Remember M:A:S:H? Brilliant TV show that still stands the test of time. Remember the theme tune? Suicide is Painless?
Think they would get away with a title like that these days?
I write this the day after it was announced that Robbin Williams hanged himself, and the day that Alan Brazil is under pressure to quit (or be sacked by TalkSport) for expressing the opinion that he “has little sympathy for late comedian and actor”.
A friend of mine committed suicide many many years ago. My immediate thought? You selfish sod! If you were alive now I would kill you! Irrational? Maybe. Insensitive? Probably. How I honestly felt? Absolutely.
And trust me I knew the issues, I know how hard he and his family fought to overcome them and I am in no way demeaning his depression or what he went through. But ….. it made me angry (I still am) for many many reasons, and if he was entitled to express his opinion in the manner he did, then surely I was allowed to express mine in the way I choice. I know 100% that he wouldn’t have had an issue.
Seems to me that suicide is simultaneously incredibly brave and incredibly selfish. It must take an enormous amount of conviction to kill yourself, but at the same time how can it not be selfish to inflict the resulting pain, guilt, trauma on those that loved you?
One thing Suicide isn’t is painless: for anybody.
Speaking on his Breakfast Show, Brazil recounted the moment his wife told him of Williams’s suicide, admitting he misheard the news and thought singer Robbie Williams had died.
“And then when she said, ‘Robin’, I thought, ‘Oh, OK’. It didn’t hit me hard like it would if it had been Robbie. Thank God it wasn’t.”
Despite co-presenter Brian Moore intervening to insist suicide was never “an easy matter”, Brazil added: “I believe he’s got a daughter as well – what’s she feeling like this morning? Now she’s got to sort the arrangements out. I think it’s just shocking, I really do. I don’t have a lot of sympathy, I’m sorry.”
Former England rugby international Moore stepped in again but Brazil countered: “What you leave behind is diabolical. I’m really annoyed about that.” Source
Honestly what is wrong with expressing that as his opinion? You (or I) may or may not agree with the opinion. We may draw conclusions as to the person making the opinions, but that is a separate issue.
In an age dominated by Twitter, Facebook etc where we are all ‘free’ to express an opinion (and I am convinced that the opinions and comments people make online are far more vociferous than they would utter face to face), and on radio stations like Talk Sport and FUBAR where they strive to generate responses via ‘shock jock’ style shows, is it right to damn the opinion giver just because you may disagree with the opinion.
So on that basis I have a question (which may well be an opinion): why is is that ‘we’ are expected to feel sorrow and to express that sorrow with immediate updates on Social Media when a ‘well known’ person dies? Are they any more important or worthwhile that your Gran, the guy in the street next door, the thousands being killed daily around the world because of conflicts, corruption, crime and poor medical attention?
In my opinion? Not at all.