The Tour de Non Compos Mentis


Six years ago, my wife and I saw the start of the 93rd Tour de France while I was teaching in Strasbourg, and the event was nothing less than exhilarating. On July 15, 2012, the event was marred by sabotage, as around 30 riders suffered tire punctures when boxes of tacks were strewn across the road by an onlooker during the race.

This is the second time this year a spectator interfered with the competition. Earlier, some lunatics demonstrating against God knows what, set off a flare injuring one of the riders.

I pride myself on my attempts in life to understand why people think and act the way they do, but for all my would-be-philosopher efforts, I have no idea why human beings engage in such activities. I suppose these fools were just demented, but with the extent of the insanity existent in the world today, I wonder if we are just morphing into another species.

Should someone purport to have a better explanation, please enlighten me, so I can prevent my own existence from the apparent metamorphosis we face as modern men and women.



  1. JJ: I remember when I tried making sense of why people do the things they do, my family therapist chuckled and said ' you can't rationalize human nature'.. she went on to say that for me to make sense of why the person that I was in love with did and said things that he said was beating a dead horse ( my phrase).. People do illogical things because they act in the moment- not to say the sabotage you mentioned was not planned in advance- but the thought was made in an instant...
    I have found that humans aren't very rational... look at the way people drive, or the things people say w/out thinking... I think the rational ones are the few who can look ahead and figure out the consequences...(wink, wink) :-)

  2. A Course in Miracles says that everything we do or think or say is either an expression of love or a call for love. We call for love when we suffer from the mistaken perception that we are separate from each other and the divine. When I see people acting in ways that are hurtful or hateful, it helps me to think of their actions as calls for love. Very simplistic, I know, but it helps me keep my own heart open with compassion.

  3. PS--As for whether we are evolving (devolving?) into another species, I think what we do have in this world is a growing sense of separation and isolation. This leads to more calls for love. I think we are a species in great spiritual pain.

  4. There's those that have money, skills and talent who live on prime real estate on the planet. Then there are those who don't. The don'ts don't like the haves; they want to be the halves themselves.

    Economic differences, religious differences,natural resource differences, over population, over crowding all contribute to ill will between us all. We, (Americans), are the worst. We have enjoyed many years of overwhelming prosperity and are full of ourselves because of it. We're world leaders who think we know best,(though we're getting knocked down to size these last years). The inequality of the distribution of wealth breeds contempt and malicious acts.
    Everybody wants a piece of the pie.
    I don't think tacks in the road to disrupt a wonderful event are so hard to understand. There's a lot of resentment out there of the the lucky guys on the bikes, or of France's domestic and/or foreign policies or whatever the deprived hooligans are ticked off about for whatever reasons that morning.

    As the world has gotten smaller, the problems have gotten bigger and life has gotten much more complex and more dangerous. It's a jungle out there! Wear your pith helmet.

  5. I don't have any good answers here. However, I particularly liked Galen Pearl's comment.

  6. This is something that has long been wondered about. Is there a simple answer? No. Is it envy, or are they simply jealous? Do they wish for 15 minutes of stupid fame? This is where I form a major conclusion- What if we ignored these actions, leave them out of the news and just arrest them and let a jury state their punishment, would this end future tragic events? Probably not. Sadly,this is not new to our world. I've read horrible things, that humans have been doing to each other even from what folks call the golden age, and of course long before that. Even what parents have done to their own children. It's sickening. In the meantime, we'll just hire more protection for events, some people will start packing guns with permits to do so, and freeways will be shut down for hours until the secret service says it's clear....helicopter will hover day and night. Even many of our schools right here in my sleepy little town have driveway/parking lots shut off and parents aren't allowed to drive up to the school for drop offs and pick ups....cameras are everywhere, watching, waiting.....

  7. KBF: It's definitely illogical, but there is a mean-spirited element I have trouble understanding.

    Galen: I can demonstrate patience and forgiveness, but I have some trouble with the love angle.

    L.W.Roth: Is it a negative to want to be the best? If someone is better at something than I am, I have nothing but admiration for that person. I have trouble with malice.

    Robin: I don't think there is a good answer.

    Karen S: I tend to agree with you, but it is the fodder of science fiction. Sad.

  8. There are always some human beings that behave in the most stupid way! I have no explanation, but it is regrettable. Fortunately, the vast majority of us are proud of our lives and proud of everyone else's contributes to it.

  9. Fanático_Um: Yes. I believe that pride in the accomplishments of others is a key.

  10. @JJ: the mean spirited part is their negative characteristics coming out.. envy, hatred, vindictiveness.

  11. @JJ: most importantly- ignorance, lack of tolerance, sensitivity,forgiving need I say more?

  12. I can't help you out with that one. I am always asking my husband, or anyone else for that matter, "What's wrong with people today?" I'm still awaiting an answer.~Ames

  13. I wish I could make sense of it.

  14. I wasn't talking about anyone not wanting to be their personal best; I think we all do. There are just negative elements in the world that make people mean spirited and they lash out. Some people are warm and generous; they're happy with themselves and content with their lot. Others are not and do take their discontent out on the rest of us. Social conditions have a lot to do with how well or badly people behave.

  15. L.W.Roth: I absolutely agree with you. I just think that some of these malcontents do not want to make the effort to better themselves, so they try to take down those who do try to improve. I also agree that social conditions play a huge role in their behavior.


Post a Comment

Other Works by JJ Botta

My books are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and numerous Bookstores. AND Barnes and Noble