Sep 24, 2010

Assisted Suicide

The following post is an addendum to my "Right to Die" video , please go ahead and watch that first if you haven't already.

I know that when most people are thinking about what suicide means, they have some images in mind... images of teenagers who cut their wrists in the bathroom or empty their mom's bottle of sleeping pills. This is usually far from the reality of someone who actually intends to take their own life. Wrist cutting and medicine overdose are (very often) deliberate forms of self harm or cries for attention, rather than suicide attempts. For the people who are indeed set to do it, the methods are much more brutal and the images much more shocking. The most common ways of suicide are by firearms and hanging. Other methods include jumping from hights, throwing self in front of a train or another moving vehicle, deliberate pesticide poisoning, intentionally crashing the car, setting self on fire or throat slitting.

So where am I going with this ? I am not trying to be morbid, but to simply point out that most suicide attempts are not really "attempts". The people who truly want to kill themselves are most of the time either successful or end up mutilated. The popular image of the depressed adolescent who "tries to commit suicide" is actually describing something else : a depressed adolescent who has indeed serious issues and fakes a suicide attempt as a cry for help. Most of them do it in their own homes, which is the place they are most likely to be found, and between the hours of 4 P.M. and midnight, which is the time of the day when someone is most likely to be around. These people don't really want to die, they want to be rescued. And don't get me wrong. These kids are NOT drama whores. They DO need help and if they are desperate enough to go to these extremes, it is a clear indication that they are going through serious issues. They must not be taken as a joke or ignored!

However, the people who intend to commit suicide are a different matter. They WANT to die. They will choose a way to make sure they end up dead. And they should not have to go through that. Weather you like it or not, some people make the decision that their life is not worth living. It is not YOUR choice to make, it is not YOUR life. And you shouldn't have a saying in it. Making assisted suicide available for them is not an encouragement, but an act of mercy and compassion. To believe that legalizing this will actually make more people want to do it, simply has no basis. People, as a general rule, desire to live. This won't change just because they have an option to die pain-free.

I know that most of you reading my blog and watching my videos are from the U.S. You don't have a social health-care system there yet, so this may sound strange. But my proposal is to make assisted suicide part of the health-care plan. It would be free, same as the psychiatric evaluation and assistance (those things are already free of charge in most European countries where a good health-care system is in place).

I'm going to stop here because I will probably make a second part ... I suspect it will be necessary once the comments to my video start piling up.

Sep 21, 2010

Summer 2010

I forgot I had this footage from when Larry Kamerman was here ... thought I might as well do something with it . You get to see a bit of Romania too :) Oh well...

Sep 8, 2010

Respecting the Dead

In my last YouTube video dealing with this entire "Mosque at Ground Zero" fiasco, I stated this :

<< Personally , I don’t give a crap about respecting the dead. They’re just … well…dead.. “Respecting” them is a social construct that has no meaning to me and I couldn’t care less about it. >>

Many people misinterpreted what said and were even offended by my words, as I could see from their comments. I don't understand exactly why, since I followed my statement with an explanation that, at the time, I thought it would make my point clear :

<< But I’m not an insensitive asshole and I can acknowledge that most people do see value in it. So, even if I didn’t care about this mosque, I did think it is in poor taste and I could understand why the families of the 9/11 victims would be offended by it . >>

Still, I received a number of comments "disagreeing" with me. What is there to disagree on ? My ...feelings ? I never said I am against people being affected by what happens to their loved ones AFTER they die. It's just that I (as in "me", "myself", right ?) am not. What is so offensive about that ?

I actually thought it was a bit funny how some people were trying to trigger an emotional response from me by insulting the people who (they thought) I loved and passed away. Starting with my "dead grandma" who is still alive, and ending with my dead hypothetical children that I will never have. Some of them went to very "gruesome" and explicit details of what they would do to my dead ones. The strongest emotional response they got out of me was "Ew!".

No, I don't care if someone insults my dead loved ones. I don't believe in any form of life after death and since they are dead, they obviously can't be affected by insults. I also don't care if someone "disrespected" their dead bodies, I have absolutely no emotional attachment to their corpses. I do value the memories I have about them. I cherish the little things I have left from them, sometimes I get nostalgic when I hear a song that my grandfather used to love, sometimes I go through the pictures I have with them, sometimes I even think "what would they say about this" when I do something I know they wouldn't like or they would appreciate. But I never visit their graves, their physical remains hold no importance to me.

If you are offended by this, I would have to ask why ? Are you offended by me thinking this or by me saying it ? And what meaning is there in honesty if you are offended by me simply saying what I think ?

Btw ... it's not like you will see me go around and "insulting" dead people, like my "sensitive" commenters tried to do. I would never do that because I know that most people feel differently than I do, and I can understand and respect THAT. I just personally don't relate to it . That's all.