Yellow Tape

Davig Konig got me fired up.  Thank you, Sir.

Once a week a person is shot, stabbed, raped, dumped and discarded.  This is the basis behind the #1 show on television, CSI.

In the first 45 minutes of the hit series LOST, over 10 people are sucked out of an airplane traveling at 30,000 feet.  Dozens more plummeted to the ocean where they likely died horrible deaths, if they were still conscious.

Every few weeks folks gather around the TV to watch two men beat each other as hard as they can until one is knocked out or gives up.

So why is this compilation of realistic deaths and injuries, some of them real, such a “shocker” or “Warning! Not Safe for Work?”

I have concluded it is because the yellow tape is missing.

When we settle down on the couch for another hour of solving crimes and beating other people, we expect it.  We set time aside.  If, on the off chance, we catch a story on the news, the camera crew has arrived, the scene has been sterilized (sheet over the body, cameras moved back) and the yellow tape is up.

That yellow tape seems to be the “be warned” “not safe for work” disclaimer, since so few people get to see what happens before the tape goes up.

As someone who specializes in crisis management prior to the magic tape’s arrival, watching videos of persons getting into the situations that require my attention still gives me the shivers.  And I know what to expect.

But this series of images should shock us no more than the folks raped and murdered every night on TV should.  The clips should not ruin our day or make us cry any more than the folks sucked out of the airplane on LOST, beaten in a ring or dramatized in some other fashion.

No, I think the reason these images bother so many people is because Hollywood has gone out of their way to make death, murder, rape and a host of other horrible things romantic and exciting.

This clip reel shows death is cold, hard and sudden.  It isn’t always dramatic, or fantastic, but sometimes just happens when you least expect it.

“It’ll never happen to me,” some will say and I’ll believe you, until you’re in my ambulance, or worse, I have to write your chart waiting for the medical examiner.  So many people are used as examples of “I shouldn’t be alive” or “I was one of the lucky ones” which only reinforces the belief in others that they can be the lucky ones too.

These clips should be shown on national television during the shows that show worse things.  In between murders on Law and Order, perhaps a message about the real dangers of not being buckled in.  Those crash test dummies we had a few years back didn’t do a thing as far as I can tell.

Perhaps we need our day “ruined” by images like this from time to time and maybe we’ll start to wear our seat belts, slow down and learn to take precautions to be safe.

Or it will backfire and people will become desensitized to collisions the same way they have to shootings, rape and assault.

I think it’s a chance that needs to be taken.

And don’t try to blame a political philosophy for being too “touchy feely” or PC, like I said, these images are all over TV as it is, have been for decades, I just want some real public service announcements.  Less about staying in school and more about staying in your seat belt could go a long way.

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22 thoughts on “Yellow Tape”

  1. I agree with you that more needs to be done to show people the dangers of bad driving/not wearing a seatbelt/being distracted and these types of PSA’s could go a long way towards that. I wonder though, what about those of us that just don’t react to those advertisements? I, for one, sat through the whole video and wasn’t really bothered at all – my brain tells me that it’s all set up for the camera. You say that desensitization is a chance we have to take, but is there another way to get the message across?

    1. I think we should focus on the idea that “If you die, you’re the lucky one.” Less emphasis on going to jail, people think they won’t get caught.
      Simply telling people what happens out there without the BS about it being cool or neat, but just something you do naturally.
      It is indeed an uphill battle.

      Thanks for reading,
      HM

  2. I think a first step would be making this required viewing in every driver ed classroom — public and private — in the nation. Teens have a sense of invulnerability and immortality, at least until one of their friends isn’t in school some Monday. What would really drive the point home would be forcing would-be drivers to ride along with EMS units until they work a bad crash. Those in rural areas would have a choice: ride with a city unit, or on a medevac. Let the kids experience the blood and stink and screams and agony, and maybe — just maybe — it’ll sink in.

  3. Recently while transporting a sweet elderly lady in the back of our ambulance, she asked me where we were – geo-location-wise. I said, “I don’t know. We’re in a bubble back here – I don’t know what happens in real-life.”

    My partner instantly retorted, “No, this is real-life.”

    So true.

  4. I agree with you that more needs to be done to show people the dangers of bad driving/not wearing a seatbelt/being distracted and these types of PSA's could go a long way towards that. I wonder though, what about those of us that just don't react to those advertisements? I, for one, sat through the whole video and wasn't really bothered at all – my brain tells me that it's all set up for the camera. You say that desensitization is a chance we have to take, but is there another way to get the message across?

  5. I think we should focus on the idea that “If you die, you're the lucky one.” Less emphasis on going to jail, people think they won't get caught.
    Simply telling people what happens out there without the BS about it being cool or neat, but just something you do naturally.
    It is indeed an uphill battle.

