By Richard Ray:
I do not search the Internet for “Crazy Stupid Human Tricks”, but admit to having been a fan of shows like MTV’s Ridiculousness and ESPN’s Highly Questionable that feature such questionable videos. Feature is actually an understatement for the Rob Dyrdek hosted show, since crazy stunts are the actual focus if not the premise of the show.
Now the show gives the expected legal disclaimer prior to opening for people not to duplicate the stunts seen in the upcoming videos. It further states that MTV and the show will not actually accept the submission of any videoed stunts for the show. This is covering your ass 101.
They say do not try this at home and they say they will not accept submissions of stunts, but the reality is that someone from the show is scouring the Internet for these stunts gone wrong and the people who insanely perform them know this. We are living in times where fame seems to supply the greatest high. The Internet has provided everyone a platform and the opportunities to go viral seem almost formulaic; Get a YouTube channel and put up animals or children doing funny things, or commit outrageous stunts like setting firecrackers in your butt.
While I maintain that I do not seek out these Internet stunts I am guilty of contributing to the ratings of Ridiculousness. Highly Questionable is a sports show but at least 2-3 crazy videos, totally unrelated to sports are shown each episode. As much as “regular” people shake our heads in wonderment at why anyone would ever do the stunts that so so many of these people do, their high YouTube views and going viral show there is an apparent method to their madness.
YouTube views will not only get you fame, it can also lead to lots of money. This new generation that pursues fame and wealth instantaneously knows that taking shortcuts work. Sex tapes have built a Kardashian empire. There appears little that people are willing to do to become rich and famous using the Internet. Yet, a recent stunt, that went horribly wrong, shows that the risk from stupid stunts really does far outweigh any rewards.
A Minnesota couple, Monalisa Perez 19, and Pedro Ruiz III, 22, started a Youtube channel May 9th apparently seeking fame. The 18 videos posted https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYqSxhPHNYCLnt6pgUq-pJA/videos were mostly juvenile, if harmless pranks. However, the couple who were parents of 1 and expecting a second, with Ms. Perez 7 months pregnant, decided to step up their game in search for more views and subscribers. Apparently using a .50 Calibre Desert Eagle, and at the suggestion of Mr. Ruiz, Monalisa Perez shot him from feet away, recording the incident for their channel.
Mr. Ruiz held a book approximately 1 1/2 inch thick in front of him, intending it to stop the bullet. In a statement to police Ms. Perez maintained Pedro had tried to coax her into the stunt for weeks, showing her another book he had used that stopped the bullet from going all the way thru. I am unsure if she supplied proof of the other book yet, and if it did exist what calibre of bullet was used and from what distance, but anyone with even the slightest gun knowledge knows a .50 calibre is a really powerful weapon and fired from close range would penetrate nearly anything beside steel.
Mr. Ruiz died and Ms. Perez has been charged with second degree manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison in Minnesota. Regardless the outcome of the criminal case, the incident is simply tragic. Minimally two children have lost a father based on stupidity in the pursuit of fame and riches through shortcuts.
Unfortunately this will probably not be the last senseless tragedy resulting from pranks going wrong. The lure of fast fame and fortune is too enticing to too many. As long as the platforms exist to capitalize on them, stupid human tricks are here to stay. Hopefully, Pedro Ruiz’s death will serve as a cautionary tale of the risks involved in such pranks.
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