Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

“Oh, the Humanity”

Dumb Humans (4540) ther

If you want to see people do crazy things, visit the Grand Canyon.  It seems to be a magnet for folks who either have a screw loose or are suffering from suicidal tendencies.  Like these folks.  They’re all where they shouldn’t be.  And it’s a good rule.  The drop-off here is roughly 1500 feet.  The woman standing just in front of the father and son is inches away from learning how to fly.  Then there’s the couple sitting on the edge at the end of the outcropping.  Dumb.  Why is the view any better from where they’re sitting than from where I’m standing?  I don’t get it.

Aside from the crazies, the Grand Canyon has gotten way too busy.  For me anyway.  Unless you get there early in the morning there’s just not enough parking.  Too many cars and campers.  Not to mention the buses.  Heck, this was March.  You might as well be trying to maneuver down the strip in Las Vegas.  And walking ain’t much easier.  So if you want to see the “big hole”, go in December or something.  Right around Christmas sounds about right. 

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7 Responses to ““Oh, the Humanity””

  1. TomDills

    It seems like there’s always someone who just has to be a little closer. I don’t get it, but I’m a person who thinks about the consequences and would never get that close. I’m with you, Paul…your viewpoint was good enough!

    Reply
    • Paul Maxim

      I agree, Tom. Maybe it’s because I’m not so young anymore, but “consequences” tend to factor into most of the decisions I make. Especially when things start to get a little dangerous!

      Reply
  2. e. Brooks

    We can dismiss it as foolish but I’m of the opinion people get something back from the risks they take or else they wouldn’t do it. However, what they get back may not seem worth the risk to us or even them later. For some perhaps it’s about impressing the ones they’re with or not wanting to wimp-out. Others perhaps find the closer to possible death they venture the more alive they feel (the adrenaline rush.) And there may be those who are simply testing their own limits or checking off a bucket list item.

    I’m not adverse to risk taking or letting others take their own risks as long as they don’t endanger the well being of others — these people are probably endangering each other. We each measure risk vs. worth on our own scales. Certainly there have been times in my past I’ve later thought, “What were you thinking?”.

    In the case of the people in this photo, my strong dislike of heights would keep me well back from the edge unless there was a good guard rail. 🙂

    Reply
    • Paul Maxim

      You’re right EB – there are a lot of reasons why people do risky things. They may not make sense to me, but I’m not them. The one exception I take to what you say is in your first sentence – where you say “or else they wouldn’t do it”. That assumes that some kind of thought process was involved before the action was taken. That they took the risk because they thought it was worth it. I honestly think that for many of these people that “thought process” never occurs. They just do it. How else can we explain parents taking small children into this kind of danger? Or worse, letting the kids go out there on their own? There’s only one child in this picture but we saw much younger kids out there as well. And it was windy.

      And I guarantee that the twenty-somethings who go out there and stand on the edge waving their arms and legs for their selfies ain’t thinking at all. They’re just reaffirming that Darwin had a point…….

      Reply
      • E. Brooks

        I doubt there is a thought process…they do it and it gives them a thrill or makes them feel brave, alive or dangerous — spur of the moment. My statement “or else they wouldn’t do it” wasn’t to imply they waste any great thought about it. But I do believe they are getting something out of it…worthwhile or measurable by you and I or not.

        When someone’s actions endanger others without making them aware of it or giving them a choice I draw the line…that’s not okay…and kids can understand the dangers well enough.

        Reply
        • Paul Maxim

          Yes, I figured that’s what you meant. I think that basically we’re on the same page. But to expand on the idea of endangering others, I’ve seen too many instances – this one included – where the actions of one (or a few people) triggers a massive “copy-cat” event. People who normally wouldn’t go out on this point (if they were alone) decide to do it because others are doing it. Pretty soon you’ve got a real crowd tempting fate.

          It’s like the people going through the park in their car who spot an elk or two off the side of the road. What do they do? They stop in the middle of the road to take a few pictures. Which makes everybody else stop. Pretty soon you’ve got a serious risk of someone rearending someone else. Or someone decides to chase one of these massive beasts into the brush to get a better picture. So a bunch of other people do the same thing. Stupidity seems to be a highly contagious disease.

          Maybe we should make “special” parks for these folks. Parks that have large foam mats at the bottom of a cliff like this to catch the idiots. No. That’s a bad idea, I guess. Darwin would roll over in his grave.

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