Saturday, October 11, 2008

Suicide Net?

Golden Gate Managers Vote to Build Suicide Net - The suicide net will hang twenty feet below the Golden Gate's walkway, extending out twenty feet on either side. Some questions the management needs to consider:

- Won't the serious suicides just take their business elsewhere? Unless the Golden Gate Bridge itself is causing people to commit suicide, the number of suicides prevented by the net will be approximately zero. Those truly intent on death will just pick another bridge. NIMBY managers of the Golden Gate, aren't you just sending your problems to the Oakland Bay Bridge?

- Will there be many customers for the net? Maybe one or two serious suicides who don't know about the net and jump at night without seeing it, but certainly scores of thrill seekers with no interest in suicide who can't resist a dare and scores of troubled people attracted by the opportunity to commit a dramatic near suicide - so much more exciting than taking just enough aspirin to pass out after calling 911. The net will be filled with people, far more than the number now jumping off the Golden Gate.

-What will you do with the people caught in the net, the fortunate exemplars of reverse Darwinism? Maybe you should just empty the net once a day onto a very tall boat with a very big, very soft mattress laid out as a landing area. Imagine dozens of people tumbling from the suicide net onto a giant mattress every day at Noon. The daily rescue itself would become a tourist attraction and the Golden Gate Net might eventually rival the Bridge as a San Francisco Icon.

- Can you build this thing fast enough to help the many people who just lost their life savings in the financial crisis and are about to lose their jobs in the recession? Will the headlines about the net actually create a flurry of suicides, people eager to dive from the Golden Gate before it's too late? Maybe you should stop making announcements and just put this thing up quietly.

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