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A quick "I hate people" post

Everest climber abandoned near summit

Synopsis: A man, climbing Mount Everest alone (sidenote: Not smart, dude. It's Mount frickin' Everest, for Pete's sake) was left about 1000 feet shy of the summit and died there, while other climbers passed him by without stopping. One group did stop, but by then it was too late. They gave him oxygen and radioed for help, and were (as far as I can tell) the only ones to do so, though he'd been seen by several other groups while still in a condition that would have allowed him to survive. The article I linked to is Sir Edmund Hillary ripping the climbers a new one. He's entitled.

Lewis the cat (linked from scarlettina

Synopsis: A cat is under house arrest, pending a trial that will determine whether or not he will be euthanized. He was an outdoor cat who reportedly attacked a few people (the owner claims that he came home covered in eggs before, and drenched from a hose, so it doesn't sound like it was the most friendly of neighborhoods), and one of the 'victims' called the police, got the owner arrested for reckless endangerment (which is what the owners of dogs who bite are charged with, I think?), and will not consent to allow the owner to be put on probation unless the cat's put to sleep. The owner's taking it to trial.

And yes, I can see both sides to both of them. With regards to the cat, well, that's why we keep Ramses inside and I made sure I was home when the apartment managers wanted to do a walk-through yesterday. And with regards to the Everest climbers, I get that you can only carry so much by way of supplies and oxygen with you for this climb, and that he was found really close to the top, where things are getting scarce for the crews. But he was seen several times working with his oxygen equipment, and no one stopped to offer him help, or possibly radio for help, letting someone know that there was a guy stranded near the top with no oxygen.

Remind me again why people are good?



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May. 26th, 2006 12:33 am (UTC)
When I was fourteen, my gym class got this zany new idea, that they'd do trust and rope exercises in order to build teamwork and school spirit and general bonhomie. They set up some platforms and tightropes and things out by the football field and set us to, in a program that lasted all of a week and, to my knowledge, was never used again.
One of the exercises involved a platform affixed about four or five feet up a pine tree--it seemed much higher, at the time, since I was barely that tall my ownself. Nine to eleven people would go up to it, one would climb up and face the tree, and the others would line up in two rows with their arms out, facing each other. The climber would fall backwards and be caught collectively by the group, so everyone only bore a little strain and we could all feel good about each other.
I was second-to-last to go; we'd been catching everyone in turn. I climbed up, turned, and shut my eyes for a second, nervous. I heard the encouraging shouts of my classmates, and I let myself tip backwards, only to see them all, in my peripheral vision, take a step back in unison, out of my way. Just as I was about to hit the ground, one of them jumped back in, and I felt her hands hit my back and fail to catch me.
I hit hard, and I got to see them all framing the sky, making excuses to the teacher, who'd turned her back, that all of them stepping back together and letting me fall was an accident, they hadn't known, some of them laughing. And I thought, well, there are two lessons I can learn here, from this trust exercise that's supposed to endear humanity to me.
I could learn that people are assholes who'll hurt someone different or weaker or totally arbitrary for a malicious laugh, and that they'll all gang up to do it. Or I could focus on that one pair of hands and learn that even when everyone agrees to do the wrong thing, or fails to do the right thing all together, someone--even someone who knows they aren't up to the task--someone out of all those people will still try to do the right thing.
I decided the latter lesson was much more helpful.

I know it's cold comfort, but someone tried to help the guy. There's always someone who tries. We just have to get those someones' heads together somehow, one of these days.
May. 28th, 2006 10:50 am (UTC)
Chocolate and daffydills!
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