Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Terminal Stupidity

The Darwin Awards
by Wendy Northcutt

There's hardly any point at all in describing this book. Unless you've lived in a small, dark hole without electricity or newspapers for the past decade, you already know about the Darwin Awards. Stupid people do amazingly stupid things (often propelled by alcohol, and/or, according to the book, testosterone), and get dead, thereby removing themselves from the gene pool. The only problem is, they're really not doing a very effective job of it. And they're breeding like rabbits. There's even a case study in the book.

Lots of case stduies. Each chapter starts with a philosophical discussion about the awards, when they should be awarded, and what possible motivating factors may lie behind the deeds which earn this dubious honor. Including a reader poll on who in your family (including yourself) is most likely to garner the prize. Then we move through Honorable Mentions, Award winners, Urban Myths, and Personal Accounts in the category headlined by that chapter.

I read it over a period of months, as advised by the first chapter, usually while eating dinner or during commercial breaks. It's hard to take more than a few at a time without running out into the street, handing copies out to passers-by, and telling them it's a how-to manual. If they don't deserve the award, they'll see through the ruse.

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posted by reyn at 6:43 AM


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