ZYTARUK: A lament for all Bensons, everywhere

On turning beans into peas, and being mercifully free of the ravages of intelligence

Hey

So let it be written…

“We can make beans into peas!”

That’s what the minion, Benson, blurts in the movie Time Bandits as his master, Evil, fantasizes about possessing the power to overthrow creation itself.

“Oh Benson, Dear Benson,” Evil replies.

“You are so mercifully free of the ravages of intelligence.”

Gotta like that line. So many people today lead liberated lives. You see them in shopping malls, driving cars, walking down sidewalks. Some even know how to use telephones.

Why, just last week, we learned about 82 Bensons.

Let’s call them the Surrey 82.

These people called emergency 911, following last Tuesday’s earthquake, to ask police dispatchers if more earthquakes are on the way, how to get their kids to bed after the shake-up, and other silly, silly questions. Woe be it to them when the big one hits.

The other thing is the so-called “Wexters” or “Digital Deadwalkers.” Namely, the people you see walking about entirely oblivious to their surroundings because they are hypnotized by their hand-held devices.

They call them Smart phones. But Smart users? Not so much.

I’ve seen people step off curbs and charge headlong into heavy traffic while they were texting. I once saw two women do a face-crash. Both had been entranced by their phones. Might as well have been blindfolded. They could have called each other an idiot, and they would have both been right.

I’ve also see people texting while riding their bicycles. Amazing.

People, is the electronic “me” show so compelling you are willing to put yourselves, and potentially others, in harm’s way?

Tragically, a guy walked off a cliff in San Diego on Christmas Day while looking at a hand-held electronic device.

Authorities aren’t sure if it was a camera or phone he was looking at, because it hasn’t been recovered. He fell 60 feet to his death.

Distracted walking has become such a public safety issue that the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons put out a list of six related safety tips. I won’t recite them here because as I figure it, there’s really only one tip to embrace and that’s to pay attention to where you’re going.

As if injuries and deaths incurred by reckless walking aren’t tragic enough in themselves, one can only imagine what some of the victims were viewing on their phones before calamity struck.

Personally, I haven’t acquired the bad habit of texting or looking at stuff on my phone while I’m walking. But I do surf the web, and sometimes happenstance reveals strange things.

I am sad to report that one of the last things I read online in 2015 was a Yahoo.ca story under the headline “God Made Eve from Adam’s Penis, Not His Rib, Academic Claims.”

What followed was 514 comments, most of them erupting with banal pseudo-think.

One stand-out offering was from a guy named Khalid: “I’d say that religious types are going to be surprised when they die and there’s no afterlife,” he wrote. Really, Khalid? Be raising their non-afterlife eyebrows in disbelief, will they?

If Khalid is correct about the afterlife — I wouldn’t take his word for it — we’re in a real quandary for answers because it seems Darwin got it wrong, too. How so? Well, in order for his theory to hold water, humans as a species would have to be a higher life form. And all of the above seems to negate that, if intelligence is any criterion.

But if there is something to his theory, and we do actually evolve along with the passage of time, perhaps this new year will hold out some wee hope for progress.

So let it be done.

Just Posted

Here’s why you may not have seen many federal election signs in Surrey

Earlier this year, Surrey council banned election signs on public property, highways

‘Men of Curling’ calendar features Surrey’s Tardi, who went rock climbing with a curling rock

Tyler Tardi, 21, now curls on men’s circuit, meaning he won’t play at 2020 nationals in Langley

‘Jail’ time for Surrey business and community leaders in Crime Stoppers fundraiser

Metro Vancouver organization to host Jail & Bail event Friday at Central City’s outdoor plaza

Two North Delta schools briefly in ‘hold and secure’ after report of weapon

Seaquam Secondary and Cougar Canyon Elementary were in ‘hold and secure’ for about 45 minutes

Shambhala named best music festival in North America

Shambhala Music Festival is held at the Salmo River Ranch in B.C.

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

B.C. bus crash survivor petitions feds to fix road where classmates died

UVic student’s petition well over halfway to 5k signature goal

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

UPDATE: Police probe third threat against a Kamloops high school in eight days

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

B.C. Interior caribou protection area big enough, minister says

Proposals sparked protest in Kootenays, Williams Lake region

Two B.C. women selected to compete on ABC’s The Bachelor

Mykenna Dorn and Alexis Thind will compete for bachelor Peter Weber’s heart

Break out the tiki torches: Open fires allowed again in B.C.’s coastal region

All open fires allowed effective at noon on Sept. 18

Most Read