Back to Black
The failure to qualify for a classaction suit may be reason to launch a class-action suit.
Are you a diabetic who has lost your toes, either of your feet or your legs, despite taking a drug that was supposed to help you, an ad currently running on US television asks. Pass.
How about concussion? Did you suffer concussion while playing football even if you played only on practice teams or for half a season, another ad asks. No, not me. Vaginal mesh, then? Did you have any used in surgery and perhaps it went wrong later? No? No. Asbestos-related cancer? Got any of that? Not me.
The strange thing about these ads seeking participants in class actions, all of which I have seen in the past week, is that they leave you feeling oddly disenfranchised. Having two legs, with a foot attached to each one and both feet having the accepted allocation of toes, no football-related concussion, no vaginal mesh – troublesome or otherwise – and not a hint of asbestos-related cancer, I should be leaping off the couch grateful for my good fortune. Instead, these ads create an odd sense of exclusion, even though these are clubs to which no one would wish to belong and no amount of financial compensation would put right the injuries that some people have sustained. Fear of missing out – or FOMO if you are under 25 – is a strange phenomenon. Perhaps if I wait long enough there will be a class action for those suffering social exclusion from ineligibility for class actions.
Since the Las Vegas massacre, there has been endless speculation about what motivated Stephen Paddock, 64, to slaughter so many people. For a man who liked privacy and who kept his terrible mission concealed until the moment he started firing, his life is now exposed in all its intimate detail.
Investigators started looking at the likely possibilities – he was a member of an extremist group, he had a grudge, he had suffered heartbreak or financial loss – as though committing mass murder is an understandable response to, say, being jilted.
It appears that Paddock had not been dumped. However, there does seem to be an increase in the number of people, jihadists and others, deciding that they want to die in as catastrophic a manner as human imagination and physical limitations allow.
One outcome of Paddock’s modus operandi is that bump stocks have sold out everywhere. A bump stock is an additional rifle butt that a shooter can fit to his semi-automatic to enable it to fire like an automatic. Handy. (And, yes, I use the masculine pronoun “his”, even though I believe in equal opportunity, because there is a strong gender bias among mass murderers.)
After the killings, there was a rush on bump stocks, although whether that was because Paddock had showed their efficacy or was out of fear that they might be banned is impossible to know. But there is little precedent for the federal government showing any inclination to act on gun control so it may just have been the effect of publicity.
Meanwhile, some of Paddock’s victims without health insurance lie in hospital fretting as much about the cost of their stay as about their injuries.
Stories of heroism on the night were real but do not, for me, outweigh the dismal conclusion that the world is a sick old place. I chide myself for my response. We need to resolve to rally and prevail, not to admit defeat and succumb.
I believe in equal opportunity, but there is a strong gender bias among mass murderers.
“I started off just collecting seashells.”