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Bill Nye Collapses, Students Tweet

Bill Nye "The Science Guy" was giving a presentation at USC in front of hundreds of students yesterday when he collapsed. And then something very odd happened - nothing.

Yahoo News reports:

It appears that the students in attendance, rather than getting up from their seats to rush to Nye's aid, instead pulled out their mobile devices to post information about Nye's loss of consciousness.

Alastair Fairbanks, a USC senior in attendance for Nye's presentation, told the Los Angeles Times that "nobody went to his aid at the very beginning when he first collapsed — that just perplexed me beyond reason." The student added, "Instead, I saw students texting and updating their Twitter statuses. It was just all a very bizarre evening."

Indeed, a cursory search on Twitter revealed a virtual play-by-play account of the incident. One student wrote, "Bill Nye tripped on his computer cord while speaking at USC, was out for abt 5 secs, got back up, spoke w/ slurred speech and fainted.
That's pretty disturbing isn't it?

Are we raising a nation of objective observers more comfortable with commenting on people in need than actually helping them?

I don't have any answers but I can say that there have been a number of incidents played out for the world to see where people in need have been ignored. In fact, YouTube can give one a rather dismal view of humanity.

There's a point where apathy becomes evil, isn't there? There's times when doing nothing is the worst thing. It seems this was one of those times.

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Subvet said...

My wife experienced a similar incident this past Sunday at Mass. Our congregation has outgrown the church, so during the ten o'clock, noon and five o'clock Masses there can be SRO for late arrivals.

One of those arrivals at the ten o'clock Mass was a 75 year old woman who fainted during the homily. A call went out for a doctor, an EMT and my wife (RN) responded. The woman is okay.

But here's the kicker. While at work last evening another nurse told me wife "I saw you go to help that woman on Sunday." My wife immediately asked why the other RN didn't at least verify there was no need for further assistance? Answer: She thought all the people surrounding the woman must have been healthcare professionals (they weren't. Most of them were just members of the "uh-oh squad" that shows up at accidents to shout "UH-OH!")

During this exchange a third nurse walked up and confided that unless someone actually passed out right in front of her, she'd never go to render assistance. To my wife's incensed "Just what is YOUR problem anyway?" comment the woman replied, "You respect me and I'll respect you."

Noted. Just another way of saying, "Don't judge me."

Apathy is alive and well in our world. IMO it's always evil.

And FWIW, I'd already given my own seat up to another woman and her infant before all this happened. Normally stories like this elicit "well why didn't YOU at least give your seat to the woman beforehand?" comments.

On a related note, chivalry is dying. Standing at the back of the church I could see a double butt ton of able bodied men comfortably seated while women with small kids and older folks stood. Sheesh, what a world!

Tobias said...

"Hey, Levite, that guy was robbed."

"Yes, Pharisee, it appears that way."



"Oh, look, a Samaritan."

Anonymous said...

This guy below wants to prevent your kids from learning morals, but I dont think he realized that those haven't been taught in the last two generations.... and it shows...


Bego said...

It's not a new behavior, although with the texting it plays out differently.


Joan said...

Wow, there is something incredibly wrong here...technology is a great tool at the service of man but there is a problem when we choose to live in a "virtual world" over being present to reality and attending to our neighbor's needs.

Patrick Button said...

I loved his show growing up and I'm praying for Nye's conversion. Sure hope he's ok.

Anonymous said...

Remember the Matrix movies? In the end everyone knew the Matrix was fake but many would choose to live in the fake world over the free world. Sadly there are many people that will choose to live in slavery instead of freedom. Moses had to listen to 1 million Jews lamenting over their freedom during the wandering years. After the Civil War many slaves lamented their new found freedom and went to work for their former masters. Even today many new Christians don't understand their freedom from sin and continue to live sinful lives in sinful situations. Freedom takes courage, hard work, dedication, and discipline - something today's generation is sorely lacking.

Kevin M. Clarke said...

Disturbing! What other evils will we watch fall upon ourselves and our fellow countrymen?

All should listen to Elie Wiesel's "Perils of Indifference" speech to President Clinton.


Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Bego...It is not a new behavior, it is new technology that makes the behavior manifest itself in much more truly apathetic ways. The trick is to use all media to keep you connected and share that with others, not get lost in the process of being connected.

Maurisa said...

There isn't a point at which apathy becomes evil. Apathy IS evil. I agree it's nothing new, just more in your face with all the new technology.

