First off, let me apologize for falling off the grid since the beginning of October – it’s been crazy around here, and I’ve been trying to deal with a lot.
That being said, I wanted to take a moment to express my wonderment about a morning talk show piece that I saw.
The hosts had a few guests, and the tagline at the bottom of the screen read “CHOKING GAME”. My interest was had, and I began to listen on how parents are finding their kids unconscious, and in a few cases, lifeless, after indulging in a little fun game that we all know as asphyxiation.
As some of you may know, our bodies are fueled in part by oxygen. When oxygen is kept from the body, a state called hypoxia begins to affect certain tissues and organs, and mainly, the brain.
And that, which I thought would go without saying, can also cause death. Yes, death.
That having been said, there were some kids and parents who are involved with asphyxiation in some form or another. Some have lost children who have essentially hung themselves, not realizing the dangers. Others were kids who have tried this and enjoyed it, yet no longer attempt this.
One of the reasons a kid said they did it was “It’s not drugs or alcohol, it’s nothing illegal…”
So the fact that people are using asphyxiation as a pastime is nothing really new. And that’s not what bothers be.
One of the hosts actually asked the kid: “Should the dangers of the Choking Game be taught in school? How do we prevent this from happening?”
That bothered me to no end.
I believe Chris Rock said it best: “People want to get high.” It’s true. People have always wanted to get some sort of feeling of a rush, get the blood pounding, adrenaline pumping, or conversely, the chill-out, relaxed feeling.
So yeah, people want to alter their state of existence. This is nothing new. The methods of which we have done so in the past seem to be no longer acceptable in this day and age. Back in the days of Prohibition, people wanted the fire-water, and they got it, any way they could. Then throughout the Sixties, there were more drugs floating around everywhere.
Both of these items have been legally capped – either by age restrictions or legal ruling. Beyond that, from the moment they are old enough to hear, the evils and dangers of these items, and are encouraged to stay as far away from them as possible.
Is that bad? I don’t know. Maybe.
But asking a kid whether he thought strangling himself would be dangerous, that’s just foolish.
Kids that want to get a rush will do whatever they think they can do to get that. Hell, I jumped out of a plane for a rush! That’s dangerous, too. But the danger is much more calculated and different.
Schools, in my opinion, are to teach you knowledge about things you may need to know later on in life. Some of them may be superfluous, others may not be taught well enough, but that’s another topic completely.
Parents are responsible to guide their child to a life path that they believe is the best for their child, no matter what it is. And a parent, that hasn’t taught a kid that putting your hand into the blender is a bad idea, is probably the same parent whose kid doesn’t realize that choking yourself is a fun way to pass the time.
I am not blameless in the life-threatening pursuits. But I know that whatever I do, and the outcome of it, is a choice I have made, not some game gone wrong.
Bottom line – kids everywhere want to have fun. Find a good alternative that they can have that kind of fun, like a vertical wind tunnel simulator, or going on roller coasters, or whatever. Don’t blame the schools for not teaching that choking yourself can get you killed. Running into traffic can get you killed, too. Who taught you to not do that?
And if all else fails, consider this: Natural selection? Could be.