    Thanks for reading,
    HM

  6. I think a first step would be making this required viewing in every driver ed classroom — public and private — in the nation. Teens have a sense of invulnerability and immortality, at least until one of their friends isn't in school some Monday. What would really drive the point home would be forcing would-be drivers to ride along with EMS units until they work a bad crash. Those in rural areas would have a choice: ride with a city unit, or on a medevac. Let the kids experience the blood and stink and screams and agony, and maybe — just maybe — it'll sink in.

  7. Dear HM,
    When I was 15, I was run over by a car. It took a year, but I was back on my feet. I AM one of the lucky ones. I also am not the same, in various minor ways that do limit some of my choices. (Never going to run a long footrace, but I can walk anywhere I want. Have nightmares every January, for 35 years now, but they always go away in February.)

    All that said, everything I saw on that video was 100% worse. It does need to be shown, that life sends huge consequences for carelessness. And if it can change the culture of accepting drunk driving, short-cut driving, aggressive B.S. driving, then let’s go ahead and do it.

    I am also offended by many crime scenes on TV, many of them such as rape are a shortcut to the viewer’s understanding of someone as a ‘bad person’ and that’s cr@p. There are other ways to do it that don’t make light of a victim’s pain or seem so automatic. The desensitization I think comes from sloppy hack work–insensitivity in origin. PC hasn’t fixed that. It must come under some other rubric.

    Thanks for a great post.
    Ann T.

  8. Recently while transporting a sweet elderly lady in the back of our ambulance, she asked me where we were – geo-location-wise. I said, “I don't know. We're in a bubble back here – I don't know what happens in real-life.”

    My partner instantly retorted, “No, this is real-life.”

    So true.

  9. Dear HM,
    When I was 15, I was run over by a car. It took a year, but I was back on my feet. I AM one of the lucky ones. I also am not the same, in various minor ways that do limit some of my choices. (Never going to run a long footrace, but I can walk anywhere I want. Have nightmares every January, for 35 years now, but they always go away in February.)

    All that said, everything I saw on that video was 100% worse. It does need to be shown, that life sends huge consequences for carelessness. And if it can change the culture of accepting drunk driving, short-cut driving, aggressive B.S. driving, then let's go ahead and do it.

    I am also offended by many crime scenes on TV, many of them such as rape are a shortcut to the viewer's understanding of someone as a 'bad person' and that's cr@p. There are other ways to do it that don't make light of a victim's pain or seem so automatic. The desensitization I think comes from sloppy hack work–insensitivity in origin. PC hasn't fixed that. It must come under some other rubric.

    Thanks for a great post.
    Ann T.

  10. Should be required in every drive ed class, every time anyone renews their license, and clips as PSA’s the world over. We’ve all been there to pick up the pieces, before the yellow tape, and it’s never a good experience for anyone involved. Did notice that a majority of the clips seemed to be non-USA locations, but that doesn’t mean that we are better drivers here. I disagree with Lady Lizzie that these were all set up for the camera, some perhaps but many were too real to be set up – and I for one was deeply affected.

    1. You are right…a majority of them appear to be surveillance tapes or video from people that just happened to be at the wrong place at the right time. Perhaps I just need to work on de-compartmentalizing – I guess I’m one of those people that got desensitized.

  11. Should be required in every drive ed class, every time anyone renews their license, and clips as PSA's the world over. We've all been there to pick up the pieces, before the yellow tape, and it's never a good experience for anyone involved. Did notice that a majority of the clips seemed to be non-USA locations, but that doesn't mean that we are better drivers here. I disagree with Lady Lizzie that these were all set up for the camera, some perhaps but many were too real to be set up – and I for one was deeply affected.

  12. You are right…a majority of them appear to be surveillance tapes or video from people that just happened to be at the wrong place at the right time. Perhaps I just need to work on de-compartmentalizing – I guess I'm one of those people that got desensitized.

  13. The crash at 6:05 was in the Phoenix/Mesa area in 2008ish. The dark blue car was fleeing the police after a bank robbery and had been being chased for approx 45 min by multiple jurisdictions.

    Apparently, (according to the news) the fleeing criminal was on the phone to his sister? telling her goodbye and at that moment decided death was more preferable to jail. The victim in the white car was just going about his business for the day.

    I’d really like an explanation as to why people who choose to end their life think it’s acceptable to take another life. Disgusting.

    http://www.ktar.com/?nid=6&sid=664449

  14. The crash at 6:05 was in the Phoenix/Mesa area in 2008ish. The dark blue car was fleeing the police after a bank robbery and had been being chased for approx 45 min by multiple jurisdictions.

    Apparently, (according to the news) the fleeing criminal was on the phone to his sister? telling her goodbye and at that moment decided death was more preferable to jail. The victim in the white car was just going about his business for the day.

    I'd really like an explanation as to why people who choose to end their life think it's acceptable to take another life. Disgusting.

    http://www.ktar.com/?nid=6&sid=664449

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