A local guy died some time ago after parachute jumping from a radio antenna tower, and then a local tv station eulogized this wonderful man who cared about family more than anything else, one of the best extreme sportsmen of our time.
So here's a guy who
first trespassed on private property, then climbed a thousand feet in
the fog, planning on freefalling without visual reference. The side of
the tower he chose to jump from happened to face a rapid incline at
ground level. I hear the ground on which he landed was some 30 feet
higher than where the tower was anchored, and there's some question as
to whether he took that into account when he was counting one
mississippi, two mississippi...
I'm all for people living their
death wish. If you want to jump from a helicopter onto a mountain peak
and ski race the resultant avalanche, more power to ya; so long as if
you're buried alive not a nickle of taxpayer money is spent to rescue
you, and if your actions cause damages, your heirs are culpable
financially. But, no one listens to me of course. What's happening
instead (in this case for example) is that media outlets celebrate his near accomplishment
by claiming him to be a hero and role model, a brave, bright man who
suffered an unfortunate circumstance that took his life. I do have
compassion for the family. Or I do unless they encouraged his behavior.
But, a hero? You mean hero like any random celebrity you've chosen to elevate because you've deemed them popular and by attaching yourself to their coattails you too can share in their popularity? You mean hero like any random guy or girl who dances on the edge of any cliff they see even though they have a spouse and children they've sworn to cherish and protect? You mean hero as in we might have actually had to work to find someone whose accomplishments made a difference in the world, who was selfless in the defense of another, who gave everything to help one who had nothing... so instead we made a guy who jumped off tall stuff a hero cuz it seemed to make sense at the time? Oh and by the way...fog is
an unfortunate circumstance?
The last time I watched this station's
news there was a motorcycle accident in which a gasoline tank sprung a
leak after a particularly deep pothole caused a metal from metal tear.
The poor rider was covered in raw fuel within moments and somehow
ignited as if a napalm rocket. The bike slowed to a crawl and finally
just fell over as the quick death of the driver caused the release of
the throttle yet the speed and balance of the machine kept it upright
until the last. It was an amazing albeit tragic story, and I felt hollow
as it was being told, thinking only "there but for the grace of God..."
when the announcer sat upright, the camera zoomed into his face which
cocked a bit leftward to accentuate the seriousness in which the next
line would be delivered... "And the man wasn't wearing a helmet!"
you imagine?" his coanchor muttered as the two shook their heads and the
camera panned back so as to segue into a commercial for auto insurance.
Like what; helmets come with sprinklers installed?
I wish I
could remember when my ship crash landed on this planet, but I seem to
have amnesia. If only I could forget I'm not alone here.