Monday, August 11, 2014


There's a saying that life is for living. Trite, easy to remember…
But it has a ring of truth. Every living thing spends it's life trying to survive. It's what living crap does. Take a blade of grass. What's going on in your yard is a desperate war for survival. And for what?
Human society has so much weird ass abstract bullshit going on. It's amazing anybody makes it out of their teens with all the ridiculous anxiety a kid goes through.
But as the Libertarians say, if you don't have the control of your own body, then you're just a slave. Wendy O Williams' purported suicide note expressed this perfectly.
I don't believe that people should take their own lives without deep and thoughtful reflection over a considerable period of time. I do believe strongly, however, that the right to do so is one of the most fundamental rights that anyone in a free society should have. For me, much of the world makes no sense, but my feelings about what I am doing ring loud and clear to an inner ear and a place where there is no self, only calm.
I agree 100%, but go back to the blade of grass. Not wanting to survive, wanting to put an end to your life isn't normal. It's not part of our basic DNA. It's dumbass society fucking with you.
If you want to kill yourself, TELL somebody, talk to somebody, anybody because you're not thinking right. You're a mammal. That's not what mammals do.


VisuaLingual said...

I have to respectfully disagree. Unlike other mammals, humans have the dubious distinction of being able to do lots of things that aren't focused on survival, some of which are even counter to it. For example, creative expression is unnecessary. "Feeding the soul" has nothing to do with actual survival, and yet so many humans feel the urge to pursue art, music, fashion, etc. When we indulge in those things, we're being inherently human.

Since being alive in the first place is not a choice but a reality within which you're stuck, I think choosing to end your own life is another inherently human act. Yeah, maybe it sucks and hurts other people, and there may well be other viable options, but not wanting to survive seems perfectly human to me.

Quimbob said...

trust me, I'm not going to force anybody to live & I certainly support assisted suicide and I kinda used to agree with you but shit happened & I take the viewpoint now that it's unnatural.
I'm not saying we should only do things 'natural', bog knows driving cars, planes, bicycles seriously ain't natural, but snuffing yourself is not in your basic animal nature.

VisuaLingual said...

I'm really not trying to defend suicide as the right thing to do -- unless you're literally on your own and have no one in your life, your life isn't entirely your own, so it's a pretty rotten thing to do to the people who care about you. I do support the option on principle, though.

In terms of nature, how long ago did we pass the point of being guided solely by our biological instincts? How many of us wouldn't have survived birth or early childhood if it weren't for modern medicine? How many times has it fixed or saved us? Contemporary human existence isn't very natural, and our own advances have given us the time and freedom to ponder "unnecessary" issues such as our mental health, the meaning of life and the nebulous "quality of life" that has nothing to do with survival. And if we accept all that, then suicide seems part and parcel of the human condition -- it's no less natural than what our lives already are.

I do have a hard time with the idea of mental illness as an "illness" like leukemia or diabetes. I'm not against mental health professionals or even the meds they prescribe, but there's something very strange to me about diagnosing someone's personality as an illness, as something to manage for the rest of your life. I do believe that people should be able to access these resources when needed, but I consider them a crutch or short-term solution.

Years ago, though, I read an excellent article in the NYT about depression that made a strong case for what I just discounted. I'm pretty sure I saved it somewhere. I'll send it to you if I can find it. It was very convincing, but I refused to believe it [which I can't really justify, I know].