6 People Who Responded To Tragedies In The Most Soulless Way
When disaster strikes, there are plenty of ways you can respond without being a massive tool. You can donate money (but not your old clothes or lawnmowing shoes). You can help with the recovery (unless they specifically ask you not to). If charity isn't your thing, then at the very least, you can refrain from taking grinning selfies at ground zero or buying a guided safari tour through the worst of the devastation. Or you can do the opposite and respond in the most unhelpful and insensitive way possible -- the way these heroes decided to.
People Fly Drones Above A Wildfire, Preventing Firefighters From Putting It Out
Drones are everywhere these days. All you need is a couple hundred bucks and a GoPro to operate your very own remote-controlled spybot. Predictably, this newfound elevation in social status has turned many people into assholes. For example: the remote rubberneckers who used their drones to get a close-up view of a gargantuan wildfire 50 miles east of Los Angeles, and thus prevented firefighters from actually putting out the fire. Thanks to the entire state being so dehydrated that meteorologists have described it as "akin to SpongeBob jogging in Hell," a blaze sparked and quickly turned into a 3500-acre apocalypse. Nobody died, but at least 20 cars erupted into flame like Michael Jackson in a Pepsi commercial.
Well, the owners can always rely on LA's stellar public transportation system to get around.
Very likely, the fire could have been contained much earlier than it was if the firefighters hadn't found their efforts significantly delayed by five recreational drones dicking around the scene. The drones' operators wanted to videotape the fire without being anywhere near it, so they sent their toys to record as much delightful footage as possible of a bunch of strangers at serious risk of being burned alive.
As both the authorities and common sense will tell you, small metallic objects flying around bigger, stronger aircraft (like firefighting planes) are a danger to pretty much everyone. According to a spokesman for the US Forest Service, "It can kill our firefighters in the air ... They can strike one of these things and one of our aircraft could go down, killing the firefighters in the air. This is serious to us."
Why do we send armed drones to war zones, when an irresponsible asshole is deadly enough?
Not content with simply slowing down the firefighting efforts by half an hour (long enough for the fire to spread to the highway), some of the drone operators chased away the firefighting planes. They absolutely knew that they shouldn't have been there, and they didn't give a fuck. It was like the most hellish Cars sequel imaginable.
Perfect for anyone who watched Cars 2.
Idiots Flock To The Site Of A Fatal Explosion To Take Selfies
Last March, a massive gas explosion in New York City's East Village destroyed three buildings, killed two people, and injured 22 more. At one point, the fire was so powerful that firefighters couldn't even get inside the engulfed buildings to subdue the destruction. People were forced to watch in horror as their whole lives burned away. Others recognized the perfect opportunity to get a bitchin' new Facebook banner picture.
No, that's not the usual fire and brimstone that appears behind you when you use a selfie stick.
Way too many people decided to whip out their phones and pose happily in front of what could have been a growing mountain of charbroiled corpses, for all they knew. One couple even captioned their photos with hashtags like #beingtourists and #weresocreepy, so they were clearly aware that what they were doing was, at the very least, in extremely poor taste. They later claimed that they were only being ironically terrible -- which, as you may have noticed, is the exact same thing as being genuinely terrible.
It was all worth it for those six "Likes," though.
Most of these dipshits were just regular (albeit incredibly insensitive) folks. But then there was the "reporting live from the scene of the accident" selfie courtesy of a former communications director for the Iowa Democratic Party (and current DNC spokesperson). Of all people, someone who works in PR probably should've known better. Although she had been out of work for three weeks at the time at which she took the photo, so maybe that was the one subtlety of the job she couldn't quite grasp.
"Wait, so you aren't supposed to flash a smiling peace sign at the scene of a catastrophic accident?"
Pissed-off residents posted signs saying things like, "Get over yourself. This is a tragedy, not a tourist attraction. Show some respect." Meanwhile, the New York Post miraculously got something right for a change, labeling all the selfie-takers "Village Idiots." Holy shit, you guys. If we're agreeing with something the New York Post says, we really might be in danger as a species.
