News Grab Bag: A Masterpiece, McDonalds’ and the Murderer’s Mum

I got your back, Ron!

Now, I’m not really a fan of McDonalds, in fact, when I’m sober you can’t get me under the Golden Arches (unless they bring back the Mars milkshakes, because those things were delicious) and I’m not a fan of how they operate, but in a recent news story I have to jump to the defence of Maccy D’s.

ssmm

Over in the US a mother has brought a $50,ooo suit against the company because of an incident that happened when her kids were playing at McDonalds.

While her 3 and 2 year old sons were playing they found a used condom. Which they then ate.

Yeah, pretty gross.

Now, here’s the thing- could McDonalds have had a cleaner play area? Of course, but we don’t know, that condom could have literally just been dumped there.

But here’s my main issue- toddlers put everything they find in their mouths, it’s a fact. Looking after toddlers is a full time job, you gotta keep and eye on them, or at the very least do a quick check of the surrounding environment to ensure there’s nothing they can scarf down. So, at the end of the day, the responsibility to look after kids lies with the parents. The rest of the world can and should help out, but bottom line, it’s on you, mums and dads.

The fact that this mother is suing them is, to me, another example of our lawsuit-happy culture and people’s inability to take responsibility for their lives and mistakes. Like I said, both the kids are apparently fine, and at 3 and 2 will have no memory of the event. The best course of action would’ve been to tell the staff at the McDonalds in question and then both sides could learn from the incident- McD’s would maybe check their play area more often and the mother would remember to keep a better eye on her kids.

Maybe they could’ve thrown her a few free chicken nuggets or something, but that’s as far as it goes.

50k is a ridiculous amount to ask for, I mean, that’s more than a lot of people make in a year of working, and what’s it going to pay for? I mean, the kids aren’t losing out on wages or anything, there’s no counselling, I think setting the amount that high is clearly the woman’s lawyers trying to angle for a big settlement, well for me, I’d like to see McDonalds’ fight the case, and ideally win. It would be a big reminder of personal responsibility and might even turn the tide a bit and discourage similar cases in the future.

Story here.

Chris Masters- Mediocre wrestler, world class son

When I got back into watching wrestling at uni I viewed it differently as when I was a kid. As a kid, I totally bought into the storylines and the characters, Hulk Hogan, Macho Man and Sting were the good guys, Jake the Snake, Ric Flair and Yokozuna were the baddies. But as an adult you kinda see it differently, you can see how it’s constructed and you know it’s all pre-planned.

My view of the wrestlers changed too, you could work out which ones were technically proficient and respect those who were skilled at playing the heels or bad guys. Which brings us to Chris Masters, who was styled as the Masterpiece.

ng masters

Masters looked the part of a WWE Superstar, but didn’t really click with me- technically he was pretty bad and he wasn’t charismatic enough to get over as a face or work as a heel (the best heels are the ones you love to hate, if you just dislike them it doesn’t work). It didn’t help that to cover his lack of skill in the ring they essentially had him run a gimmick of having an unbreakable hold, the Masterlock and he’d essentially challenge someone every week to see if they could break out, the idea being that his smug persona and torture of audience members (plants, of course) and lower level fan favourites would generate some heat with the fans.

It didn’t quite work and Masters never really got over properly with the fans, and I definitely wasn’t keen on the guy.

However, I’ve got new respect for the guy after reading a recent story about his out of the ring escapades. Masters, real name Chris Mordetzky, was called by his uncle to get to his mum’s house because a neighbour was kicking off. The neighbour, for reasons never explained, barricaded himself and Masters’ mother inside Mrs Mordetzky’s place and threatened to burn it down. When the cops showed up he set it alight.

It’s at this point that Masters really kicks into hero mode, and in a quite impressive display tore a tree out of the ground and smashed his way into the house to rescue his mum. Now, that, is pretty damn impressive and kudos to the guy for his heroism and guts, and here’s hoping his Mum and her house are both okay.

Read more here.

Some mothers do have ’em

In 2011, a right wing fanatic killed 77 people in Norway, the country’s worst massacre in the post-war era. It was a sickening attack and Anders Behring Breivik the man responsible was sentenced to 21 years for his crimes, seeming unrepentant at his trial.

Since his imprisonment Behring Breivik’s mother has passed away and he has asked if he be allowed to attend the funereal.

I’m not sure why this is news, as it seems a natural response from anyone, and also, in my opinion he should be allowed to go.

A few years back a serial killer here in the UK (I forget which one) was allowed to go to his father’s funeral and some of the press here kicked up a bit of a fuss, which I though was stupid.

Here’s the thing, I get why some might be against it. The families of the victims in particular might be opposed to letting him out even for just one day, and that’s understandable, but the legal system and society at large should have no problems with it. He will be taken under escort and returned to prison afterwards, and then go on with his sentence.

Allowing him to attend the funeral is the compassionate thing to do, and despite the awful things he has done, Behring Breivik is still a human being and should be shown compassion as he mourns the death of his mother. As Dostoyevsky stated:

“The real measure of civilization in any society can be found in the way it treats it’s most unfortunate citizens, its prisoners”

Treating prisoners with respect and decency is important, the more you abuse them the less chance there is of rehabilitation, and surely that’s the point of imprisonment. It’s not just about taking people out of circulation. If it is then it’s a massive waste of time and they’ll emerge from prison even more likely to commit crimes (because there’ll be less chance of finding employment and they’ll have spent years surrounded by other criminals who could teach them more stuff and allow them to make shady connections, I believe this is called the Arkham Principle).

If you just want to remove criminals from society then you may as well just execute anyone who commits a crime, Judge Dredd style.

I think part of why people don’t like stories like this is that it drives home that people like Behring Breivik are human underneath it all. It’s easier and more comfortable to turn them into monsters and dehumanize them, and having to remember that even a maniac like Behring Breivik is just a dude who loved his mum makes us have to see him as being another person.

But we shouldn’t dehumanize serial killers and the like because it’s the easy, cowardly way out of it. Society needs to face up that they are people because that’s the only way we can work towards figuring out why people do things like this and move towards a situation where we can minimize these incidents.

Non-News roundup

Buzzfeed recently did a gallery where they collected a series of underwhelming news stories. It’s rather fun and amusing and here are 3 of my favourites:

ng nonnews1

ng nonnews2

ng nonnews3

You can see the list in it’s entirety here.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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