Flat Out Stupidity

While I don’t want to continually bang the drum of how Europe does things better than the US, I still gotta bring up some items and points from my last trip. One such thing is basic stupidity.
We are a country that seems to constantly enable complete unaccountability for our citizens. It’s as is people are not required to have any responsibility for their actions because that just isn’t how it’s done. Naturally this is in part a big reason for our over zealous use of the lawsuit. But when I see articles about the issue of train-related deaths in the Chronicle, I shake my head in sad wonder. It’s a god damn train. Why do people tangle with it and when they do, why do we make such a commotion when they die?
If someone wants to end their life, let them. If someone tries to cross the tracks when a 450 ton vehicle is coming at them, don’t make a shrine to them. These things take at most 30 seconds to go by. Can you not wait 30 seconds for this thing to go by?
While I was in Europe I saw one mention of a death of the train tracks. The only reason was because they wanted to notify family members (if there were any) of the inccident. They weren’t going to conduct studies and put of barricades to stop it from happening again. They don’t even make their trains safer. You can jump off a train at pretty much any point you want to. It seems as the Euro consensus of thought is that as long as you don’t hinder others, have at it.
Another great example is the coastal highway in Croatia from Split to Dubrovnik. That thing makes Highway 1 in California look like Interstate 5. It is sketchy. There are little shrines to people who have died along it. Are they putting up systems to stop people from passing? Are they installing warning signs that there is a sheer drop off on one side of it? No, of course not. If people can’t understand something so basic, let ’em plummet. Of course, they are building a newer, straighter stretch a few kilometers inland, but that has much more to do with getting tourists down the coast faster to make money easier. In other words, common sense.
I wonder if we’re going to hit some point of saturation in the country and go back to the days of my grandparents when this complete and untter sense of entitlement just goes away. It ain’t helping us at all and while I blame the hippies for getting the ball rolling on this whole thing, we’ve certainly done nothing to stop it in my generation.