October 23, 2005
An abstract from a recent paper:
This article assesses the link between country music and metropolitan suicide rates. Country music is hypothesized to nurture a suicidal mood through its concerns with problems common in the suicidal population, such as marital discord, alcohol abuse, and alienation from work. The results of a multiple regression analysis of 49 metropolitan areas show that the greater the airtime devoted to country music, the greater the white suicide rate. The effect is independent of divorce, southernness, poverty, and gun availability. The existence of a country music subculture is thought to reinforce the link between country music and suicide. Our model explains 51% of the variance in urban white suicide rates.
Tags: suicide, country
October 13, 2005
furniture polish. a nice choice.
famed singer billy joel attempts suicide, apparently in connexion with an affair with his drummer’s wife.
Joel was saved by the very man he was betraying - drummer Jon Small, who rushed Joel to the hospital. Joel was later transferred to a psychiatric ward.
October 11, 2005
I’m currently looking to introduce a management information system, whatever that means, into a company. to me it just means information retrieval, people who want stuff should be able to get it. i’m looking at wikis and rss because this seems to me to offer a nice way of structuring inormation and selectively alerting people to what’s there.
i’ve talked to a few people about doing this and they’ve been helpful to varying degrees. however, what surprised, nay astonished me, is the ignorance of all the professionals i spoke to. by professionals i mean those who get paid to project manage and implement IT solutions, to manage business information. to a man they have been clueless. two of them had never heard of a wiki, or rss, or tagging.
something tells me i shouldn’t be so surprised.
picture from flikr: ignorance
October 2, 2005
Well, this is Dr Bruce Prescott, compassionate man about town who happens upon the general geographical area of a suicide. Naturally it makes him think. Often, real insight can be gained in such moments. I think i should do him the honour of quoting him in full.
Last night someone took their own life.
I was with the 84,000 fans inside the OU football stadium near where this person ended his/her life in despair.
I did not hear the explosion. I probably did not know the person.
I wonder if I would have noticed the desperation had I known the person.
There have been occassions when I did know someone who committed suicide and did not perceive the pain in their life before they took it.
After the fact, I learned that most of them were gay.
The suicide of two teenage girls in paris has sparked off calls for, well, i’m not sure. It seems the girls were goths.
“Sadly the suicides don’t surprise me,” said Jacky Cordonnier, a French expert who advises the government on cults.
“There is a drift into Satanism. A structured movement with no scruples is trying to take over and manipulate the young, and it can lead them into this kind of extreme behaviour,” he said.
When the goth movement began in Britain in the 1980s, it expressed a more passive melancholy, said Cordonnier. But in recent years it has been transformed, and its extreme exponents in Death and Black Metal music flirt with a kind of neo-Nazi paganism.
Paul Aries, author of a book on the goth movement, said: “There is no question that fantasising over extremely morbid images to a very violent form of music can undermine young adolescents.
“What is more worrying is why so many young people choose to live out their normal teenage rebellion on this type of nihilistic and death-obsessed terrain. It is a symptom of something very sick in our civilisation.”
Tags: suicide, goths
A friend is staying with us right now. He’s been in spain for a few months and today went out and about on the buses. His last journey was from Bermondsey to Sydenham, first in a number 12, then a 185 (in the abscence of a 176, for any london bus geeks). IN slow-moving traffic two “youths” began attacking the bus with iron bars. The driver doesn’t flinch, carries on. Later the bus is pelted from a bridge with eggs.
I don’t do buses, but it would appear likely that this is a reasonably regular occurence. Perhaps a new urban pastime directed against something big, red, and regular, and that involves virtually no risk of retribution.
Tags: london, bus
October 1, 2005
We now have Britain’s first internet pact suicide.
Christopher Aston, a 25-year-old student from Liverpool, northern England, and unemployed Maria Williams, 42, also known as Sanchez, from south London, were found dead in a car in the British capital on February 23.
They had poisoned themselves with carbon monoxide fumes from burning barbecue charcoal.
An inquest this week was told that the pair made contact through a suicide website. They both left separate suicide notes.
The method of suicide is very japanese, too.
And, of course, there are calls for websites which allow this sort of thing to be closed down.