The premise for Bad Day LA came out of my frustration with the pervasive “fear culture” that has existed in the US since 9/11 (although, many would say that it reaches back much further than that). The idea is an old one: governments gain control and corporations gain profit when they use fear as a weapon against the citizens. The movie “V for Vendetta” expressed the idea pretty well.
Being that I live in Hong Kong, my friends back home say things like, “Be careful, don’t catch bird flu.” They assume, based on the information that the media feeds them, that everyone in Asia is running around infected with bird flu. Except, that there is no bird flu pandemic here, or anywhere for that matter.
And it seems like worrying that bird flu will suddenly start infecting humans on a large scale is like worrying that the common cold might suddenly mutate into an ebola-like killer:
“The acquisition of human flu virus genes into H5N1 didn’t make it more transmissible,” said Peter Palese, a Mt. Sinai School of Medicine microbiologist in New York who studies influenza and wasn’t involved in the research, in a telephone interview. “It appears the virus would need significant mutations to transmit easily in people.”
Basically, some (idiot) scientists are purposely trying to mutate bird flu using human flu to make bird flu more easily transmitted between humans. Fortunately, they failed in their mission, and they proved that bird flu isn’t the boogie-germ that the government would like us to believe it is.
This caught my attention, because just a few weeks ago I read this article:
NEW YORK (Fortune) – The prospect of a bird flu outbreak may be panicking people around the globe, but it’s proving to be very good news for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other politically connected investors in Gilead Sciences, the California biotech company that owns the rights to Tamiflu, the influenza remedy that’s now the most-sought after drug in the world.
Rumsfeld served as Gilead (Research)’s chairman from 1997 until he joined the Bush administration in 2001, and he still holds a Gilead stake valued at between $5 million and $25 million, according to federal financial disclosures filed by Rumsfeld.
So basically we have government officials scaring the public with a non-threat and profiting hugely off it. But then, I guess that’s business as usual in Bad Day USA.