The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by Jim Malone.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

  • A man threatened to jump from the Key Bridge last night, but thankfully he was talked down. (Before you complain about traffic, maybe stop and remember that a life was nearly lost. Maybe traffic is not really that important in the whole scope of things?)
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7 Comments

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7 responses to “The Morning Metropolitan

  1. No single individual should be able to shut down an entire thoroughfare. Forget traffic; this would be an easy way to gridlock a city for a terrorist act. Same thing goes for metro… you can shut down an entire metro line by pretending to be sick. Not good.

  2. imgoph

    so much for empathy…

  3. RNM

    Empathy…really? There was a man at the other side of the Key Bridge at the same time this started (he is there most days) with a sign begging for change at the ramp where 66 comes up into Rosslyn to turn right onto the Key Bridge. 99% of people drive past him or avoid eye contact not wanting to give up a dollar. Yet, when a person climbs to the other side of a fence and costs countless thousands in lost commerce, productivity, parents rushing to pick up kids from day care, etc…we are suddenly supposed to have empathy?

    We drop bombs on innocent people around the globe, we lock up our fellow citizens on specious laws (oh and lets not forget this guy became a criminal by climbing that fence), we are a land of have and have nots where people die on the street in the cold but we are now supposed to value human life above all else? Hypocrites are we all. Is his life worth a dime, sure…is it worth a trillion dollar coin, probably not. So, the truth is the value of his life to society as a whole is somewhere between those numbers…now we have established the type of person we are and are just haggling over price.

  4. Old Georgetowner

    RNM –

    So, would we all be better off this morning if he’d simply jumped? If he’d dispensed with the drama and the lollygagging and shown a decent regard for the privileges of commerce?

    (BG — Do you get spectral visitations on Christmas Eve?)

  5. RNM

    Would we be better off? How about would we be worse off? If a tree falls in the forest…

    Folks get really sanctimonious about human life in dramatic situations. We debate the horrific rape of a woman in India, while every day in DC there is probably one or more rapes. We discuss the horrific events around the shootings in CT last month, yet since then 7 times as many people have died by a gun as died that day. We talk about the life of a man on a bridge, but walk past that same man sitting on the street. We are moved by the dramatic but not the daily.

    Would we be worse off if he jumped? Society as a whole, no. In the same way we as a society are not worse off when countless suicides take place daily in the country/world. Would we be better off? That gets into saying the life of a human is worth more than the time, inconvenience, etc…of others. How about this….in all that commotion there had to be someone needing to get to a hospital who may have had their transport delayed by the traffic snarl created by the police (the guy on the bridge didn’t ask to have traffic shut down and clearly he was not threatening traffic other than below him). Is the life of a man on a bridge worth more than the life of a man needing medical treatment but having it delayed? Keeping in mind that man on the bridge (sane or not) is a criminal…so is a criminal life worth more than an “innocent” life? Sadly, we as a society do have to make choices about the relative worth of a life vs another. We also have to make choices about the relative value of life vs economics (end of life care costs in the last months of a persons life take up a massive amount of medical costs for that life). We all draw our own conclusions….some will cling to life no matter the cost, no matter the quality. Some will think nothing of dropping bombs on people all around the world and some will think that a guy on a bridge holding a city hostage may not be worth the price…or at least could have been handled better.

  6. MB

    Brett Gittleson has it spot on…. How sad is it that an entire section of DC pretty much SHUT DOWN because of one person. I was coming from VA headed for 31st and O Street. I ended up on 13th Street North of R because everything within 2 miles was at a standstill. God forbid something more grave (not that a life is not grave) happens. This just goes to show, should an attack happen, WE…ARE… SCREWED…

  7. Scott

    Avoid the ethical debate by positioning a trampoline under the bridge and pushing him off. Problem solved. We can’t set a precedent in which one person can stand on the wrong side of a fence and shut down a city.

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