Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Life Lessons I Learned From Science Fiction (Day Two)

Today's Lesson: Science can make people better, but it can't make better people.


Whenever technology goes wrong, it's bigger and better news than when things work as advertised. Case in point: the recent misapplication of medical technology that lead to the death of professional wrestler Chris Benoit and his wife and son.

Like apparently everyone else in Chris Benoit's line of work, Mr. Benoit was enhanced with prescription steroids and painkillers. For the most part, this regimen seems to work well for professional wrestlers. They make money, people are entertained, and everyone's happy. That is, unless you end up like Chris, or Ravishing Rick Rude, or Louie Spicolli, or Brian Pillman, or Rick "The Renegade" Williams, or "Mr. Perfect" Curt Henning, or Rodney "Yokozuna" Anoa'i, or Davey Boy Smith, or Road Warrior Hawk, or Big Boss Man Ray Traylor... all of whom died young (directly or indirectly) because of steroids.

Besides, maybe it wasn't really "roid rage" that made Chris Benoit go crazy and strangle his wife and asphyxiate his son. According to the World Wrestling Enterprises press release, "physical findings announced by authorities indicate deliberation, not rage. The wife's feet and hands were bound and she was asphyxiated, not beaten to death. By the account of the authorities, there were substantial periods of time between the death of the wife and the death of the son, again suggesting deliberate thought, not rage. The presence of a Bible by each is also not an act of rage."

Yes. The presence of Bibles make his actions seem so much less crazy.

Undoubtedly you'll be hearing more in the near future about the pressure professional wrestlers are under to take steroids. And undoubtedly there will be inquiries, public hand-wringing, and a lot of tsuris until, ultimately... nothing changes. Not even the hypocrisy of professional wrestlers shouting at kids to "stay off drugs and be a winner... like ME!"

Any technology than be used can be misused. How long did it take the first of our distant ancestors to learn that making fire isn't just good for cooking and staying warm, but is also great for burning the neighbor's hut down?

But of course, there will be voices that blame "the drugs." But I don't want to get ahead of myself here: drugs are tomorrow's Life Lesson. Bring lots of water... I'll have a Red Pill for you to swallow.

No comments: