Thursday, May 12, 2005

C is for CRISIS

Literally, cross, meaning a point in the road where a path must be chosen. If the problem is intractable, or beyond the suasion of any human genius, then the thing is not a crisis. It may be a fatality, or an immemorial part of the human condition, but it is not a crisis. Again, this is another of those journalist words that need to be doled out sparingly. Let's say a journalist is mandated by law to use the word crisis only three times a year. The same can be said for the word tragedy. Child obesity is not a crisis. There's just a lot of fat little porkers trotting around. Eat less, exercise more is not much of a choice; it's just out there, manifest. Health care costs and coverage in a western democracy is not a crisis either; one can always forgo the state of the art medical procedure, or stop taking the yet-to-be withdrawn-from-the- marketplace pill . Get well or die, as the Greek philosopher said. Also, if we refuse to acknowledge we are stumbling along a certain path, or refuse to concede that the path has a perpetual fork in the road in front of our faces, then we cannot talk about the crisis. It's another word journalism has rendered meaningless. Might as well remain silent.

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