Friday, December 16, 2016

Another Jackass and We Who Encourage Him

I really don't know what to make of people who do things like this. I'm assuming that what's depicted in the video--a shirtless, morbidly obese young man lighting a so-called "suicide vest" of firecrackers wrapped around his torso and then crying out in pain as the exploding firecrackers burn his body and he frantically jumps into the snow seeking relief--is real.

I say this because it seems that CGI has now become so sophisticated that it's capable of making the wildest video illusions look stunningly realistic. Yet, I can't help but doubt that the young man in the video, his off-camera accomplice who lights the firecrackers, or anyone else connected with such a ridiculous stunt possesses the skill to pull off such an impressive feat of video prestidigitation.

So, I return to the vexing question of why someone would subject himself to such a searingly painful exercise in self-debasement. Will he earn enough pleasurable attention, much less money, from it to justify the lingering suffering and self-inflicted humiliation?

And do those of us who watch the video and share it on social media the way I did on Facebook and Twitter and now here this morning encourage him and others to perform these kinds of dangerously reckless and even potentially deadly stunts to receive whatever rewards they hope to receive from them?

Moreover, what does it say about me that I simultaneously feel something akin to condemnation and disgust on the one hand for what this guy did and find it uproariously funny on the other? And what does it say about homo "sapiens" that a good many of us seem to spend our time watching and enjoying this kind of foolishness more than we do far more uplifting and ennobling material?

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