Once upon a time, there was a man called Terry, a criminal who wanted to spread fear in people's lives. 'What could I call myself?' he wondered.
'The Fearmongerer?' No, a bit too much like fishmonger. 'AnxietyMan?' Sounds like a bad superhero movie. He didn't like to admit it, considering all those Freedom Fighters, but he soon realised that calling himself a 'Terrorist' was perfect.
After all, every time people heard the words 'terrorists', 'War on Terror', 'tackling terrorism,' they would become a little bit more scared - which is what he wanted in the first place! That settled it: 'Terry the Terrorist.' He started to spread his new nickname.
But, thankfully, the Media and Government had completely different ideas - they wanted to spread hope and a message of unity into people's lives. They were inspired by the author Noam Chomsky's quote:
'Everyone's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's really an easy way: Stop participating in it.'
The media and government realized that using words like 'terrorism' would only serve Terry's objective of spreading fear. Why on Earth would they want to help a criminal? Why would the government want to spread fear when they were supposed to spread hope and unity?!
So whenever Terry committed any crimes, the Government branded his actions as 'anti Unity'. The Government realized that language matters. By focusing on the objective of the people - Unity - and not Terry's objective - Terror - the negative impact of his actions would not spread. In fact, by calling his crimes 'anti Unity acts', he was portrayed as 'against' something positive - a shared People's vision of togetherness - rather than 'for' something negative.
In 2014, Government and Media passed new legislation 'The Positive Communications Data Bill', which banned the media's use of 'terrorism' and other language that would ultimately serve criminals, and replace them with terms that promote the values and vision of the People. Even names that looked or sounded like terror were replaced. In the UK, the Government taskforce TERFOR was dramatically changed to LOVE (Leading Obstruction to Violent Extremism).
After one of Terry's latest crimes, tabloid headlines of 'LOVE is all you need' threw him into complete despair. He realised that not only was he the only one calling himself a terrorist - which was a bit sad - he was inadvertently spreading LOVE instead of fear! After several failed attempts of re-branding himself 'Terry the Terminator', 'Terrygate', and 'Terry-ble', he was sentenced to life in prison. The Judge's verdict? What Terry always feared most: 'Just another criminal.'
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