In addition to the unrealistic portrayal of doctors (the only halfway realistic one I’ve seen ends up being murdered), there’s another thing the entertainment media does that really bugs me. Having seen a certain number of victims of serious automobile accidents, I have no stomach at all for the big chase/crash scenes which seem to be a staple of any movie these days. No matter what it’s about, it’s got to have at least one chase scene; one if it’s a romantic/comedy, two or three if it has any pretenses to the action category. Sure, it’s a lot of adrenalin: speed, fast changes in angle, and then crash and cars and trucks go flying overhead, flipping, smashing into each other and every object nearby, with a shower of sparks and explosions.

Everyone knows it’s ok, because the hero always makes it through with only a few picturesque scratches, and the assumption is made that the civilian vehicles somehow had no drivers; there’s never a screen shot of the truck driver whom the hero dodges around so that the truck spins across the highway and causes a pileup. But the police cars, at least, are acknowledged to have drivers; and those cars, like the others, end up smashed into pancakes.

Every single chase scene, realistically, would result in at least 50 persons injured, and I would have to guess a good 50% mortality rate, with a high incidence of serious injuries – broken limbs, head injuries, spinal injuries – in the survivors. But the hero careens merrily through, and though he may experience some moral angst about other portions of his adventure, these chases are regarded as harmless good fun for all involved, except insofar as the police chief is frustrated and yells at his subordinates.

All I can see are my own images of the drivers and passengers, and I hate the chase sequences.

This post could either be a humorous mention of a pet peeve, or perhaps there’s a deeper reflection on how the imperviousness of all the main characters in these settings (and the action games) may promote reckless driving by young people, and generally promotes callousness towards violence of all kinds. You pick.