Why Idiocy No Longer Makes My “Most Shocking” List

top 20 most shockingOn the weekends, I have stumbled upon a series on the Tru TV Network called Top 20 Most Shocking. It’s a reality show compilation of video clips with a different theme each week.

Obviously with a show with a title like that, you are not going to see the brightest human behavior. As a matter of fact, it’s usually the moronic, bottom-of-the-barrel behavior they spotlight: drunks, brawls, sports fans out of control and the like.

This past week I saw a Top 20 Most Shocking Episode devoted to thrill-seeking adrenaline junkies. It featured all sorts of morons participating in extremely reckless behavior:

  • Some teenagers were trying to defy gravity with very dangerous skateboard jumps.
  • Others were trying to jump over a moving car.
  • Another idiot knocked himself out in a parachute jump over a seaside cliff that required an air-and-water rescue.
  • And one moron teenager tried jumping onto a backyard card table from the roof of his house.

Each of these examples of stupidity end up with a trip to the emergency room. And many of them involve cars, motorcycles or ATV’s, so insurance companies no doubt had to get involved.

Which leads me to ask the question: where are the parents?

Yep, that's going to leave a mark!

Yep, that’s going to leave a mark!

If you have children who have become thrill-seeking, adrenaline junkies, your responsibilities as a parent should be more than just making sure your health insurance premiums are paid up.

As a matter of fact, that’s a big part of the problem: insurance gives these knucklehead parents and kids a false sense of security. Break your leg? Lose your front teeth? Wreck the car or ATV? No problem…we’ve got insurance.

Over time, the spirit of health insurance (and auto insurance) has been corrupted by people who think it gives them permission to be deliberately stupid, careless and reckless.

I have no problem with people who want to risk their safety, health or lives with dangerous behavior. If you’re a thrill seeker and want to try to go over Niagra Falls in a barrel, go for it. But you should be expect to be prosecuted for criminal trespass and pay ALL the costs of the rescue.

The same applies to knucklehead parents and kids. If you want to be a daredevil and engage in physically dangerous activities, your health insurance, homeowners insurance and auto insurance should be substantially higher. There needs to be some personal responsibility in all this.

It is similar to what many companies and organizations are doing with employees who smoke. Statistics have proven out that smokers incur significantly higher healthcare costs for their habit. When companies provide the option of paying for a smoke cessation program or the employee will have to pay a higher health insurance premium, that is very reasonable.

Everyone blames insurance companies for rising rates and premiums. But it requires all of us- as individuals and a society- to take a long hard look in the mirror.

We can no longer avoid the fact that we have forgotten that we need to be accountable and responsible to a reasonable degree for our behavior. Accidents happen, but I don’t think it is fair for people to deliberately seek out risky activities to satisfy their thrill-seeking addiction and expect the rest of us to foot their bill.

What do you think?

9 Responses to Why Idiocy No Longer Makes My “Most Shocking” List

  1. Patty C. November 9, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

    Agreed. It’s the simple truth and a good look at reality.

  2. Marisol November 10, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

    Very good point! I love your point of views and your common sense. I started following you after you wrote that article on Philly.com “baby mommas should grow up”

    • Dom November 11, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed that column. I got LOTS of feedback. Hope you’ll tune into the radio show.

  3. Jim R. November 10, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

    Ok. So theoretically, everyone will now be insured and the authorities already do charge for rescue and police often give citations when trespassing is involved. What do you propose should be changed? If you want the parents of the reckless to be charged more for insurance, who will determine who must pay and then who will enforce it? You aren’t proposing another government organization are you? Mr. Conservative?

    • Dom November 11, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

      I am not proposing anything, Rob. But everyone talks about rising insurance costs (particularly healthcare, auto and homeowners), and a lot of the costs can be attributed to people who are “excessive” users. I do not believe that there needs to be new guidelines and the like, but I think consumers should recognize that insurance is a two-way covenant between themselves and the insurance company.

      They underwrite policies to protect and insure the policyholder, but it also should include some degree of personal responsibility. Go bungee-jumping if you want, but why shouldn’t rates be closely tied to activities, behaviors or other factors. Same thing with homeowners insurance…if you have a beachside vacation home that’s prone to flooding and other natural disasters, should every homeowners insurance policy be expected to pay higher rates because a small percentage of the policies are located in high-risk areas?

      We do not need new restrictions or regulations. But I do think we need to look at this issue from ALL angles, not just the one that focuses on the insurance companies raising their rates. The insurance industry is not a charity, it’s a business.

      • Jim R. November 12, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

        We agree that idiotic people cost us all more. My point is that in the case of the people you are referring to, the insurance companies have no way of charging (in advance) for that. The problem is behavioral which begins in childhood. Face it, you may constantly rant and rave about the exceptionalism and greatness of America but America is in decline. It has been for a few decades now and there is no sign it will reverse. And while you will always blame it on liberalism, it is far more complex than that.

  4. Jim T. November 12, 2013 at 1:38 am #

    I watched this show once or twice – a guy roller blading off a roof, another standing on a chair & deliberately sticking his head into a ceiling fan rotating at high speed (not once, but twice!). You can guess how all these stunts end. What were Dean Wormer’s famous words in Animal House, “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son”?; clearly some latter-day Delta House wannabes’. Sure, many of us did one or two things when we were kids that were stupid, dangerous, etc. that we weren’t – or aren’t now – proud of (and I’m not sure some of these guys (and gals) in these video are ‘kids’). But why do I recall they were mild in comparison to a lot of this stuff? (I remember three of us took the elevator to the 3rd floor in high school – a big no-no – and got three days of JUG out of it (Justice Under God – the Catholic school equivalent of detention.) And heaven forbid our parents found out! Nowadays, these folks are proud to see themselves on YouTube or TV doing these stunts; good chance mom and dad are sitting there on the couch laughing right along with them when it comes on TV? As long as they get their Andy Warhol-inspired 15 minutes (in these cases, more like 15 seconds) of ‘fame’, I guess…

    • Dom November 12, 2013 at 1:47 am #

      Sure, Jim. Fifteen minutes of fame…plus a fifteen-thousand dollar emergency bill. All of that stupidity adds up…and the rest of us end up paying for it.

  5. Larry cohen November 12, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    My brother -in-law was in the Marines and told me he only saw
    a medic in those years and they knew when to refer
    you to a doctor or not.
    That is a very proven system that might
    work and not be a big govt program.

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