Saturday Quotathon: Reality

>> Saturday, September 5, 2009

I was thinking about that driving while texting video, which was apparently put together by a little police department in Wales, because I read this editorial - and because the video really grabbed my attention. Now, first, now that I realize that a police department put this together (along with 26 other minutes of film) for $20K, I'm even more impressed, but I'm disgusted in many ways with some of the reactions to it, at least on this side of the pond.

According to this editorial, many are dismayed at the graphic nature and think kids won't be impressed by that. They suggest humor as a way to keep kids from texting. Yeah, good luck with that. Actually, to be honest, I'm impressed because this film emphasizes what is often lost in many driving videos - you're not just putting yourself at risk. The texting/driving girl is injured and clearly traumatized, but you see the devastation she caused. Her friends in her car are dead or badly injured (one is clearly dead). There are parents that may be dead with a little girl screaming for them in the back seat in another car. There's a baby who will never wake up.

Young people have a tendency to think they're immortal. In my opinion, this video is effective because it reminds us that our own immortality isn't all we have to worry about. And there are some things any reasonable person doesn't want to live with. If a kid doesn't care about anybody, it won't affect them. But it made an impression on my daughter. I think it's brilliant.

On that note, I'm going for quotes in line with what I saw in that video and how I felt about it. The first one I found is ironic.

As a teenager you are in the last stage of life when you will be happy to hear the phone is for you.
--Fran Lebowitz

A tree never hits an automobile except in self-defense.
--Joe Moore

Reality is all that stuff that doesn't care if you believe in it or not.
--Solomon Short

Everyone is entitled to an informed opinion.
-- Harlan Ellison

The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
--Albert Einstein

Facts do not cease to exist just because they are ignored.
-Aldous Huxley

Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.
–James Baldwin

Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end; there it is.
-Winston Churchill

It is a mistake always to contemplate the good and ignore the evil, because by making people neglectful it lets in disaster. There is a dangerous optimism of ignorance and indifference.
-Helen Keller

What if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today.
-From Groundhog Day

I'm listening. [Elizabeth holds a gun to his face] I'm listening intently.
-Lord Becket from Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest

Self-realization. I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, when he said, "I drank what?"
-Chris Knight from Real Genius

Some forms of reality are so horrible we refuse to face them, unless we are trapped into it by comedy. To label any subject unsuitable for comedy is to admit defeat.
-Peter Sellers [apparently, Peter Sellers did not agree with me]

Before you do anything, think. If you do something to try and impress someone, to be loved, accepted or even to get someone's attention, stop and think. So many people are busy trying to create an image, they die in the process.
-Selma Hayak

Seek counsel of him who makes you weep, and not of him who makes you laugh.
-Arabic Proverb

Half-truth is more dangerous than falsehood.
-Bengali Proverb

In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps, for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they might have been.
- William Hazlitt
That'll do. Interesting that I always have more pertinent quotes than I think I do.


  • doctor Faustroll

    Yeah, but man is the only animal that thinks texting is a good idea to begin with. When I was a teenager I was programmed to die for my country, and it didn't work.

    I never thought I was immortal. I was looking to die to avoid dying for my country, which, after all, is not all that intelligent and very proud of it.

    Today, I know I am immortal although I don't text. In fact, now that I am older than most of the teachers I had to put up with I routinely travel the country pissing on their graves.

    My position remains simple: anything produced by anyone designed to make a particular behavior punishable by the prison-industrial complex is going to get a slow urine stream from me.

    Kids are already stupid enough without having some new taboo to worry about. The impact of adverts like these is to inspire kids to ignore legitimate warnings about legitimate dangers.

    Sorry. I think your obsession in this case is purely horse exhaust.

  • Stephanie B

    Doctor Faustroll, you are entitled to think whatever you choose. I might disagree that it's an obsession (though, of course, one is rarely objective when looking at oneself), but you can see things as you choose.

  • Roy

    Good collection, Steph. I don't have anything to add (since most of my quotes tend to take a humorous look at life). Your points are well made.

  • Aron Sora

    As a teen, humor doesn't work. Columbia had a comedy show to tell us about the health resources on campus, it was funny, but I don't remember the names of the services. I could have saved a e-mail newsletter. Then they had this video to tell us safety tips around, people still aren't locking doors. I remember the tips, but... yea... the stories from the ex-cop where much better in reinforcing safety tips. He had some scary stories (Did you know people will take your cell phone out of your hand if you are talking and walking).

    On a side note, here is the video

  • Jeff King

    i feel it is valid since i have kids that will soon be driving... it should be like a DUI if the cause of an accident is someone texting while driving, it is very dangerous and moronic to do while driving.

    She not obsessed Doc… you are, with trying to fit outside the norm or just thinking normal people should be smarter than that, but they are not…

    She is correct saying you can feel the way you want, but why bash someone for feeling the way they do. That act in and of itself is an obsessive trait…

    P.S Go BYU

  • Patricia Rockwell

    Remember the old "This is drugs; this is your brain on drugs" commercial with the egg in the frying pan. It was supposed to use humor to get teens to stop using drugs. Follow-up studies showed that it was very effective in influencing the parents of teens to the dangers of drugs--but had little influence on teens themselves.

  • Doctor Faustroll

    @ Jeff

    What? I never drive unless fortified. There are too many distractions, such as texting and cell phones and prison-industrial speed traps, to try to drive sober these days.

    Of course I'm obsessed. I'm the founder of the Asshole Anti-Defamation League (AADL) and find texting obnoxious for encouraging kids to defend their basic illiteracy, which I find far more appalling than their occasional deaths on the highway. Roadkill is roadkill.

    I have no wants or needs and decided more than half a century ago not to bring zygotes into this hysterical world. A DUI is a far greater accomplishment than getting a Medal Freedom from the former First Idiot. Unfortunately, I have yet to achieve either of these honors.

    But I'm working on it.

  • Relax Max

    I didn't know Einstein had so many quotes. Of course, I didn't know he invented the light bulb and telephone, either. I always thought he was just a patent clerk. Goes to show.

  • The Mother

    As the parent of teens, I gotta tell you, I don't think ANYTHING influences them much at that age--humor or scare tactics.

    You CAN influence them in the pre-teens. By the time they get to high school (and driving age), they're pretty much cooked. You can lecture them until you're blue in the face, but it doesn't change anything.

    You can't fix what you sowed. Do it right the first time.

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