Preston Likely

The Scarecrow (2009)

The Scarecrow is a symbol of all the fears and anxieties that have been aroused in our conscious minds through continual over exposure to negative and over-blown news stories via television, newspapers and radio. If we are exposed to negative news for too long, we become like scarecrows, unconsciously warding off a whole range of perceived threats (MRSA, SARS, Swine Flu, Bird Flu, Hoodies, Immigrants, Paeodophiles etc), threats that have been unleashed upon us like mad crows by the sensation-seeking news media. Only be means of adopting intelligent scepticism can we really see each scare story in its true perspective.

Exhibiting the scarecrow in public places – locations where you wouldn’t normally expect to find a scarecrow – is a way of suggesting that many scare stories that we are made aware of are so often reported out of context, leaving the recipient to fill in the blanks for themselves. As Dan Gardner alludes to in his book ‘Risk’, being alerted to fear is essential to human survival, but when fear overrides reason, hysteria and panic can ensue, which is not good for our well being.

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