Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Gravity and the News

Four people died in Phoenix when two news helicopters collided with one another while filming a fleeing suspect. I have no idea why the news helicopters were filming it at all. Do people really need to see the live action thrill of a car chase so much that it needs to be covered by five news helicopters? Five? You know who needed a helicopter there? The cops. That's it. If a news station has a helicopter, then it also has a station owner who has severe issues with his penis. Or her penis, as the case may be. There was another big ol' car chase in Texas yesterday. We were watching the news while eating lunch, and the reporter said: "We don't know exactly where this is, or whether it's a man or woman driving, or why they're being chased, but here's the chase." It's like a nation of magpies attracted by shiny objects. Ooooh, a speeding car! Let's watch! Um... why? Maybe it's the NASCAR gene, which I thankfully lack. People like to watch speeding cars for whatever reason. Or speeding anything. Chariot races, cars, whatever. I guess watching things move around in a circle is hypnotic. Toddlers get the same effect watching water (and such) get flushed down the toilet.

You see the metaphor here, right?

Anyway, regarding the Phoenix crash... the driver who was being chased (not chaste) may be charged with the deaths of the four people who crashed in the helicopters. Yes, the person on the ground may be charged with the deaths of the helicopter pilots and passengers who were in the air and crashed into each other. I think that's ludicrous. If anyone should be charged with their deaths, it should be the station owners who sent them out after a friggin' car chase in the first place. (Somebody grew up watching too much CHiPs.) There was another incident a week or so ago where a robbery or some such was committed, and the officer responding to the call died en route. The robber was charged with the death of the officer. If you're going to use that logic, don't just stop with the robber. I mean, come on! This is America! There are many more people to sue, and many more people to blame for your own actions! We can blame the robber's parents for screwing up at their parenting job. We can blame the car manufacturer for not including enough safety measures in the cop car. We can blame the cop's supervisor for not ensuring that the cop take his requisite defensive driving classes. We can blame the cop's parents for not providing good enough genetic material to give the cop superhuman cop reflexes. Of course, if the cop collided with another driver, there's a whole tree of blame to follow. If the cop collided with a stationary object, there's yet another avenue of litigation and finger-pointing to traverse.

Personally, I'm going to blame the city of Phoenix for the helicopter crash. I mean, really... why isn't the entire city covered in soft, spongy foam?

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