How overreaction has become the touchstone of our era:bit.ly/12VCBUwIn this case, the overreaction is to a paring knife accidentally baked into the bottom of a birthday cake:. Never mind the parental hysteria: here's Walmart:
— Lenore Skenazy (@FreeRangeKids) March 15, 2013
For its part, Walmart sounded almost sane and strong for a second, offering the family only its apologies and a replacement cake. Right on! But then a spokesman added that the chain was "now banning the use of pairing knives at its bakeries across the country."Lenore Skenazy has made herself the Jeremiah of parental overprotectiveness. It's a good gig, but her tweet above takes the one-note to a new level. Think security theater, Dick Cheney's one percent doctrine and the resulting torture regime, the invasion of Iraq, the threatened bombing of Iran.
Wha!? Just because ONE person in ONE Walmart screwed up ONE time with a paring knife--not an AK47--now the chain is banning ALL paring knives at ALL times in ALL Walmart bakeries? Are apples going to peel themselves for the pies? Is the store going to ban cleavers from the meat department, too?
In rich countries at least, perception of danger leads to frenzied efforts to eradicate danger -- which creates new dangers.