or heart, to that God-given gift.  Let your hair down, who knows, promise yourself it will be worth the risk.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Number One


Certainly, expectations are a crucial factor in life. Whether it is what we await from the film we are about to watch or that special holiday we had been planning for ages; on a small or larger scale, we all have them and what happens deep inside til the defining moment is a universal feeling. When it comes to having expectations, the thrill manifests itself in different forms as various body parts react to it: the eyes sparkle, the heart is racing, the stomach cannot stop rumbling and/or there is uncontrollable tingling in our legs. Sometimes, we are so excited that even falling asleep becomes a difficult option. Matter-of-factly, looking forward to something can have gargantuan consequences on the body as well as the psyche.

Most times, the expectations we have from things, events or people that are of great importance to us are extremely high. We cannot wait to test the new Apple product and consequently, we are even willing to queue all night long in front of the store to be the first to buy it. It is going to be the best gadget ever! Our favorite band is in town and we finally got the opportunity to see them live. It is going to be the best concert ever! We have been organizing the fairy tale wedding for months and the big day has come. It is going to be the best day ever! Indeed, we have a subliminal tendency to set the bar way above average, in particular when the subject matter or person is close to our heart: what we envision is magic, what we thrive on is perfection, the result has to mean something and every second of it be worth remembering - even documenting with a status update, pictures or a journal entry. In this regard, many assume that having great(er) expectations can have a debilitating effect because what we will receive can never quite live up to what we had in mind and more often than not, we end up somewhat disappointed. Even more so when things do not go according to plan at all. In addition, it is argued that having no expectations at all is a better way of approaching life because it leaves a spot for surprises - the best ones.

However, the proverbial "expect the unexpected" not only seems like an impossible task [the phrase itself points out to expecting something - even if it is the unexpected]; but lowering one's standards and expectations is irrevocably a mistake. Sure, we can be slightly deceived when what was expected does not come close to the specific images that were running wild in our imagination; but the chance to have our expectations met - and especially exceeded - is far more satisfactory when we had high hopes to begin with. Even more so when we worked so hard to get to that point and feel like we deserve an award. For starters, does "it is so much better than what I imagined" sound eerily familiar? Hence, isn't that one of the most empowering feelings one can ever possess?

Expectations are conjugated in the future tense and unless we time travel, it is of course inconceivable to predict or assure any of it. But the thing is, no matter what our mindset is from the start i.e. having that high level of expectations or not, the most essential thing people tend to forget is that to finally get to live it, ultimately, will still be a foreign experience. That is the best thing about it: expecting, but still not knowing. Those with highly imaginative minds will not be kept from having their voice raise an octave higher; and lowering or having no expectations whatsoever does not make the X factor more intense or more prominent. Contrary to common knowledge, one who is easily disappointed did not necessarily have the highest of expectations and got shut down, but it is perhaps because s/he is just really keen on attaining that surprise factor, being blown away, being swept off his/her feet. In effect, this does not have much to do with what one had in mind... or not. That is the root of unreasonable deception. Those who "expect the unexpected" actually expect nothing less than the element of surprise, in the process forgetting that the future itself will still, always come as a surprise - no matter how clearly or blurry we envisioned it.  

Immediately, one can see that bringing one's expectations down a notch is not necessarily a better choice of approaching life since having a certain level of expectations never seemed to have deprived one from the WOW factor. But moreover, having high hopes i.e. having more or less a clear idea of the future is immaculately healthy. It shapes what we really look for or how we think things are supposed to be. If we are ready to define what our goals for the future are and expect that much from ourselves, someone or an event; believe that it is possible to get exactly what we want and/or deserve. Once more, the future equals being completely unpredictable and true to form, what we will receive (or not) may be different - but that should not promptly lead to changing the bar, lowering one's standards, settling. That is the root of unreasonable deception and people are likely to go that way when things do not happen right away. But one must simply learn limitations and take - give oneself - the time and possibilities to consider other options to get to the "same, same but different" final point. It is plausible -- what we put out there is what life is going to give back. Setting the bar high in life will eventually, unquestionably mold the path we know in our heart we are meant to pursue. Having high expectations is not only aiming for excellence, but more than anything, it is an attitude, a way of approaching things - and in the end, we must persist on being positive because that outlook will attract exactly what we are searching for - even better, more than often, we will get better than what we imagined. Conclusively, not having any sort of expectations means that one is willing to answer to... quite frankly, anything. And don't we want more out of life? 

