Friday, 4 July 2014

From Golden Gate to Pearly Gate…Not Any More!

I don't know why I found this both amusing and disturbing, but I did.

Article on Golden Gate Bridge suicides from the BBC

It seems that the authorities in San Francisco have approved a $76 million to put a safety net underneath the Golden Gate Bridge to deter people from using it to commit suicide. Apparently, 1400 people have used the bridge as their chosen means of shuffling off this mortal coil, with last year holding the dubious 'record' of 46 suicides.

Does anyone else see two problems in this plan.
Firstly, what is the real aim here? Is it to prevent people committing suicide...or is it (as I suspect) to prevent people using the bridge to commit suicide? It's a subtle but important difference because, if it's the latter, then you could cynically argue that this is really just about protecting the bridge's iconic image. And besides, all that's probably going to happen is that there are going to be more people throwing themselves off skyscrapers or in front of trains…unless, of course, the authorities let it be known that they'd prefer people to commit suicide at home and not cause such a fuss.
Secondly, if there's a big net to catch you, how many people visiting San Francisco are going to pass up the adrenaline rush of throwing yourself off a suspension bridge? I can just see all those videos on YouTube...