Tuesday, November 01, 2005

What Do You Mean, "Aunt Jemima?"

When I ask my wife advice and she doesn't want to give it, she often says, "Aintcha Mama." I invariably think she's saying "Aunt Jemima," then realize she means "I ain't yo mama." By which she means shut up and make your own decisions.

Aintcha Mama is exactly what I think when I read a story like this one, another in an unending series of San Francisco newspaper and magazine articles that decry the lack of a barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge that would make it harder to commit suicide by jumping from it. First of all, I defend anyone's right to kill themselves, and I'm not going to participate in efforts to stop people from doing so. There's not enough time or resources in the world to stop suicide, and anyone with spare time and/or resources should spend them in better ways.

Second, you've got to be one pathetic excuse for a suicidal maniac to be put off by a fence or other barrier. You don't even have to leave the house to kill yourself, and if you're willing to come all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge to end it all, have at it. You deserve a nice view for your efforts.

One of the proposed barrier's advocates relates this anecdote at the end of the story:

"I had someone come up to me as I was walking to some hearings and he said, 'They should put up a diving board so those people can jump off it.' I said, 'Now say to me, "They should put up a diving board so my son could jump off of it."'"

Literally the worst argument ever. If you feel differently about a social issue because it has affected you personally than you would if you hadn't, you're not a serious person and don't deserve a vote on said issue. The last thing we need in this world is for people to make decisions based on painful personal experiences, or the possibility thereof. Drunk driving is a bad thing whether or not someone I know has been killed by a drunk driver, and if it takes you having a relative die at the hands of a drunk driver to make that clear, you're a dangerous idiot. Don't breed.

Link from Rogers Cadenhead's Cruel.com.

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