The NRA Shares Cute Pro-Gun Messages After Mass Shootings (And Blames The Victims)
Last August, a nine-year-old girl was practicing her aim at an Arizona shooting range when she lost control of her Uzi and shot her instructor in the head. Obviously, that sentence raises more than one question, so the incident quickly turned into a national debate over responsible gun ownership, and whether the definition of that phrase includes handing a fourth-grade girl a submachine gun. The National Rifle Association waited two full days before weighing in on the debate with this insightful message:
Other gems from the NRA Women account include "7 Ways To Make Your Husband A Sandwich (With Guns)."
Two days should have been more than enough for them to realize that perhaps this wasn't the right time to release a cutesy article about fun things children can do with real guns, but they evidently concluded that America had already moved on from the traumatized young girl who'd accidentally shot a man to death. So they shared this list of delightful tips with the world, which included suggestions like encouraging kids to use guns to "imagine they're getting rid of the monsters from their nightmares." That's right, the NRA tweeted an article espousing the benefits of teaching kids to use real guns to conquer imaginary monsters two days after a kid accidentally killed a man because she was too young to realize the power and consequence of what she was holding.
The NRA is sort of infamous for this level of tone-deafness, whether it's intentional or not. For example, the NRA Rifleman account sent this out at 9:20 a.m. on July 20, 2012:
"Talking to an NRA Twitter account." -- the saddest possible person
Looks innocuous, right? Except that nine hours earlier, James Holmes had unveiled his weekend plans: to attend a showing of The Dark Knight Rises with a bunch of guns and try to murder everyone in the theater. By now, the whole country was talking about the tragedy and the role easy access to guns may or may not have played in it ... except, it seems, for the hapless motherfucker running that Twitter account. The NRA insisted that "a single individual, unaware of events in Colorado, tweeted a comment that is being completely taken out of context." That single individual presumably then spent damn near three hours jerking off to pictures of Ted Nugent, because that's how long it took for the tweet to finally be deleted.
But at least they didn't blame the victims, right? That would be completely psychotic ...
Goddammit. Meet NRA board member Charles Cotton, who runs the guns rights forum TexasCHL. While discussing the recent Charlestown church shooting ("recent" here meaning "it occurred the day before"), Cotton helpfully opined that the murdered pastor had signed his own death warrant, as well as those of eight other people, by voting against concealed firearms. In Cotton's mind, if Pinckney had simply allowed everybody to carry concealed weapons to church, none of the parishioners would've been killed. Never mind the fact that guns are virtually never used in self-defense. The fantasy (and the 300-million-plus gun sales that go with it) is apparently too gosh darn sexy to ever let die.
Over 400 People Drown In A Chinese Cruise Ship, China Pretends It Never Happened
It's a common complaint that the news is run by an endless series of Debbie Downers airing nothing but humanity's dirty laundry, to the point where the only truly shocking story anymore would be "local resident is nice, manages to murder no one." But it's one thing to look on the bright side of life, and quite another to cover your ears and start humming loudly when something terrible happens -- which is exactly what the Chinese government did.
In June, a Chinese cruise ship carrying 456 people hit a cyclone and sank to the bottom of the Yangtze River. Only 14 survived. But because anyone seeing the good people of China suffering such a terrible blow would be an inconsolable admittance of weakness, the government's official reaction was to report almost exclusively on the hard work and heroics of their impressive 2000-person-strong rescue team, who were out there ... um, pulling chairs out of the water, we guess?
"Today's Top Story: Rescuers help an old lady step into the water for a relaxing swim."
Local journalists were told not to visit the scene, and to instead watch the state-run news for what precisely to report later that evening. Foreign ones found roadblocks keeping them at least a mile away from the disaster. When regular people failed to simply forget about the country's greatest maritime disaster of the past 70 years, the government started censoring them, too. One woman who tried to ask for information on her missing boyfriend was blocked from posting online, because the cronies of President Xi Jinping decided that her heartbroken panic was too damn uppity.
"Soldiers, some kid is asking what happened to Grandma. He is to be considered dangerous and extremely lippy."
And she wasn't the only grieving loved one to be roadblocked by Jinping's Truthiness Commission. Anybody who asked about any passenger, or about what exactly happened to the doomed ship (there were several suspicious details, such as the fact that no alarm ever sounded, and that most of the survivors were crew members), found their words silenced faster than a talking Shrek doll on a long car trip. After two days of being kept in the dark, the families of the victims decided to go see what was going on for themselves. But in order to do that, they had to push their way past paramilitary police.
