Wing suits, supercross, Travis Pastrana and his crew, solo rock climbers, extreme sports such as Red Bull Rampage... Where does it stop? Should we care if people lose their lives trying to entertain us? Humans have done dangerous things ever since we were humans and sports were always dangerous but the whole extreme thing is taking it to a whole other level. Are we being pushed by corporations trying to make a buck? Is it a good thing? I no longer watch Travis Pastrana and his crew because it's just gotten ridiculous on how much risk is involved. Don't think I'm a wimp or something because I have been a thrill seeker all of my life and I've pushed beyond the limits plenty. Am I just getting too old to understand? I've raced motorcycles, bicycles, done 540s on bicycles, ice and rock climbed and just about any kind of risky thing I could think of. When I did it though I did not have a death wish and I took every precaution I could to minimize the chances of injury or death and still satisfy my innate need. I don't think these guys (and in some instances women) have a death wish but I think that things are starting to get out of control and corporate profits are at least partly to blame.
At the other end of the scale I think parents and society are protecting kids from risk too much. They can't even play now without someone saying it's too risky. Play ground? Sorry a kid could get hurt. Snow pile? Nope someone might fall. Climb a tree? Are you kidding me. Skateboard? Nope, make that rail or launch so no skateboarder can use it. We've made play so sterile for kids that most of them sit on their butts playing video games and the risks from poor diet and no exercise far surpases the risk of play that is just a bit risky.
So what is appropriate? Who gets to decide? I guess the individual doing it is the one who decides and if some corporation benefits from people who risk their lives and health then so be it. I for one though don't support some of these things and won't watch wing suit video nor some of the ridiculous stunts Travis talks people into doing. I woudn't want these things outlawed but rather I want people to be more aware of the pressures some of these athletes are under to perform the stunts.
I won't even get into traditional sports that involve concussions nor the fact that steroids and PED increase the risks. Maybe someone else wants to start that thread.