Speaking as an individual who has only resided on the planet Earth for the past eighteen years, I find it deeply disturbing when people who have been breathing longer than I have can’t grasp the fundamentals of human nature.

Judith Miller’s article about the death of a Wal-Mart worker on Black Friday is one such example of not only missing the point, but hijacking the nearest airplane to sail straight over it. Backstory: Dude gets trampled under a crowd of people rushing to buy stuff. Miller’s opinion: We’re not focusing on this enough and just writing it off. My opinion: And what are we supposed to do about it? Cancel Christmas?

In a situation where there’s no one to blame, media outlets have turned to blaming capitalism and neurotransmitters for the tragedy. Miller takes it one step further by placing the blame on the entire fucking human race, effectively spreading the guilt so thin that everyone on Earth now has a severe case of the Nobody Cares.

Yes, we’re all terrible people because we want to buy stuff. We know. Christmas is a time of stress, a time of people getting shot and playing Musical Parking Spots. We are aware. Did you really not see this coming, Judith Miller?

…[T]he shoppers who pushed him to the ground to save about $100 on a $798 Samsung 50-inch Plasma HDTV, or $65 dollars on a $134.84 Samsung 10.2 digital camera, or $3 for “The Incredible Hulk” DVD, which normally retails at $9, deserve public opprobrium at very least, if not jail. They continued shopping as paramedics pounded on Mr. Damour’s chest, trying to revive him. They complained when the store was closed so that his body could be removed. And they flocked to the store at 1 p.m. when the branch re-opened for business, obscenely, as if nothing had happened.

Human beings are busy people. We’re not going to stop shopping just because somebody happened to die in the store we happened to be shopping in. The worker’s death was a stupid, tragic, unfortunate accident, but still an accident. Not any one person’s fault. People don’t deserve jail time for sticking to their schedules.

Besides, this has already been observed in psychology as the Bystander Effect. It’s not exactly news, which is sort of what I’d expect to see in a news article. It’s a part of human nature and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it, except perhaps take it up with God, who will be sure to add that to his Holy Suggestion Box. You can’t punish people for being people.

Too often, we forget about the “nature” part of “human nature”. Nature is stupid. All kinds of shit happens with no one to blame. Hurricanes and tornadoes and tusnamis devistate cities and kill hundreds, for no reason. Human beings are a product of nature and, occassionally, large groups of them will do stupid things for no reason. It’s the way we are, the way life is. Jdimytai Damour’s death was tragic, yes, but I’m not going to get outraged about it. There are too many other people dying, right this minute, for no reason at all either. This one just happened to have a brand name attached to the incident, and it seems even Judith Miller cannot escape the allure of something just because it’s in Wal-Mart.

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