Tuesday, January 3, 2012
People We Need To Kill
Happy New Year.
I'd like to start 2012 with something New, a new themed series -- People We Need To Kill.
If you're a regular reader of roundseventeen you know we have had recurring themed series before. There's the very popular Things Jews Don't Do. There was Famous Directors/Celebrities I Have Worked With. And there was Random Letter Week. Those were short lived themes, populated with just enough entries to merit the word 'series'.
If however you know me and my boundless indignation with the cretins who live in my immediate vicinity (Earth) and share the oxygen I breathe, you know this column will be followed with many, perhaps even more volatile, calls for bloodlust.
First up on my hit list are People Who Text and Drive.
I don't even have the words to describe the feeling I get when I pass a young mom tooling along in her
RX 350 on the Northbound 405 while pinging her yoga classmate about the latest unitard sale at Nordstroms. I only know I have to fight the urge to do a PIT Maneuver and send her and her worthless brood over the railing and into the oncoming traffic of Olympic Blvd.
Weeks ago this anger took on a physical manifestation in the form of a window sticker placed on either side of my car.
As you might expect, the sign produced many howls of laughter from fellow freeway drivers. However it did earn me the scorn of my wife and daughters who refused to ride in the car. It was an admittedly immature gesture. So today I am taking a more rational, more reasoned approach by calling for the immediate death of those who text and drive.
Keep in mind this is no Swiftian exercise in hyperbole, I am dead serious about taking this very important herd-thinning plan of action. In fact I think it should be taken up by the highest powers in the land. Obama doesn't need to swing to the left to recapture his base. He doesn't have to swing to the right to entice new voters. He needs to start swinging the axe and ridding us of these brain-deficient, over-communicators.
Think about this. People who text are anthropological regressionists. They set humankind backward. In the late 1800's, people communicated via the telegraph. They hunted and pecked out their messages and counted on the technology of the day to transfer that message to the recipient. Years later, a Scotsman (thank you very much) invented a telephone so that communication could be conducted with nothing more than a human voice. And now these Cro-Magnons are using that same telephone -- pardon me, a smartphone -- as nothing more than a glorified digital telegraph. And they're doing it while traveling
70 mph in a horseless carriage.
Now let's look at the math. After all, if you're going to be calling for the death of a population segment, your argument should be more than anecdotal.
Last year, there were 32,788 traffic fatalities in the United States. A University of North Texas study concludes that 16% of those fatalities were caused by distracted texters. That's 5246 Americans. And that's just for last year. If you were to add up the numbers for the last ten years, you'd see that people who text and drive are responsible for more American deaths than the Islamic Extremists who flew the planes into the WTC and the Pentagon plus all the soldiers who gave their lives in service to our country in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Pretty sobering isn't it?
Maybe it's too hasty to start assembling firing squads. Maybe a more-measured, more-Saudi Arabian approach is the answer. Maybe we start by lopping off the index fingers of first time offenders.
But I'm not confident forced amputation is the cure for American stupidity. Besides, now I have a teenage daughter who will be sharing the road with these traffic terrorists.
It's time for a pre-emptive strike on people who text and drive.
We need to kill them before they kill us.