02
Jul
08

Your Brain. Use it or Lose it. It’s that simple.

OK, I’m not trying to be flippant about the recent rather horrific tragedy involving a 17 year old boy who was decapitated after he jumped two fences in order to gain entry into a restricted area of the GA Six Flags roller coaster he and his church group were visiting.

It was very much a tragedy, and by all accounts this was a good if a little rambunctious kid. He did, however, make a rather terminal error in judgement that ended his life and left behind traumatized witnesses and family members, some of whom may spend a good portion of their lives trying to recover from the loss. It is a tragedy no matter how you slice it.

But this is not what has me posting today. What Irked me were a couple of videos and posters on youtube who I saw talking about how Six Flags should be sued for insufficient signage and fencing…

LOL… Whut?

Now looky here. I’m sorry, this was indeed a tragedy, but honestly, lets look at the reality of what happened.

This kid ignored multiple signs, and jumped over two fences, for reasons we may never know, to enter an obviously dangerous part of the roller coaster ride. If any of you are thinking “Oh well maybe it wasn’t obvious..” Or “Maybe the signage wasn’t clear enough…”, I’m sorry but you are not using your head.

At least not any more than this kid did. You look both ways before crossing the road right? And watch for trains at a railroad crossing, right? This is no different. In fact there is less preventing you from proceeding across a railroad crossing, than there was between these kids and the restricted roller coaster area, even when a train is approaching.

And yet some people have the ignorance to suggest that maybe there should have been more signs. Or more explicit signs. Or taller fencing. And that Six Flags should be sued. Always blame someone else. That’s our MO these days. We try to blame everyone else for our own laziness, ignorance, failings and weaknesses.

Seriously, how difficult is it for a reasonable person to surmise that if you happen to be standing next to, beneath, below or even just in the vicinity of the rails of a roller coaster, you may be injured if it should come by at the breakneck speeds they are all very well known for? Is that such a leap of logic? Perhaps too challenging a mental exercise?

No. We all know fully well that this kid, for whatever reason, was not thinking about any of that, and was bound and determined to do whatever it is he and his buddy were trying to do. More signs, larger signs, more explicit signs, neon signs,  taller fences, a 10ft florescent colored effigy of Krusty the Clown standing there mindlessly repeating: “Don’t jump the fence, or you’ll end up brain dead, like me!” it won’t matter. Unless you want your amusement parks to look like prison camps, there is not much more they can do.

Please, let’s stop trying to place blame where it doesn’t belong. This kid either lacked the common sense or discipline to prevent him from making what turned out to be a fatal mistake. It is what it is. That is either his fault (youth can be reckless), that of those who raised him or of anyone who was supposed to be watching him. Nobody elses.

I wish these people would put this amount of energy into coming up with ways of making our kids behave better and act smarter, rather than on how to make money from tragic incidents like these…

Teen Decapitated by Six Flags Coaster – [AOL News]

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2 Responses to “Your Brain. Use it or Lose it. It’s that simple.”


  1. July 16, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    I believe that signage and fences can be the cause rather than the cure for accidents such as these. Without signs, guards, fences, barriers, handrails, and other safety devices people tend to be more cautious. Kinds grow up with a healthy respect for dangerous devices when they are exposed to the sharp edges that are inherent in all aspects of life. It’s cruel to raise a child in a home where there are no consequences to bad decisions. Why are we surprised when people ignore dangers simply because they were not prevented from doing themselves harm. Accidents happen, sometimes it’s cruel when the punishment for a poor decision turns out to be lethal. Others should learn from his mistake, so they don’t pay the same price. The price shouldn’t be paid by the amusement park. Only the lawyers would profit.

    -Pf

  2. July 17, 2008 at 11:34 am

    You know, Pf, i agree with you 100%. A lot of parents have a tendency to shelter their kids to the extent that they never learn about cause and effect, or actions and consequences. They literally don’t even think about it. And that’s kind of scary.

    But what that also means is that it’s not really the signage that’s the problem, it’s how those people were raised. If warning signs and safety devices are actually what gives a person their false sense of security, to the extent that they would feel safe enough to actually put themselves in harms way, then I think there is something seriously wrong with the way they think…


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