Ok, so...I thought Devin Moore (the "GTA Killer") had lost touch with reality. I have underestimated today's youth.
In a story that's been plastering itself all over cable news (I first saw it on CNN), established magazines (or, rather, People) and at least one blog that's achieved some notoriety (the blog in question being BoingBoing), kids have been dying because they don't realize how their respiratory system works. According to the stories, children have been found dead, killed by strangulation which is being attributed an oxygen-deprivation game called "pass out", "flatliner", "something dreaming", "tingling game" or, inexplicably, "space monkey" in which they very simply cut off oxygen to the brain by self-inflicted strangulation by belt, cord, rope or plastic bag. The goal is to achieve a huffing-like high (which also works by cutting off oxygen to the brain). Evidently, it's typically done with more than one person, and most of these kids are dying because they're doing it alone, without someone to stop them from choking once they pass out. Not that that excuses the practice when more than one person is involved.
I'm baffled, but not really. Mostly, I'm very confused. Because the parents, who understandably are shaken by the tragedy of finding their child dead by hanging in what appears in every way to be a suicide but isn't because, as they explain in almost every case, the children did not expect to die and figured they'd come out of it...should possibly have explained to their kids what happens when someone can't breathe. "It's just a game" they reiterate. "They were just playing a game."
Sure. So has everyone that has ever died playing Russian Roulette. That doesn't make it not stupid. And while most of the kids that they've been focusing on are violin virtuosos and future scientists...it's incredibly dumb. I'm sure the kids are great otherwise, but not expecting to die by performing the same actions that have been used as an execution method for decades is remarkably naïve, to the point that I can't understand that even if parents didn't know about this particular game...they didn't at some point comment on the dangers of putting a bag over your head.
I don't know. The whole thing's infuriatingly dumb.
In other, more Ryan related news:
Up For Grabs, the documentary that follows the journey of the #73 home run ball hit by Barry Bonds in the 2001 season is actually hilarious. It's not the best documentary I've ever seen, and I'd be surprised if it won awards for filmmaking, but it does highlight some of the things that are, perhaps, wrong with the way we view sports anymore. To summarize without giving much away for the two of you that will eventually see this, the ball was hit into a bunch of people, some guy kind of half caught it, but then probably dropped it, and someone else had it at the end. Guy 1 sues for custody of the ball, and the whole thing goes on for about two years. The end result is that the viewer doesn't really care much for either guy one or guy two, guy one goes from being the poor victim to a jackass that's trying to grasp at fame. Two of the better moments that I'm not going to explain:
Guy 1 (Alex Popov): This was never about the money. You guys are the ones that are talking about the money. This was about history.
Reporter: Then why didn't you both just agree to give it to the Hall of Fame without an auction, if it was about history.
Guy 1 and Guy 2 (Patrick Hayashi): ...
Witness 1: He had a ball touching party.
Go see it. Now.