Monday, July 4, 2011

Darwinism And The Fourth Of July

Happy 4th of July! If you're in America, it's Independence Day. If you're not in America, well, it's still the 4th of July, but that most likely means that it's Monday. And in celebration of our independence and all of the freedoms that being an independent nation allows us, let's see how that turns out for some people. What we have here, according to the Huffington Post, is a one 55-year old Philip A. Contos of Parish, New York. Mr. Parish was "...participating in a protest ride against helmet laws" in New York. When he went to hit the brakes, his motorcycle fishtailed (that means just what it sounds like it means) and Mr. Contos "...flipped over the bike's handlebars and hit his head on the pavement." Naturally, since he was protesting the helmet laws, he wasn't wearing one. Naturally, since he wasn't wearing one, he died.

Now, I don't know if this sounds sad to you, but it does not bother me. That's what being free is all about. You have the choice to make idiotic decisions for yourself and you get to reap the consequences of those idiotic decisions. The thing about being free (and the thing that way too many lawmakers seem to have forgotten) is that it comes with a lot of responsibility. One really doesn't have to do a whole lot of thinking if someone else is going to be making all of the decisions for them. Would it have been better for Mr. Contos if he had been forced to wear a helmet? Well, maybe, but only if you're not him. See, he was perfectly OK with his choice. At 55 years old, I highly doubt that he was unaware of the perils of motorcycle riding without a helmet. He knew what he was getting himself into and, as a free society, he should be allowed to make that choice even if it kills him. Think of it as Darwinism hard at work. OK, maybe not so hard at work. But definitely at work. Darwinism at work.

I'm waiting to hear the retort that usually follows the untimely (and usually unexpected) deaths of people who croaked whilst amidst some sort of hobby. That often heard commentary is usually something to the effect of: "Well, at least he died doing what he loved." I don't think that's ever the case. Eaten by a shark while scuba diving? "He died doing what he loved." Being chomped to death by a sea creature and screaming in pain and unthinkable fear? THAT'S what someone loved? I don't think so. Skydiving and the chute doesn't open and the person plummets to their Wile E. Coyote-esque doom? "He died doing what he loved?" In preparation to become a human pancake? I don't think so? Not doing the sensible (regardless of the laws in place) thing and not wearing a motorcycle helmet and flying over your handlebars at a low speed and cracking your dome open on the pavement? "He died doing what he loved?" Being in defiance of common sense and realizing this lapse in judgment the second before his dome cracked open? Perhaps. But not likely. Not very likely.

Happy Independence Day, America! Try not to screw it up by being a moron. Assume the responsibility that all of this freedom puts upon you and try to emerge from your celebrations in one piece. Or don't. It's a free country.

Stumble Upon Toolbar Sphere: Related Content

No comments: