Idiot, intent on taking selfie, shows downside of tourism

dom sebastian statue

In our supposedly enlightened age it’s easy to look back at societies of the past and tut-tut the apparent barbarity they not only espoused but seemingly revelled in.

England has long been held out as an example of the legal conundrum that existed in much of the world prior to the 20th century in terms of jurisprudence. By the late 18th century 220 felonies carried the death sentence in English courts, including such seemingly mundane acts as poaching, minor theft and even “being in the company of gypsies for one month.”

The idea was to scare people into behaving, among other things.

However, perhaps there was also a measure of frustration with those who chose to flout the law, at least when it came to legitimate crime.

This may seem a stretch until one reads about incidents such as that which took place in Portugal last week, when a tourist destroyed a 126-year-old statue when he climbed alongside it in an effort to take a selfie.

Broken statue of Dom Sebastiao after tourist tried to take a selfie with it in Lisbon.

Remnants of broken statue of Dom Sebastiao after tourist tried to take a selfie with it in Lisbon.

The 24-year-old man, who has not been identified, scaled the façade of a Lisbon train station to get next to a famous statue of former Portuguese king Dom Sebastian I in an effort to take his own picture next to the art work.

After reaching the statue, the man knocked the freestanding sculpture off its pedestal. It fell to the ground and was smashed to pieces, according to Fox News.

In fashion befitting a halfwit, the tourist reportedly tried to flee but was apprehended by police.

He will face charges of destruction of public property at a later date.

Sebastian ruled Portugal’s between 1557 and 1578. He became king at the age of 3, although regents ruled until Sebastian reached the age of majority.

Sebastian is a legendary but tragic figure in Portuguese history; the young king embarked on a crusade against Morocco but was killed at the famous Battle of the Three Kings in northern Morocco at the age of 24. His body was never recovered.

The statue in Sebastian’s honor had stood proudly outside Lisbon’s Rossio railway station since 1890 – until last week.

The pinhead who perpetrated the act of stupidity may not deserve the death penalty, but should a Portuguese judge decide to level a heavy sentence, I, for one, won’t lose any sleep. You can’t cure stupid, but you can certainly try to keep it under wraps.

(Top: Statue of Dom Sebastian in Lisbon’s Rossio railway station prior to its loss after a tourist climbed alongside it to take a selfie.)

17 thoughts on “Idiot, intent on taking selfie, shows downside of tourism

  1. The selfie cult leaves me speechless, or, wordless. Nice statue, take photo of story. Surely that’s sufficient. No, it’s all about ME. (Well, not me personally). Suspect it is the time of the moon that is inciting, well, lunacy. Plenty around at my local village romería 😦

    • I visited Arlington National Cemetery last summer with my girls and was staggered by the number of people who were taking their own photos with the grave markers for Robert Kennedy. It really is all about themselves for a lot of people. Personally, I don’t need my ugly mug in the photo of something I admire or want to remember. I was there; I remember being there. I guess I – probably like you – don’t need to show off.

  2. Just another example of the idiots destroying things, killing animals or killing themselves to take a selfie. I prefer that later.

    • Yup, given the three options it’s better they take out themselves rather than other people, creatures or items. Unfortunately, a portion of the human race seems to be growing significantly dumber rather rapidly.

  3. This was a great post; thoroughly unsurprised by the actions of the idiot in question. As regards your query as to “who rears these type of people”, I would say no one of any consequence, but obviously that isn’t true. Unfortunate that everyone else has to bear the consequences of poor parenting and minimal education.

    • I don’t generally blame society for the actions of specific idiots, but if were to do so, I would say mass media bears some responsibility for such stupidity. Of course, if I caught my kids pulling this kind of foolishness I’d blister their bottoms. And I don’t care how old they are.

  4. I do like how some places ban the selfie stick, possibly one of the most annoying inventions of all time. I’ve also been to places that don’t ban them, and it’s ridiculous how many people have them. I got whacked on the head a half-dozen times by people wielding these things and not paying attention. Less goofy than selfie sticks: Wide angle lenses, friends, etc.

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