Disclaimer: I like Will Ferrell. The character he portrays in Anchorman, Ron Burgundy, is a humorous depiction of the douchebag that lives inside just about every newscaster.
It’s inevitable. Whenever there is some kind of highly visible public tragedy there has to be at least one highly visible public figure who says something so asinine you want to bitch-slap him or her through the monitor. Usually there are several such weenie commentators, as they start repeating each other ad nauseam once one weenie commentator rears its ugly head. I try not to watch TV news too much as I am prone to anxiety and depression. At least I can pick and choose a bit more getting my news online.
Most of the crap in the mainstream media is exactly that- “Crap” with a capital “C”-so sickeningly politically correct and skewed to reflect one particular world view that it lacks any kind of substance. Don Henley said it back in 1985- crap is king, and we all love dirty laundry. I don’t think even Don Henley had any idea just how stupid “journalism” would eventually become, although he was spot on as far as humanity’s flaming desire to see the carnage broadcast live and in color.
I hate to admit it, but even though I try not to have that “stop and gawk” mentality, I do too. It’s human nature to go past an accident scene and try to determine if anyone’s injured, if it’s anyone I know, and worse yet for me, because of my automotive background, I’m actually assessing the damage to the vehicles. Saturday I actually came upon the scene of a car/motorcycle accident. Those seldom turn out good. The motorcycle was in pieces, the front end of the car was pretty much hosed, and the guy that was on the motorcycle ended up motionless on the pavement. I figured if he wasn’t dead he was probably close to it. I’m glad I was wrong.
There is a reason why I don’t ride these things. Note the damage to the Explorer is comparatively minimal (though that front fascia, fog light, bumper reinforcement, core support, radiator and condensor will cost you.)
I found out today that the dude involved in Saturday’s accident actually got off with relatively minor injuries, though he was life-flighted to the trauma center. He got sent to the trauma center because he was knocked unconscious, and God only knows what kind of brain injuries and internal injuries and broken bones can happen to someone thrown off a motorcycle. Especially if you’re not wearing a helmet. ER staff have a name for motorcycle riders who choose not to wear helmets: organ donors. This guy dodged a bullet so to speak, and what he does with his motorcycle riding in the future is up to him. I wouldn’t ride one of those things but hey, if you want to, knock yourself out.
Society is not obligated to protect people from every possible stupid thing they can do. Shit and stupidity are the two most common elements in the universe, and even the most intellectually astute among us are not going to avoid either one entirely.
One of the beautiful things about individual freedom is that you are entitled to be stupid to a degree. No one should have to tell you the coffee is hot, that you shouldn’t smoke crack, or that riding a motorcycle without a helmet is a bad idea. But no one should have the “right” to sue because of pouring hot coffee on themselves or because of their own negligence. No one else should be obligated to bail others out of the consequences of their own stupidity.
Another situation that disturbs me is when a weenie commentator excuses a person’s criminal behavior based on their past experiences. I am appalled every time that some ass pilot gets a pass for everything from armed robbery to mass murder because “he/she had a bad childhood.” So you peed your pants and your peers called you “Pissy” when you were seven, so you decided to go on a killing spree 20 years later and take out people who never knew your sorry ass from Adam’s housecat? I have no sympathy for dumb shit like that. Neither should anyone else.
Do you whiz your pants when you’re executed by lethal injection?
I had a shitty childhood. I got my ass kicked every day. I was lucky to get three hots and a cot- and didn’t always get that. Big freaking deal. Does that give me the right to go fire bomb the WalMart for failing to have English speaking cashiers on duty when I need to buy a jug of Pennzoil? Give me a freaking break. No one owes me a damned thing, and what is the point of taking out my misdirected feline aggression on others? I’m fortunate in that my cats get along well and don’t fight- but what good would one cat beating up a completely innocent cat do?
It disturbs me that the media almost immediately wants to exonerate people who get caught doing the most ghastly things. I understand in this country (and this is probably unique to the US) that a suspect is innocent (according to the law) until proven guilty. I don’t think criminals should be tried and convicted in the media (though they often are, and often wrongly) but when someone’s caught red-handed, on camera, committing an atrocity, let’s not just start in making excuses for the alleged criminal.
I don’t want to hear about some ass pilot who molested kids but he’s “not responsible for his actions” because his Dad beat him. Bullshit. Yes, life cut you a bad deal. I’m sorry to hear that. Welcome to the club. Now get with the program, learn from history, and figure out how to be a decent human being.
I also don’t want to hear from the ass pilots who scream and cry on either side after a shooting incident that either a.) everyone who is not a convicted felon should run out and buy a gun (I am a believer in the 2nd Amendment, but whether or not to carry a gun is an individual choice) or b.) guns should be banned, like in the UK and other parts of the world. Screw that too. Both of those views are too extreme and uncalled for.
Gun laws aren’t the issue. By definition, a criminal is one who breaks the law. How many criminals are going to give a rat’s ass if guns are suddenly made illegal? They don’t give a rat’s ass about the law, otherwise they would be law-abiding citizens. Outlawing guns would simply create a black market much like the one already in place for illegal drugs. That “war on drugs” is going so splendidly, ‘ya know? Why not expand it, and expand the crime that naturally follows?
Why not expand the concept of personal responsibility, and enforce the notion that individual choices and individual actions have consequences?