I never knew who Ryan Dunn was until this morning, and I never ever cared. I still don’t really care. Don’t get me wrong, I have many drunken friends who regularly put things in their assholes that I would be extremely sad to lose. It’s only inconsequential to me because I wasn’t acquainted with this one.
Drunk driving seems to be it’s own reward, and I have to say that when I heard that he had been drinking and that he had only killed himself and his passenger, my first reaction was to be grateful to that tree for taking the hit that may well have killed or maimed someone entirely unacquainted with Dunn and who had no suspicion of the huge mistake they were about to be embroiled in.
I feel for the passenger, as I always do in cases where someone else’s mistake ends up murdering their friend. But really, unless the man was unconscious when he was folded into Dunn’s Porsche, he had every opportunity to choose a safer transport.
In situations like this I tend to remember the scene in “Clerks” where Dante and Randall are discussing the contractors that must have died in the rebel attack on the 2nd Death Star. Randall bemoans the tragedy of the plumbers and engineers who were murdered by the rebels, “casualties of a war they had nothing to do with.” But a roofer happens by and explains that personal politics can play heavily on a contractors decision to take a job or leave it. He explains how he passed on a roofing gig for a gangster, based on his feelings about the employer. As it happens, the contractor that took the job was shot in an attempted hit. The moral of the story is: be aware of the risk involved.
Every time I hear about someone dying because of their idiot friend, I feel a lot worse for them than I feel for the people who die by their own hand, like drunk driving Ryan Dunn. The true innocent would have been the station wagon he broadsided if he hadn’t hit that tree, the children who’s parent would never have arrived home. Instead, he killed himself and his friend, who took the wrong job, who hung out with the wrong guy and who got in the car with a drunk despite the risk involved.
Is it sad that someone died? Yeah, but people die every day and we never hear about it, we don’t care about them because they lived relatively quiet lives, and none of us even knew who they were. I remember when I was very young, after my great aunt died from pancreatic cancer, I was walking around my school thinking “don’t you know that someone has DIED?!” They didn’t. The truth is that I wasn’t even that close with her, it just seemed like there should be some kind of reaction to the loss of a life, no matter how remote. But there’s no way the world could function if every death was televised.