Saw this news story retweeted from Cory Doctorow (@doctorow), and being one who feels informed by things that he writes and by association, by things he reads, I felt compelled to have a look.
It’s scary to think that we have become so desensitized by violence in all forms of media, that we egg on or encourage someone to kill themselves. By we, I mean everyone, not just those who were present for the 19 year old Florida teen in the story. But also by 42 year old Kevin Whitrick of Telford, Shropshire, who hung himself in a webcam suicide. The same can be said of Brandon Vedas of Arizona. All three of these people commited suicide (or at the very least died due to self infliction in the case of overdosing on drugs) live via webcam.
That in itself should be shocking. That someone would do such a thing live, while not new, is a harsh reality of the world we live in. It isn’t new, because people have jumped out of windows, shot themselves, hung themselves or done something that ended their life in front of so many people. But this went from being just a city block to being watched by people across the globe. It sends a message that while the globalization of information is wonderful, there’s also a very dark undercurrent.
But what is more shocking, at least to me, is that those who watched would actually egg on, believing the whole thing to be a set up fake. Have we sunk so low as a society, that when we see someone about to kill themselves that the first thing we think of is that it’s all a fake. That none of it is real. It’s shocking and depressing.
Admittedly, many of those who ended up watching something that was very real were more than likely left with a sense of change in their lives. Or, at least I’m hoping so. That not everything on the Internet is faked for promotional use, or attention getting. That some of it is very real, very scary and very serious. My hope is that many of these people will think twice before deciding to egg someone on to hang themselves, or force drugs down their throats. That they’ll actually try to stop them. There are those that probably did, and to them they should at least try to console themselves that they tried.
If this was an attempt at a fifteen minutes of fame, then that is truly sad. Because there is no celebration of the fame, all that is left is a mourning family. Suicide is never funny, and it is never necessary. No one should ever consider that an option, even in jest. There is always something worse than suicide. In the cases of lives taken in a manner such as these, there is a lasting memory by those who watched. There is also a void left in the world, because a life was unnecessarily taken in a manner so needless.
I’ve been thinking about this the past few days.
Of my two current serial series that I’ve been posting, Black Mask & Pale Rider has been my adventurous romp in the far flung wild west with undertones of fantasy (okay, a lot of fantasy). Blood of the Moon has been closer to home, dealing with no fantasy but more real life situations (with the exception the main character is a superhero). It’s a romance, or at least, that’s how I wanted it to start.
Now, I’m considering changing direction.
I’ve been reading the news, watching reports and listening to what a lot of people are talking about, especially in American politics (let’s face it, unless Harper’s proroguing parliament, Canadian politics are kinda boring). There was the health reform issue, which will continue on, there’s the issue of gay marriage, and there’s always how religion is held. Especially after the recent announcement sexual harassment within the Catholic church. For Canadians, that’s not new, we went through it already once. And there will always be the issue of race.
And then I look Blood of the Moon.
Chelsea Morgan is a middle class black woman who went to a Catholic church in the French Quarter of New Orleans. She ran away from home to live with her brother in another country, and graduated high school at Loboldus High School in Regina. A Catholic high school. A highly intelligent girl with two degrees in two completely different areas, she went to school because she wanted to, not because she could or because she was bored. But she wanted to. A series of misfortunate events (which will be detailed in the future) and we find Chelsea in the employ of a law firm. And she’s a costumed vigilante. And she’s gay.
Let’s recap. Gay. Catholic. Black Woman. Costumed Vigilante working in the poor section of Ravenport, Maine (I made that up, by the way).
For the past week to two weeks, the story itself has been screaming to change directions. And it might, in time. Romance is just one part of life. So is politics. Chelsea may very well become my political soap box (and her surrounding supporting cast), but I can’t get away from the fact that the character can be so much more than just a romance character.
I’ll let Chelsea find happiness first, then I’ll worry about all the other things later.
Until next time…
…keep ‘em flyin’!
Side note: I guess this would be a self hijack, as I’m writing this after the fact. But I have learned while writing Blood of the Moon, fight scenes are easier to write than sex scenes. So, sorry everyone, but from now on any sex scene is going to have a lead up, then fade neatly to black.