MJ Stevenson said...

This is disgusting! Does anyone know if Mr. Nye is OK now? How come none of those lazy creeps called 911 at the very least? SICK!!!

Anonymous said...

One time I saw a woman in a church parking lot. She was obviously in distress. I could see that she was having a severe asthma attack that was causing her to panic. Her purse had been stolen the night before, and so she did not have her medicine.

I escorted her into the church office and firmly told the secretary to dial 9-1-1. She said, "I'm not sure if I'm allowed to do that."

"Do it," I said more firmly.

Finally I took the phone and did it myself.

Teófilo de Jesús said...

Your post is most sobering. I will be twitting about it now.


Anonymous said...

Remember the last Seinfeld episode?

Also re: SRO in church. I noticed that about 10 years ago when we got "greeters" instead of "ushers". They greet you and then leave the women w/babies & the elderly standing up at the back of the church on Easter while they go sit down (and all the able bodied people continue to sit also)... The priests used to sometimes ask for the people to scoot in etc., but now they ignore the people standing also (and the pews aren't even that full).

Anonymous said...

This situation reminds me of the Virginia Tech slaying. I'm a UVA grad, and my sister a VA-Tech grad. We kept asking one another, where were all those good, brave Virginia boys we knew who grew up being taught about how to be gentlemen, how to defend the weak? The Tech classrooms should have been full of them. But that breed doesn't exist anymore. No one is teaching our sons to be courageous. The killer actually stopped repeatedly to reload, and not a single young Virginia gentleman could roust himself to tackle the little piff. This apathy is what comes of teaching Values and not Virtues.

Not a single person could roust himself to help Bill Nye? What a cold and inhuman world!


Cathy D said...

My aunt passed away recently. My Dad had a stroke 5 weeks ago. He was well enough to attend her funeral Mass this past Monday. My husband and I were sitting in our car, waiting for Mom and Dad to arrive so we could help Dad into the church. While we were waiting my husband helped one older lady into the church. Then an older couple were walking in and the husband lost his balance and fell, pulling his wife down on top of him. Almost at the same time, my husband and I jumped out of our car and ran up to the church doors. Fortunately, they both fell so slowly that no one was injured.

Ironically we went there to help Dad, but he didn't need any assistance at all.

Dave O said...

Never mind all that right now! How is Bill Nye doing?

Drew said...

This is just a modern day extension of 'bystander' behavior. When something unexpected or concerning happens in front of a large group, most people naturally assume that someone else will step in to help. That's just human nature. And in a situation like this, while waiting for someone else to 'do something', it's not shocking that a group of bystanders who are used to Tweeting or Facebooking every occurrence in their lives will immediately want to share. While sad, this isn't surprising or new… just a modern day spin on very old social norms.

Michelle Therese said...

Subvet ~ was this 75 year old woman standing?????? Did no one offer her a seat???

Michelle Therese said...

"You respect me and I'll respect you."
I'd have loved to see that nurse's face if your wife said,
"I don't respect you."

Michelle Therese said...

Re: able bodied people sitting while others left ot stand ~ I notice that the able bodied hog up the parking areas closest to the churches as well. Now I understand *why* you have to have marked "disabled" parking spots! Even "church folk" won't take the time to consider the infirm and those with small children.

eulogos said...

A woman collapsed while I was at mass a few years back. The priest asked if there were any doctors there. No doctors jumped up, so another nurse and I went over there. The other nurse asked for a couple of guys to help carry her out to the lobby. Not a man moved. I said I could do it and she and I took her out to the lobby and started CPR. We did get someone to call 911 on their cellphone. The woman did come around fairly quickly. But I am still stunned when I think that not one man would volunteer to help move the woman!

Subvet said...

Michelle Therese, the woman was standing. Nobody offered her a seat. She evidently had come to Mass with her daughter who (unfamiliar with the SRO problem) had left "Mom" and gone elsewhere. Like a lot of the elderly who don't want to be a burden the woman didn't bother the ushers to find her a seat. Since they weren't bothered, they didn't take the initiative to ask someone about giving up their seat. The rest is history.

As for my wife replying to the "respect me" comment, she's already earned the enmity of the woman by openly admitting she'll go to Mass every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation. Any surprise when I say the other woman is a "cafeteria Catholic" of the first order who considers my wife a flaming zealot?

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