FIERCE.com-the IMPACT Column
The Death of Decency
by Tor Hyams
Listen, I can't really stay that long so I'm not going to even sit down. You can have my chair. Really, I have things to do and, although I would like to chat, I simply can't right now. I really gotta go. But, before I do...
What the hell is this fascination we Americans have with watching other people get cut open? Sure, I know it's all about the rubbernecking principle, but, still...icky...feh... Somehow it's exciting to see other people's blood and guts. But, isn't it deeper than that? What we really like is to see other people hurt. If you don't believe me, just go see any action movie.
Although I'm not one of those moral "let's ban violent lyrics" types, I must say I'm pretty sick of being force-fed gore. Doesn't anyone have anything better to do than watch other people in pain? Imagine if it were your mother! How would you feel about it then? And what the hell is wrong with these people who volunteer to broadcast their mangled hearts all over the damn web? What if they died? CNN would surely cover the story as the first person courageous enough to die online (hey, isn't that what we at Fierce do every day?). But, seriously folks, what would the interview process be like.
Doctor: Ma'am, I'm sorry to say, but if we don't perform quadruple bypass surgery tonight, you will be dead by the morning.
Patient: Oh my GOD! I'm going to die!?
Doctor: No, ma'am not if we perform the surgery you won't.
Patient: I understand, doctor. If that's the only alternative, then let's do it.
Doctor: I'm glad you feel that way, but before we get started I wondered if I could introduce you to my colleagues on the web. They would really like to broadcast the operation live on line.
Patient: But, doctor, what are you saying??? I'm scared.
Doctor: Don't worry, ma'am, the web canšt hurt you. At least, meet them. Please, I'll bring you a steak and a cheese sandwich...
Patient: Uh...ok, but isn't meat and cheese bad for my heart?
Doctor: Well, yeah...duh. But, we'll clean all that out when we open you up. Might as well live it up while you can. How about a little coffee Häagen Daz with that?...Come on in, gentlemen.
Computer Tech: Helloooooo. My name is Sabir Saijhid. I am the webmaster for American Health Online Open Heart Live Channel. We are very excited to be filming your surgery tonight. Thank you berry berry much.
Patient: Channel??? Webmaster???
CUT TO LATER THAT NIGHT
Sabir Saijhid: I'm berry, berry sorry doctor, but there is a problem with our T1 line. Could we please delay the operation for an hour or so?
Doctor: But if I don't start now, she might not make it.
Sabir Saijhid: Doctor, do I have to remind you that Microsoft has invested millions of dollars in your hospital open heart program?
Doctor: Ho, ho, ho...Sabir, buddy...I was just kdding! Sure, take your time.
There it is. Do you think this stuff doesn't actually happen? Is that what you think? Do you think that just because we're in the nuclear winter of the dot-com era we all won't all fall prey to the back-stabbing schemes of our young Hindu entrepreneur friends? Well, think again. And, while you're at it, stop eating so much damn cholesterol. Remember, no one in the world is as obese as us Americans. Gotta go!
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