Sixteen Year Old Loses Head After Sticking It Out of Moving Bus.
Let this be a lesson to you: Nature has a way of weeding the truly stupid out, thus ensuring the survival of the remainder of the species. The problem we often face in our society is that far too often, some force external to Nature -- usually it's government, media or the courts -- intervene before the stupid can kill themselves, and so the rest of humanity must continue to suffer for it.
You just know that the response to this will be to pass new laws to keep these emergency hatches secured (until someone else dies because now they can't get out of a child-proofed emergency hatch, of course!), or to require bus operators to provide beefed-up security for every trip. Whatever it is, the burden will be borne by the bus owner/operator, and this expense will be passed on to the consumer. The family of this boy -- which produced a complete idiot who a) doesn’t know enough not to stick his head through a hatch on a moving bus, b) doesn’t listen to authority figures – like security guards – to stop doing something stupid, and c) did society a favor by getting killed before he started breeding -- will receive nothing but overwrought, Oprah-style sympathy from “the community”, and a litany of phone calls from lawyers who will eagerly take up the liability case, in hopes of a quick and dirty settlement that they can skim 30% from.
I’m not happy that a kid got killed today, but I am amazed that such a thing warrants the epithet “tragedy” when it was completely avoidable. Tragedy applies to things beyond human control – a flood, a sudden heart attack, a lightning strike, an asteroid collision – not to a 16-year-old doing typically stupid 16-year-old things, and losing his head over it.
If you seek sympathy from me, for this, I'm going to tell you to go find it in the Dictionary, between "Shit" and "Syphilis".
In the Old Days before someone in a fuckin’ pink Bunny Suit started handing out Self-Esteem Certificates in Kindergarten for successfully counting to ten in Spanish, we used to say of such a thing “It serves you right…”and “where are the parents…?”.
Instead, these sorts of things become cause celebres, complete with a process that begins with the media, meanders into a courtroom, and ends with a grandstanding politician attempting to protect assholes from themselves with a law that no one will remember three minutes after the press release. And throughout the whole thing, the assumption is made – with great sanctimony, as it usually turns out – that going through this ritual, that we’re somehow“protecting our children”.
Actually, we’re not. Your children are fucking idiots. Every last one of them. On the day they are born, they had but three skills: sucking, shitting, and crying. After that minimum level of survival instinct, everything they learn (or don’t learn) comes from direct contact with adults, or through long, and sometimes painful, experience.
If you’ve raised a 16-year-old boy who doesn’t know enough to keep his fucking head inside a moving vehicle, then you have failed him. His teachers and other supposed role models have failed him. If that was your child, you are not worthy of sympathy; you are not worthy of a court-ordered bonanza of cash; you are not worthy of media attention and you cannot dodge your responsibility and complicity in his death by filing a lawsuit or imploring a politician (who’s probably already dumber than the dead kid ever was) to absolve you of your grief and guilt with a statute.
You failed in your responsibility to raise him right. Failure has consequences. Deal with it.
If we really wanted to “protect our children” we’d flog every adult who fails them in the public square. If you really want to keep another child from making the same mistake, then put the corpse up for display on the internet, with commentary from a physician who demonstrates exactly what happened to this kid in as graphic and gory a detail as possible.
We used to do things like this to teach our children harsh lessons about Life, whether it was the classic VD film in school, a half-joking school trip to the local jail where kids got fingerprinted and locked up, or a tour of the morgue to see (and smell) what happens to drug addicts, AIDS victims, drunk drivers, prostitutes, drunks, criminals and all the other categories of people who often refuse to do the right thing, despite self-interest.
We don’t need more laws, nor do we need another media-directed sympathy orgy; we need better parents, and a national “Scared Straight” program.
I remember a passage in J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Return of the King", in which Gandalf the Grey, in response to Peregrin Took's impulsive actions, and the unfortunate consequences, says:
"'Tis the burnt hand that oftimes teaches best..."
Perhaps if we let people suffer the consequences of their (in-)actions, we wouldn't have to burden the rest of society with petty regulations on everything, and more kids would learn the harsh lessons they need to learn, that Life is not a game, and it's all too often gone in the blink of an eye when someone does something stupid.