My 'stuff' on suicide and the media. The first six parts are a piece I did some of at a Royal College of Psychiatrists conference at the SECC in Glasgow on 12 July 2006 (not on the main stage though).
Tragic Boffins And Troubled Teens Part 1
Tragic Boffins And Troubled Teens Part 2
Tragic Boffins And Troubled Teens Part 3
Tragic Boffins And Troubled Teens Part 4
Tragic Boffins And Troubled Teens Part 5
Tragic Boffins And Troubled Teens Part 6
see here for an article on doing the presentation
Tragic Boffins And Troubled Teens Part 7
If you're looking for the last part of Tragic Boffins And Troubled Teens, it was yesterday! Hahahahahaha I tricked you! I am the best! But I edited it today to finish it off, so have a look if you were looking for that. The rest of you will be pleased that I'm returning to my normal nonsense, you sickos. Anne is coming up tomorrow, until Sunday, which is nice. "He must have a backlog of things to tell us that he'd normally have blogged in the past week," you'll be thinking. "This should be better than a normal one." And then... "Hang on," you think, "he'll probably have forgotten them all, won't he. You know what he's like." Oh ye of little faith! Is that what you think of me? Yes, yes I have. Oh, what fun!
This passed my window yesterday:
I love the guy's pose - it speaks of "what do you think of that then? I made that myself! Aren't I cool?" I don't think he did make it himself though, and if he's that pleased about driving the thing, I think that's a bit worrying. If he doesn't even drive it then I'm very scared indeed. Apparently it's a tamper. I thought that meant it did something to the rails, sort of 'tamping' them down, which I had a picture of in my head based on who knows what, but I just looked it up, and it means it's a ballast tamper. But then, I looked that up and wikipedia said: "A ballast tamper or tamping machine is a machine used to pack the track ballast under railway tracks to make the tracks more durable. Prior to the introduction of mechanical tampers, this task was done by manual labour with the help of beaters. As well as being more efficient and less labour intensive, tamping machines are needed for the use of concrete sleepers since they are too heavy (usually over 250 kg) to be packed into the ballast by hand. The machines also correct the alignment of the rails to make them parallel and level, to minimise jerks and bumps experienced by passengers whilst travelling and to reduce mechanical strain put on the rails." So it DOES do something to the rails, but it doesn't tamp them. And I somehow had the right kind of idea as to what tamping was.
Well, I'm off to make my dinner now, and I'm not going to tell you it's a Thai curry due to certain accusations that have been made about me going on about them, so there.
Eraser Of The Day: Staedtler
Posted by Keir Hardie at 10:13 pm
Hurrah! Britney video depicting 'suicide' stopped by The Sun! And no-one else! It was The Sun wot won it! In the video it appeared to be partly triggered by getting hassled by 'the media' - are we starting to see a pattern here? "A recent study found that celebrity suicides are 14 times more likely to spark copycats than those involving ordinary people. When Marilyn Monroe took an overdose of sleeping pills in 1962, there was a 12 percent increase in suicides in the same month." Two things strike me about this ending: firstly that I expect celebrity suicides are MORE than 14 times more likely to be plastered all over the tabloids than those involving ordinary people, most likely on the front! Secondly - what relevance does it have? This is not a story about a celebrity suicide! The study didn't say that celebrity cheesy videos depicting suicide are 14 times more likely to spark copycats than cheesy videos depicting suicide involving ordinary people! It's an easy mistake to make if you don't really understand anything I suppose.
Here we see that the suicide rate is much higher for poor people than for 'those in posh postcodes' - a depessing fact, but I am so hardened to it that I find the abuse of the English language even more depressing. And again, the researchers suggest that factors such as drug abuse, divorce and unemployment were more likely to be more common in poor areas, without mentioning why, namely that life is harder if you are poor. Another recurring pattern? What are they afraid of? Is it too depressing to mention that, because the poor are likely to remain poor and it is likely that nothing will be done about it? Who knows how life will change over the next fifty years. It is likely that more people will be more comfortable materially than now. But it is also likely that life will be more stressful than it is now for more people. What we as a society value most dictates how it develops, and would we prefer the same as now but more so to a real challenge? Yes, we would. We're not very good at grasping the nettle - we're all CBT'd out, all too easy to think what's easiest to deal with. Maybe the little things we're doing will make a real difference. Nothing we need to do today that can't wait for tomorrow. Maybe things can go on like this forever. Maybe all of our little efforts can stop things getting much worse. We can't really hope for anything more fundamental.
I'll leave you with a last thought from Chris Morris...
Posted by Keir Hardie at 8:35 pm
Hello again - sorry about the layout and readability of that, I could have sorted it but there's a time/life balance thing. Anyway, here we see the lovely Chris Parker (well I'm told he's lovely, I've never watched Eastenders myself obviously), on the front page of The Sun following a suicide attempt that seem to have been the culmination of a chain of events started by speculation about his sexuality - by the tabloids. Need I say any more? They know no shame. How telling everybody about either matter was in the public interest I cannot comprehend. To his great credit Chris then did a documentary about male suicide for Radio 1 which is as good as these things tend to be. I did learn one thing which was that some men find it hard to talk about their problems - and not just Scots men, despite what I've been told. Although the webpage mentions Chris' attempt there was not mention of it on the programme, unless I missed it (I've heard several very similar programmes over the years and I find it a bit hard to concentrate on them now) - good for him. People always want to know about the trigger, as if it was the cause, so good for him talking about it without talking about it.
TOMORROW: Britney! Oh yes, I'm afraid so! And maybe more too.
Posted by Keir Hardie at 8:39 pm