Thursday, August 8, 2013

Semi-Mad Rant

    Please welcome a new blogger to the blog.  dalecooper57 writes his own blog entitled "Diary of a Internet Nobody."  He hails from Devon, England (we continue to go international.  We now have writers from The U.S, South Africa and England.)  In his own words, he specializes in "eclecticism, humour, nonsense, ranting, and occasionally educational stuff."  We are hoping Dale becomes a regular contributor to our blog!  

    It never ceases to amaze me, the sort of insane laws and regulations that are being enforced nowadays, in order to conform to some warped sense of ego, morality or political correctness.

     A recent court ruling in the United States could soon make it impossible for creators of video games and movies to base any of their characters on real-life people. This would mean banning the portrayal of actual players in sport related video games for instance, because featuring images, statistics or recognisable characteristics of stars in games currently endorsed by players and teams from, let's say, the NFL, NBA, or FIFA wouldn't be allowed unless specifically licensed by the celebrity in question.  And movies, from the much lauded, multi award winning Lincoln, to the less (of both) Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter would have been out of the question in a universe where this incomprehensible law was already in effect.

     Which, frankly, is fine.

     But it would also mean no Schindler's List, no Amistad, and no Stephen Spielberg. Oh, wait, he's real.

    This sort of rampant egomania is allowed by the same type of ruling that once gave jumped up actors and z-list "celebrities" the legal authority to have pavement artists erase their likenesses in fear that someone else might have the audacity to make money from reproducing their sacred image.

     And yet it is still necessary that a brilliant and well established artist like Roger Dean take filmmaker James Cameron to court to try and establish the fact that Cameron pinched his idea for the floating cities in elongated smurf populated, sickly-moral-lecture-a-thon, AVATAR, despite the somewhat obvious parallels which I'm sure you can draw for yourselves.


    And it's not just the trivial world of superficial stardom and celebrity that gets infected by the stupidity of the legal system.

    A prime example of something that makes me sit reading with my jaw hanging open in utter incredulity is the news that rape victims in the US may be forced by the courts to give the rapist access to the children who are the result of their crime.

    What next? Burglars allowed visitation rights to see stolen goods that they failed to get away with? Convicted car thieves that are permitted to pop round to take the family saloon out for a spin on Sunday morning because they only made it to the end of the street before they got caught last time? Next we'll be letting bankers set their own salaries and paying them bonuses out of our savings.

    No, ok, that's a bit unrealistic, but you get my point.

    But hey, it's only the upper echelon of the system that fails the people that it was sworn to protect isn't it?
    The ones on the front line of law and order are a lot more responsible surely?

    Well, how about this for community policing.

    Last year in Florida, police arrested a man after he crashed his car because he refused to follow their instructions when they arrived at the scene.

    Maybe the fact that he was staggering around uncoordinatedly, dragging one leg behind him and mumbling incoherently should have given them a clue that all was not right with the unfortunate motorist. But no, they just dumped him straight in a cell, where he promptly collapsed unconscious on the floor.

    When they finally got round to calling a medic they, unsurprisingly, discovered that the presumed drunkard had in fact been having a massive stroke. Too little, too late, the man later died in hospital.

    Now, I'm not saying that this is the norm, but just a modicum of common sense on the part of the officers concerned could have saved a man's life.

    In much the same way as the death of a child in the UK could have been avoided in the tragic case of a young boy who jumped into a public pond to save his sister, only to get into difficulties himself.
    Part-time Community Support Officers were fortunately on the scene in a few minutes.

    What wasn't so fortunate was the fact that, as they hadn't had any formal water rescue training, they refused to enter the (six foot deep) pond, preferring instead to radio for trained officers.

    The ten year old boy, having valiantly tried to save his baby sister - despite his complete lack of formal training - already submerged before back-up arrived, consequently drowned.

    The only positive outcome being that a couple of anglers who witnessed unfolding events had the presence of mind (although I assume they too were untrained) to dive in and managed to rescue the little girl, who survived.

    Well I don't know about you, but I doubt I would have had time to ponder the legality of public liability insurance, or whatever petty formalities the volunteer officers were considering whilst a young life slipped beneath the surface, before diving in to haul the floundering child to safety.

    And yes, I know it's easy to sit here and make snap judgements on these sorts of life or death decisions with all the benefits of 20/20 hindsight, but to use the letter of the law and Health and Safety regulations to justify allowing the death of a child is unforgivable.

    Still, It's good to know some people get their own back in some small way when confronted with bureaucracy and injustice.

    Like the sad case of a father whose son was killed in a car crash that injured several other young people.
    Having lost his son in the accident, the grieving father was alloted the largest share of the subsequent insurance payout, with smaller shares being awarded to parents of the injured kids.

    So far, so good. However, the other parents decided the payouts should be equally divided, and the insurance company acquiesced to their demands, meaning the deadboy's father had to repay some of his settlement.

    To his credit he did so, but with a twist. He paid back over half a million dollars in quarters, weighing nearly four tons, which he duly delivered to the insurance company offices.

    Having no safe or vault in which to secure this huge pile of coins, and having gained rather a lot of publicity from the stunt, they had to have extra security brought in while they had the cash converted into a more manageable size. I wouldn't like to have been the one stood in line behind them at the bank counter the next day...

    By: dalecooper57
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