Which is bad movie cliche level "Military Being Dicks To Grieving Families".
A Shipping Company Uses A Comatose Racecar Driver To Get Facebook Likes
On October 2, 2014, Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi lost control of his vehicle in the middle of a race, crashed, and suffered a catastrophic brain injury. He remained comatose for over nine months, before finally succumbing to his injuries on July 17, 2015. Don't worry, though; it only took three days for someone to try to exploit Bianchi's tragedy on social media:
"Click 'Like,' or DOOM HIS FATE. Totally your call."
On October 5, the German parcel company DHL (like UPS, only with way better beer in the break room), posted a message about Bianchi on its Formula 1 Facebook page. If this was just some run-of-the-mill "get well soon" post, that would've been one thing. But instead, they decided to pimp his last ride to garner some more of the single most important currency in the world: Facebook Likes.
Yes, by liking DHL's post about the comatose Bianchi, not only were you letting the Formula 1 star know that you were keeping him in your thoughts, but you were also spreading the good word about DHL in everybody's Facebook feed. Because if athletes fighting for their lives want anything more than to see their loved ones one last time, it's for some company they have no working relationship with exploiting their plight for free advertising. DHL deleted the post within a day, apologizing in that painfully sincere way that makes us all realize that it was really our fault for taking their heartfelt gesture the wrong way:
"PS: Like this post if we're terrible."
Several Companies Are Operating Bus Tours Of Hurricane-Destroyed New Orleans
It's been ten years since Hurricane Katrina devoured New Orleans, and the worst-hit areas still have not fully recovered. Countless residents are still struggling to pick up the pieces a decade after the fact, which is an undeniably terrible fact ... unless, of course, you're a middle-to-upper-class jackinape looking for a jaunty bus tour on which you can take pictures and gossip about what a big tragedy the whole thing is!
It's like the "Earthquake" ride at Universal Studios, but for assholes.
We wish that was a joke, but it's not. It's a real thing, and has been since the city reopened for business. Over 30 bus companies operate around New Orleans, and many offer "Hurricane Katrina Tours," for which you fork over a few bucks to sit on your ass and gawk at real people's real pain for three hours. They even sell it with taglines like "America's Worst Catastrophe," and Malebolgian ad copy like "Drive past an actual levee that 'breached' and see the resulting devastation that displaced hundreds of thousands of U.S. residents." After all, who wants to pay good money for a jerk's-eye view of misery, death, and destruction? If you throw down premium dollars, you should get a premium view of poverty-stricken disaster survivors struggling to stay alive.
In addition to broken-down houses and the pained, windswept faces of still-shell-shocked residents too tired to live but too exhausted to die, passengers on a Katrina tour also get a close-up view of local handmade signage like this:
The tour operators immediately upped the prices because of the new attraction.
This may come as a knee-buckling surprise, but New Orleans residents are not exactly jazzed about having their lives take center float in a parade of misery for sociopathic tourists. So they do what they can to make sure these sightseers realize what tumbling shitlords they are. Some of the signs invite the tourists to leave their buses (which most tours do not allow them to do) and help the fuck out.
Though for many tourists, staying inside and shutting the fuck up is the most helpful thing they can do.
Recently, New Orleans has attempted to crack down on the soullessness, fining companies for leading safaris into the Lower Ninth Ward (where Katrina hit hardest). Naturally, the tour operators are crying foul over this unfair decree, claiming that their tours contribute to the local economy. By the way, "contribute" is a word here meaning "We sometimes let locals board the bus and sell pralines. But only sometimes." Aside from that, their defense is weaker than the New Orleans Saints'. "Some of the tourists donate to charity," "It helps people learn about what happened here," and "It's what the people want" are the most popular claims made by the operators. You may recognize those statements as escalating attempts to rationalize making your living by selling tickets to human misery.
For more about people being oblivious assholes, be sure to check out 5 Tourists Who Managed To Be The Worst People In The World and 4 Insane Ways Tourists Are Ruining Famous Vacation Spots.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see some people who avoided disaster and just didn't care at all in 4 People Who Are The Superheroes Of Not Giving A F#@k, as well as watch other videos you won't see on the site!
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