Sunday, July 03, 2011

Philip Contos: at least he died in his freedom

"The care of every man's soul belongs to himself. But what if he neglect the care of it? Well what if he neglect the care of his health or his estate, which would more nearly relate to the state. Will the magistrate make a law that he not be poor or sick? Laws provide against injury from others; but not from ourselves. God himself will not save men against their wills." - Thomas Jefferson

Contos was riding his motorcycle, without a helmet specifically to protest laws requiring one, and died in an accident. He accepted the risk and harmed no one but himself. If he had plowed into a crowd of schoolchildren, or flipped through a car's windshield, a helmet would have made no difference.

There are many who deserve a Darwin Award, and many who I wish would hurry up and earn theirs before they kill someone else. Contos isn't one of them, though. It is irony that a helmet might have saved his life, but he wasn't doing anything egregiously stupid. There are many who don't wear helmets and yet survive, and enough who wear helmets yet die. Accidents happen. Did T.E. Lawrence or George Patton deserve Darwin Awards? Certainly not -- people have died in vehicular accidents for thousands of years, ever since we learned how to tame animals.

Darwin Awards go to real jackasses like this goddamn idiot, especially because he took someone else with him.

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