The perquisite of having expectations is a universal feeling that we cannot dismiss - like anxiety or happiness. And like any intense sentiment, it is also very important to learn how to deal or live with it. Truth be told, we must not be so hard on ourselves when the universe throws curve balls at us and what we awaited is simply flushed down the drain. I have said it before and I will keep on saying it, the beautiful -- and also unnerving-- thing about the future is that we just cannot know until it occurs. But this fear of disappointment is not good enough a reason to ever lower one's standards and expectations. It is food to the soul to have them: we must think of  expectations as a prescription of what we strive for in life. In the end, we must believe -- we must know in our dearest of hearts -- that it is feasible to be magnets to what we desire, what we work for, what we deserve: we can aim for Number One... and we shall expect to get it. Let us just not forget to enjoy and take it all in when the expected becomes ours


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rhetoric of Fear in the US: Debilitating?

I wrote this essay for one of my classes.

The rhetoric of fear is a dominating factor in American society. Rhetoric is the art of using language (OED) in order to inform, persuade and even motivate. In this case, it is fear that is channeled in different kinds of discourse. In the US, inducing this emotion is a widely spread tool that is detected in the media as well as in politics. For example, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his first inaugural address in 1933, is famously renowned for stating “the only thing we need to fear is fear itself” (whitehouse.gov). More recently, the rhetoric of fear was undoubtedly a prominent instrument in Bush’s speeches to get the public to support the ‘War on Terror’ after the 9/11 attacks (Marquit slates.com). On another note, the daily media coverage of different issues such as public order offenders, heath problems and the economy has also the power to trigger fear amongst Americans. In The Culture of Fear: Why America is Afraid of the Wrong Things?, author Barry Glassner affirms that three out of four people in the US feel more afraid today than they did twenty years ago. In this regard, this kind of rhetoric appears to be a ubiquitous phenomenon in America. Though many will argue that the rhetoric of fear is exaggerated and can lead people to adopt a paranoid behavior, it still remains a powerful and effective tool that has positive outcomes. In the light of the following arguments, it will be argued why the rhetoric of fear does not have a debilitating effect on America.

The rhetoric of fear is widely used in numerous media coverage. However, this type of discourse does not have a debilitating effect on America because many scares are unquestionably serious issues that deserve public attention. A case of robbery or a drug problem in a neighborhood is not a latent matter. Hence, it explains why the media turn to this rhetoric in order to inform and influence the behavior and actions of their audience. These are pressing problems that require careful consideration. American people must know what happens in their surroundings and in the rest of the country – which, of course, includes very serious fear-mongering stories such as assaults, rape, war, heath concerns, and so on and so forth. Accordingly, “it has a potential impact on their lives or the well-being of friends and family” (http://crimeinamerica.net). As an example, the media coverage of crime is conspicuous in the US. PhD Matthew Robinson notes that “from the very founding of the press in America, crime and criminal justice have held a prominent place in the media. […] Thus, crime and punishment are often on the forefront of Americans’ minds”. But this rhetoric of fear surely does not have debilitating impact on American citizens because it will force people to take charge, especially if one lives in a city where the crime rate is quite high like in Detroit, Michigan or St. Louis, Missouri (Flippin AARP). Consequently, Americans will rather choose to be on the safer side and therefore, take precaution: they become more sensitive about their environment and will secure their homes better. Thus, the rhetoric of fear in the media does not have a debilitating effect on America. 
A second example that reveals why the rhetoric of fear does not have a pernicious impact in media was the case of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2003. Even though the number of victims in the US was not striking (Sternberg USA Today), the media coverage on SARS was abundant and made people avoid Chinatowns all over North America (Watts). But, in an article written by Duncan Watts, it is explained that fear is a good thing in the case of epidemics: “it is almost certain that without […] the resulting avalanche of news stories about the disease, the situation could have been far worse than it is” (slates.com). In this regard, the rhetoric of fear does not have a harmful effect in America media because many scares are serious issues and also helps for prevention. 

Another reason why the rhetoric of fear does not have a harmful effect on American society is that it can bring people or a community together to cooperate towards finding immediate and long-term solutions in response to a threat. For instance, pedophilia and gang feuds are important problems in the US. Instead of evading the troublesome situation, it is likely that people have created or joined communities that attempt to solve these menacing matters. On this note, a healthy dose of fear has brought people together to address and contribute into resolving serious affairs. In Nashville, Tennessee, “parents, teachers and neighbors have begun efforts that range from programs in schools to neighborhood watch groups” (Schrade and Echegaray The Tennessean) in order to help children and young adults to stay out of gangs. Concerning anti-pedophilia movements, online communities and organizations were founded to fight this abominable crime. One of the missions of the “Crimes Against Children” program is to decrease “the vulnerability of children to sexual exploitation.” (FBI.com) In this respect, they offer “The National Sex Offender Public Website” (NSOPW), coordinated by the U.S. Department of Justice, which enables any citizen to track sex offenders in fifty states. A second example in the US that has volunteers moved to fight pedophilia is the Perverted-Justice Foundation; which has helped convict 550 sexual predators since 2004. Thus, the rhetoric of fear does not have a debilitating effect on American society. On the contrary, it is perhaps because of fear mongering that citizens also take matters in their own hand and help solving a significant problem by joining a community or organization.        

