This year’s symptom of the media Silly Season appears to be the “False Widow” spider, which is the UK’s most venomous spider, but is also nowhere near as poisonous/bad/evil as it’s been portrayed, along with the resultant hysteria.

For whatever reason though, it’s been all over the news, with hysterical coverage about people who’ve been bittenand nearly died“. Of course, it’s hard to gauge how near-to-death anyone was when they actually survived – I could say I “nearly died” anytime I cough, sneeze, or have a particularly strenuous dump.

The latest ridiculously hysterical reaction was the closure of a school in the Forest of Dean because of ‘an infestation’ of false widows (for fuck’s sake)

Now yes, I’m quite sure the bite hurts – and that there are a tiny minority of people who react badly to said bites, in the same way that there’s a small selection of people who react badly to wasp stings, peanuts etc. But it’s a tiny minority who get bitten at all (most just introduce spider to literature anyway) and an even tinier minority therein who react in such a way. But if you read the media, they’re everywhere, and everyone’s being bitten.

I know, I know, it’s always been thus with the media – compare any hysterical theme story with people you actually know, and you’ll find that most of them are stories that only happen to a tiny minority. Supposedly it’s that fact that makes the stories “news”, but that hype then blows it all out of proportion/sanity, leaving idiots people with the impression it’s happening everywhere.

Sometimes I wish the media would just shut the fuck up about stupid hype-ridden hyperbolic stories, and (in an ideal world) allow people to get on with their lives without this hysterical bullshit constantly going on.

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