Tuesday, August 17, 2010

You're Supposed to Die! Not Me!

I have to confess that I find people—and train wrecks—fascinating. Sometimes I can even tell them apart.

Take, for instance, the folk who gathered in the Mojave Desert recently to watch an off-road race.

I’ve always been of the opinion that people watch them for the same reasons Romans flocked to the Coliseum: to see blood spilled. Bones snap. Corpses splayed in unusual positions. That sort of thing.

So while our friends in the desert were ostensibly there to watch a race, what they really wanted was mechanical mayhem. Twisted metal. A shot of adrenaline to liven-up the weekend.

And to maximize the danger quotient, they packed themselves as closely as possible to the course. You can almost imagine them as the highly-modified vehicles hurtled by. “Ooh, did you feel that?”

But a funny thing happened. They got their crash. They got their mangled metal and violent sound effects. But eight of them also got killed.

And instead of questioning the unimaginable stupidity of standing within inches of vehicles moving at 60 miles per hour along a surface that could best be described as uneven, they turned on the driver (who had miraculously survived) and attempted to stone him.

Exactly what kind of consumerism is this? Give me what I want—but if you do I’ll kill you? Maybe they were offended that it was they—and not the driver—who died. Perhaps their sense of entitlement was challenged. And we all know what a bear that can be, don’t we?

No one will ever confuse these folk (along with their spiritual kin at monster truck shows and professional wrestling matches) with the leading lights of civilization. But the hypocrisy exhibited by these ghouls is staggering.

Even more staggering is the fact the driver (Brent Sloppy) later apologized on his Facebook page to those who tried to kill him. Is this what the threat of unconsidered, instant mass opinion hath wrought?

But all is not lost. It’s not just a grim peek into a curdled future. The next time you wonder who could conceivably cast a vote for Sarah Palin as president, you know.

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