As argued in the previous arguments, the rhetoric of fear does not cripple American society because it is an effective tool to apprise people of serious issues that require their awareness and even cooperation. Another reason that shows why the rhetoric of fear does not have a debilitating effect on America is that it is a potent tool in preparation of a crisis situation.  Frank Furedi claims in his article “Epidemic of Fear” that safety has become “one of Western society’s fundamental values” (spikedonline.com). After 9/11, the safety of American people has become a core issue and mission. Government officials have taken different measures and have for instance incited people to report unusual behavior. This was the case in the Times Square bombing attempt in May 2010. Two street vendors noticed a suspicious vehicle and immediately alerted the NYPD. As journalist Mark Thomson claims, “one of the most unheralded victories in 9/11’s wake my be that the US […] succeeded in atomizing the terrorism threat.” Furthermore, concerning the full body X-Rays at the airports, a 2012 poll illustrates that Americans are prone to give up their liberty in exchange for better safety (Thommy, mcclatchydc.com). Once again, these measures are effective because safety is one of the nation’s major concerns. The threats of terrorist attacks is not an issue that should be taken lightly and it is better to be prepared in case of an emergency or crisis situation. Because of this, the rhetoric of fear does not have a harmful impact on America.

To conclude, one can assess in the light of these arguments that the rhetoric of fear does not necessarily have a debilitating effect on America. Its ubiquitous use has forced the American citizen to be very cautious and prepares him/her against serious threats.


SOURCES

Echegaray, Chris and Brad Schrade. “Fighting Gangs Takes Community Effort.” The Tenessean. 2 March 2010. Accessed 3 June 2012.  <http://www.tennessean.com/article/20100302/NEWS03/3020337/Fighting-gangs-takes-community-effort>

Flippin, Alexis. “The Five Most Dangerous Cities in the US.” AARP. 10 Feburary 2012. Accessed 4 June 2012. < http://www.aarp.org/travel/destinations/info-02-2012/five-most-dangerous-cities.html>

Furedy, Frank. “Epidemic of fear.” Spiked Online. 15 March 2002. Accessed 3 June 2012.

Glassner, Barry. The Culture of Fear, Why America is Afraid of the Wrong Things. New York: Basic Books, 1999.

Hardy, Victoria. “Fear in America.” American Chronicle. 25 February 2007. Accessed 4 June  2012. <http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/21245>

Marquit, Jean. “Rhetorical Use of Fear by the Bush Administration.” Yahoo. 8 October 2005. Accessed 4 June 2012. < http://voices.yahoo.com/rhetorical-fear-bush-administration-8370.html?cat=37>

Robinson, Matthew. “The Media: Crime and Criminal Justice in the News and Entertainment.” January 11 2011. Accessed 2 June 2012.  <http://www.pscj.appstate.edu/media/media_preface.pdf>

Sterberg, Steve. “Estimate of likely SARS cases in USA down to 35.” USA Today. 17 March 2012. Accessed 2 June 2012. < http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2003-04-17-sars-usat_x.htm>

Thomma, Steven. “Poll: Most Americans would trim liberty to be safer.” McClatchy Newspapers. 12 January 2012. Accessed June 4 2012.   <http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/01/12/82156/poll-most-americans-would-trim.html>

Thomson, Mark. “Attempted Bombing was Poorly Plotted, Experts Say.” Time. 4 May 2010. Accessed 4 June 2012. < http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/vc_majorthefts/cac>

Watts, Duncan. “ Outrbreak: In Epidemics, is Fear a Good Thing?” slate.com 30 April 2003. Accessed 3 June 2012.  <http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2003/04/outbreak.html>

Crime in America. “Does Local Television News Mislead The Public About Crime?” 17 March 2012. Accessed June 4 2012. < http://crimeinamerica.net/2010/03/17/does-local-television-news-mislead-the-public-about-crime/>

Federal Bureau of Investigation. “Crimes Against Children.” Accessed June 4 2012. <<http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/vc_majorthefts/cac>

The White House. “Franklin D. Roosevelt.” Accessed June 4 2012.  <http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/franklindroosevelt>

Oxford English Dictionary. “Rhetoric.” Accessed June 4 2012. <OED.com>