Article Overview:   Threat Matrix.   What is it?   Does it mean we have turned Vigilance into a television fantasy or reality show?   What is a Vigilance Matrix?   Which has more power--the Threat or Vigilance Matrix?  Find out.


Thursday--October 30, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 778
The Threat Matrix Of Terrorism vs. Vigilance
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Oct. 30, 2003-- Two years and seven days from Ground Zero, September 11, 2001, a new television show was launched called Threat Matrix.
    It airs on Thursday nights on ABC at 8 p.m.  Its goal, its mission, appears to be a reminder to all its viewers that the Beast of Terror isn't dead or dying, but alive and well, being kept in check by the voracious appetite of a crack team of U.S. anti-Terrorists who ferret out plots, threats and plans that endanger the safety and security of U.S. citizens.

Threat Matrix Acting Crew

     The first time I watched the show I thought it was "stupid," another attempt to capitalize on Nine Eleven, a commercialization of a tragic event.
      I try to have an open mind, and decided to give the program at least two more views.   My rule is that after three shows, if I want to still puke, I stop watching.   
      I forced myself to watch Threat Matrix because I have grown to become a fan of MI-5, the British version of Threat Matrix where a team of U.K. anti-Terrorists are in constant pursuit of threats to the "homeland."   MI-5 first aired on the BBC as Spooks and has excellent acting and story lines that stretch the imagination and quell the restless belief that no one is doing anything positive to stop Terrorism's insidious infiltration into civilization's serenity.

MI-5 Cast

       Threat Matrix seemed to me to be a poor copy of MI-5.  For some insane reason, not unlike most Americans, I can accept the threat of Terrorism stalking the shores of the United Kingdom easier than I can Terrorists washing upon the shores of Florida or California, or creeping up from Mexico, or sneaking across the Canadian border.
        But Threat Matrix caught me by the throat.
        It sank its grip tightly around my carotid and make me gasp.   I realized, after watching the first three shows, that fiction and fact were not too far distant relatives.
        Despite the lack of follow-up Terrorist attacks on the United States--that we know about--Threat Matrix reminds us all that the Beast of Terror is lurking about, waiting, taking deep long breathes in anticipation of the right time and place to once again destroy the invincibility of America's isolationism from the world of Terror-Threat.


A matrix tends to hide or protect or disguise things within it

        There is something about the title:  Threat Matrix.   The word "matrix" has a variety of meanings.   Its core Latin root means "womb," and comes from "breeding animal."  It is the center of things, the middle of things around it.    A matrix tends to hide or protect or disguise things within it.    Terrorism seems to hide in a matrix comprising Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.   It thrives on dodging in and around its Triad of Terrorist Elements, like the Beast with many entrances to his cave, always trying to find ways to foil those in search of him.
         The Vigilant hunt the Beast of Terror with their own matrix.   Vigilance's matrix is intertwined with Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for future generations.   The "Threat Matrix" becomes the target of the "Vigilant Matrix."  Courage hunts down Fear.   Conviction stalks Intimidation.   And Right Actions for the Children's Children's Children sets traps for Complacency.  It's matrix against matrix, but the one that has the ultimate power is the Vigilance Matrix.   It is the true womb of the future.  It gives birth to Hope not Dismay, to Freedom rather than Bondage, to Peace rather than War.   I don't need a television show to know that, but I need them to remind me of those truths.
          Two years ago, when I started writing the VigilanceVoice, I elected not to commercialize the site.   Inside, deep within whatever writer's soul I claim, was the belief that if I had something to say to the world about Terrorism, I would keep saying it despite responses from the "outer world."
         It was my own "test of Vigilance."

The viewing public has a thirst to know that someone is standing guard over their Complacency

       I was about to believe the world had given up on Terrorism's true threat when up pops MI-5 on A&E, and, close on its heels, Threat Matrix.   Both television shows reinforced my belief that Vigilance is not a seasonal subject.
         The viewing public has a thirst to know that someone is standing guard over their Complacency.
         Millions of people who are swept up in the daily pressures of modern life--getting to work, paying the bills, raising the children--have not forgotten that crazed men and women with agendas based on Fear, Intimidation and Complacency will launch deadly acts to gain power over those who have little or no defense against them.
          These "Beasts of Terror" are not doormats to their beliefs.

Cells of Terrorism are plotting to steal people's rights to feel safe

         Even as I write these words, cells of Terrorism are forming or fermenting, plotting and conniving to steal from the people their right to feel safe and secure.
          My desire is that every American, every Brit, every Iraqi, every Russian, every Chinese family and all the families of all the nations in the world become Parents of Vigilance, Sentinels of Vigilance by signing the Pledge of Vigilance, displaying it in a prominent location in their home, and abiding by its Principles of Vigilance.
          That simply means they teach their children that the Beast of Terror seeks to instill within them Fear over Courage, Intimidation over Conviction, and Complacency over Right Actions that benefit the Children's Children's Children.
           But Threat Matrix and MI-5 may be doing more than I, with my small Voice in the great wilderness of cyberspace, can ever achieve.   The public has endorsed the "entertainment of Vigilance" by viewing the shows.   Their viewer ship underscores the hunger they have to know that people are standing as Sentinels of Vigilance, thwarting the Beast of Terror in anonymity.
           It makes one wonder how many threats have been bottled,  how many children's lives have been saved, how many thousands of people have been removed from Terrorism's crosshairs.
           Entertainment is also educational.   At the end of each MI-5 or Threat Matrix, I feel a little more secure about the battle between Terrorism and Vigilance.  

At the end of each MI-5 or Threat Matrix, I feel more secure about the battle between Terrorism and Vigilance

           Oddly, I don't feel comforted by the headlines or assuaged by the political rhetoric issued from the White House about how Terrorism is being stifled.  But, I do when the hour ends after watching an MI-5 or Threat Matrix show.    I see average, common people, highly trained and totally dedicated to the security of their homeland, anonymously seeking out and destroying threats to everyone's safety.
           There is no chest thumping by them.  There are no headlines from their achievements.    They do one job and go on to the next, just like the average Joe or average Jane does in daily life.   They serve their country in quiet repose from the flashbulbs and cameras of notoriety.
           Of course, these are just television shows.  They aren't real, or, are they seeds of reality?
          For me, they represent the top-line of Vigilance in a world that I sometimes think is Complacent.   I know that millions of viewers would not watch the shows if there wasn't a market for Vigilance.
         Thus, some two years and 778 days later, I am as inspired or perhaps more so, than ever about my work.

I will be ready to help children battle the Beast of Terror

          Not financially rewarding, the VigilanceVoice is generationally rich.   I know deep in my bones that Terrorism is not dead and buried.   I know that throughout history acts of Terror have come to visit the children of the Children's Children's Children.   The Beast of Terror is doing pushups and will come again.
          I will be ready to serve those who seek out a solution to helping their children prepare to battle the Beast of Terror when he does roost once more on their doorstep.
          In the interim, I'm hopeful the families of America and the world will tune into Threat Matrix and MI-5.  At least they'll know that someone is watching over their children's safety, if only on the television.

Oct. 29--Day 777 From Ground Zero--Terrorism's Unlucky Day

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