Thursday, February 21, 2013

Super Funny... Until The Bill Comes.

Watching people hurt themselves may seem funny,
but the real cost may be more than we can bear.

This week, I'm putting pop culture in my crosshairs. In particular, the TV shows that highlight human train wrecks–including UFC, "Pro" Wrestling and the coveted X-Games.

Don't look at me like that. 

We're all guilty. Even shows like America's Funniest Home Videos, Jackass and the strange on-again, off-again love/hate relationship we seem to have with Joe Rogan's Fear Factor. 

I know it always seems funny to watch people hurt themselves but I've never really found it funny at all. Maybe because I was a klutz when I was a kid and I was the one that always seemed to be tripping falling and hurting himself growing up. Maybe it was the time when I went sailing into a 100-foot brick wall at the bottom of a hill while growing up in downtown Boston when I was learning to ride a 10-speed bike. Or even the time I put my left foot through a window pane at age nine while joking around and shredded my lower foot. Scars exist to this day.

So when I see people hitting the ground, head-first, bouncing off a trampoline or leaping off a two-story house trying to jump into a pool and hitting the concrete edge instead. That's not funny to me, I recoil. 

Now, maybe it's because I'm a Dad and I'm through with paying for trips to hospitals, emergency rooms, and Next Care/Urgent Care centers. Not for sniffles or allergies or the flu. But twisted, sprained and broken ankles, pulled muscles and a near endless number of lacerations, cuts and bruises. All because one of my soon-to-be astro physicist kids thought it would be just awesome to emulate the antics of some pro-wrestler, Ultimate Fighter, par-core hot shot or X-Games dude who grew way too privileged with way too much time on his hands. 

How many kids can one society send to the hospital (or the morgue) with these kind of antics–over-sensationalized on every network, website and social media outlet? Our kids are inundated by this idiocy. And while I give my kid's generation SOME credit for binary levels of common sense, how can anyone resist this stuff when it's everywhere you turn? 

We're all guilty of tuning in to this crap but I sincerely have NEVER found watching someone get hurt all that funny. I know it hurts and I have spent enough time in the hospital (and footing the bill) to know that it's no laughing matter.

You can spin some lame "survival of the fittest" dribble at me but the truth of the matter is, this culture has a dark side that is a real danger to impressionable minds. The recent death of X-Game Snow mobile stunt guy Caleb Moore should prove that this stuff isn't for kids. 

Or anyone. 

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