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In the 21st century it would seem that one of the most popular vocations is "celebrity".
Yes, we have an increasing number of people whose sole role in life is to be famous and far too often they are simply famous for being famous.
We have the Kardashian clan and a raft of reality TV figures who have never actually done anything with their lives but, because of the fact that they are flamboyant, outgoing and have caught the public's eye at some stage, they now make very significant sums of money by simply remaining in the public spotlight.
But for every one of these "celebrities" there are a million wannabes.
So many young people these days seem to be hell bent on simply becoming famous, in the expectation that such fame will bring wealth and good fortune.
The desire to become famous is, in fact, so great that some will even risk their lives for their 5 minutes in the spotlight.
Sadly for one such aspiring celebrity, the outcome of their attempt to catch the public's eye was indeed very fatal.
According to this story YouTuber Pedro Ruiz III was so hell-bent on becoming a famous YouTube blogger that he decided to do something stupid -- really stupid.
Rather than get a decent education and learn about something that he could leverage into creating a popular YouTube channel, Pedro thought he'd take the quick-route by performing a dangerous stunt.
Sadly, it seems that Pedro knew nothing about science or scientific methodologies when he decided to simply clasp an encyclopedia to his chest and have his girlfriend shoot him with a huge .50 calibre handgun.
Are you kidding me?
A .50 cal Desert Eagle? That not a hand-gun, it's a cannon!
Sure, even a decent paperback will stop a .22cal bullet or maybe a 9mm at a stretch but there's just no way your average encyclopedia will stop a giant .50 cal slug coming out the barrel of a DE50.
It seems that Pedro didn't even have the commonsense to perform some tests using this handgun and an identical volume -- it sounds as if he'd shot some other book with a different gun and it had stopped the bullet so he was therefore good to go.
Perhaps the best lesson to be learned from this is that even wannabe YouTube stars need to do their homework and get some basic education of the sciences before they embark on what they hope will be the video that catapults them to stardom.
Yes, this really is a case of Darwinism at work -- albeit a little late, since Pedro apparently had already passed on his genes to his 3-year-old daughter and the unborn boy-child still being carried by his pregnant girlfriend.
That anyone could be so stupid beggars belief.
That the desire to become a "celebrity" is so strong as to make anyone even think of engaging in a stunt like this is also hard to believe.
However, it certainly seems as if -- having enviously watched the reality TV stars that they see on their screens every night enjoying the trappings of incredible wealthy, far too many young people think that all it'll take is a viral YouTube video to turn them into wealthy household names.
Who the hell is setting these unreasonable expectations?
Is this YouTube's fault for turning the likes of Casey Neistat and Pewdiepie into mega-celebrities who pocket millions of dollars in revenues and endorsements every year?
Is it the TV networks who portray "celebrity" as a viable career alternative to becoming a doctor, accountant, plumber or technician?
Surely something has to be done because I'm sure this isn't the first case of someone being killed in their attempts to create a viral video that they believe will launch them to celebrity status.
Honestly, sometimes I think that it won't be climate change, a rogue asteroid or global thermonuclear war that will erase mankind from the face of the planet -- it'll just be rank stupidity.
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