Friday, January 10, 2014

Cynical Ways People Are Dealing With Tragedy

There is a lot of voyeurism and sensationalism involved when people get killed or badly injured. But sometimes, it gets a little too much. It's not the fact alone that people, especially the media, exploit the misfortunes of others. It's how they do it. Here are some examples:

People making cell phone videos of people dying


It's very popular, especially in obscure third-world countries, to first take your cell phone out of your pocket when you see a badly injured person lying on the street after a traffic accident or someone who was just shot during riots. But these people don't take their phones out to call the ambulance, they want to take videos.

It's a little sickening, especially when the person who is dying is still conscious and aware of what's going on around him. And while valuable minutes pass until an ambulance arrives, there is no interaction between the majority of the bystanders except for many cameras being pointed at the victim.

Covering a dead formula 1 driver's body with blankets and continuing with the race


Nowadays, Formula One is a very heavily regulated sport where you get penalized or even banned for the slightest things. Even ordinary accidents usually lead to a drive-through penalty or something of the like. The newest atrocities include drivers being warned for their choice of words at the post-race interviews. I won't be surprised if points will be deducted for comments like "I don't give a shit if people think I don't smile enough" by people like Kimi Raik├Ânnen.

In the 1970s, Formula One was still a totally different sport. Drivers never had to hold back their opinions, enjoyed cigarettes and alcohol and knew they could be next on the grim reaper's list.

It was also totally normal (or so it seems) that a race was not stopped when a driver was burned to death in his car and the only thing organizers would do was to cover the car with sheets. They didn't even recover the dead body until after the race! The poor guy who was burned alive was Roger Williamson. His car turned over in a 1973 race and he was trapped under it. A fellow driver tried to rescue him but could not do it alone, and the track marshals back then barely knew how to use fire extinguishers and didn't have fire proof clothing.

Formula 1 in the 70s was as pathetic in terms of safety as the 1820 were in terms of cloud computing. It makes you feel like you lived in the middle ages.


Dozens of people uploading fake Schumacher skiing accident videos



When Michael Schumacher had his catastrophic skiing accident in late 2013, videos about his accident quickly appeared on Youtube. Some of them already said "RIP" when he was still in coma (and would remain in a coma for weeks). What was even weirder was what happened later. In the course of the next days and weeks, more and more videos were uploaded that not only contained pictures but actual footage. Footage of snow, of alleged skiing accidents, footage from point of view helmet cameras. But all of these were just random footage recorded by the people themselves and marketed as "Schumacher helmet camera" or other things.

I've checked Youtube, knowing that the original footage has not been released by the police, and there are at least half a dozen people reinacting accidents and making it look as if this was the real Michael Schumacher accident footage from his own helmet.

Isn't it weird how people are so sensational about getting views on Youtube from something that's just fake? Considering that it's a serious matter we are talking about?

Imagine if you had an accident like falling of the stairs while holding your amateur camera, and suddenly everywhere on Youtube there are fake videos with your name plus the phrase "original staircase accident camera footage" or something like that. All of them trying to make money and get famous because of your accident. Wow...

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