Monday, June 09, 2008

Bring back the good old-fashioned suicides

Like the Scandinavian countries and China, Japan has a high suicide rate. Suicide has a long and distinguished tradition in Japan. Samurai committed suicide as a way to die with honor. Many writers and others have ended their lives with suicide. Last year at least one member of the government (Minister of Agriculture Toshikatsu Matsuoka) committed suicide over a scandal. I was jealous. One wishes Ronald Dummsfeld, mistercheney, or Karl Rove had as much honor and the foresight to know what was best for the country and their legacies. If this idea were developed a little further for the criminal justice system, forcibly applying lethal injection or the electric chair would not be necessary. The killer would come out into the execution chamber and inject / electrocute / hang / immolate / seppuku (exenterate) themselves without prompting under the silent stares of the bereaved victims. If they didn't feel quite ready to atone in that way, they could go back to their cells until they felt more prepared. No pressure.

I think in modern suicide cultures there is a desire to take control of one's own life, including the conditions of one's own death. Many people mistakenly think death to be the opposite of life, but death is the opposite of birth. Both are stages of life. Death is a part of life. The opposite of life is not death, but unliving, inanimate matter.

Popular suicide technologies have ranged from the burning of charcoal to poison oneself with carbon monoxide (East Asian equivalent of car + hose/garage), to jumping in front of a train, inconveniencing millions of commuters for one's 15 minutes (to one hour) of fame it takes for a station employee to collect the severed limbs, torso, head, get the police on-site, take the photos, collect eyewitness accounts, and move the people along again. A new trend that is sweeping the nation in this year's suicide boom is the home hydrogen-sulfide-generating method which uses a few common household chemicals to generate a small room or bathroom full of toxic gas. Users search the internet to find instructions. A few years ago, it was more common for people to search the internet to find a group of like-minded suiciders to commit suicide together using charcoal.

Yesterday's killing spree in Akihabara is the latest in a continuing series of more homicidal tendencies. People are throwing other people off bridges, pushing them in front of trains, driving into crowds of people with their vehicles, trying to stab as many people as possible, coming forward en mass claiming, "I wanted to (see what it felt like to) kill someone" and statements of that sort. It may be a kind of creeping Americanization, the rise of homicidal tendencies over the traditional suicidal tendencies. Many of these people, while spouting suicidal wishes, don't even manage to successfully kill themselves as they kill others.

The local expression for this running amok that has become more common is Kireta! which means tearing apart one's bag of patience, i.e. blowing one's top, finally cracking.

It's not yet an epidemic. The murder rate is so low that you can basically read about each one. I remember one time in Los Angeles when the L. A. Times tried to print every murder that occured in the city over a two-day weekend. There were the usual 50+ homicides, each of which got a paragraph, spread over a two-page spread of the paper.

I, for one, would like to see the older, more suicidally-inclined culture preserved and protected. However, as the population nosedives increasingly quickly due to the birthrate decline, the government is likely to put even more barriers in the way of suicide, causing frustrated suicidal people to try homicide instead. Attempts to stop the suicide will lead to more homicides and paradoxically lead to further depopulation. Just as HIV predictably led to government efforts to teach self-gratification and abstinence to the youth, efforts to instruct the youth in traditional and modern Kevorkian methods may reduce the risk of collateral damage.

I think we need to build more suicide counseling centers, and provide more suitable work, such as mine clearance in Cambodia, to the tired-of-life, ready-to-die set. I also think that Dr Kevorkian should take the franchise of clinics that he dreams of to the international community, operating offshore or in international airspace, to provide self-termination services in a warm, supportive atmosphere similar to that proposed in Kurt Vonnegut's 2BR02B, among other imaginary accounts. This is the ultimate way to reduce one's carbon Gore-print.

Perhaps in the future the ubiquitous closed-circuit TVs will also do a rudimentary brain-scan to detect the tell-tale sign of an imminent suicide so that public transit employees and trained counselors can intervene to prevent the person from also injuring others. …or deliver a brief dose of electroshock therapy to re-orient the person's mind-set.

I don't advocate suicide. If you are ready to die, you are ready for anything, so why not dedicate yourself to the service of mankind (or other sentient species of your choice), in a way which is likely to result in your own death? Hence the mine clearance work. Become a cop. Infiltrate the mafia. Smuggle people out of North Korea. Circumnavigate the globe on a rubber duck (…for… a cause?). Being ready to die is a prerequisite for a lot of different work, actually. Life IS slow suicide, after all, isn't it? And what would be a worse torture than being unable to die, living forever?

Music for today:=MMeatlCujB4
Better: original audio+anime: Azxo3wOZgT4

Update: A portion of an article at PCWorld.

Japan has one of the lowest crime rates in the developed world. The homicide rate was just 1.1 per 100,000 people in 2005, according to figures from Japan's Ministry of Justice. In comparison, the U.K. had a homicide rate of 3.2, Germany 2.9 and the U.S. 5.6, the ministry said.

But more and more these days there are signs that the social fabric that has held Japan together for so long is slowly coming apart at the seams. Where once people had jobs for life and everyone looked out for their neighbors, now many Japanese take temporary jobs to makes ends meet, live in anonymous one-room apartments in vast cities and rarely speak to those around them.

Estimates say up to 1 million out of Japan's population of 128 million simply shut themselves off from the world in their bedrooms. These people, often children, spend their days online, playing computer games and watching television. If they do venture out, it's usually in the middle of the night to a nearby convenience store.

Japan also faces a serious suicide problem. It has the highest suicide rate of any developed nation but the government appears unable or unwilling to do much about it.

In 2006, just over 32,000 people killed themselves -- approximately 87 people per day. While many commit suicide alone, in the last few years group suicides have become more common. The disillusioned often meet up online, make a plan to meet somewhere, and then kill themselves together.

As on Sunday, some choose to take the lives of others rather than their own and these indiscriminate crimes have Japanese thinking their society is less safe than before.

Most people will tell you the 1995 poison gas attack on Tokyo's subway by a religious cult was the start of it all. Twelve people were killed in the attack -- the most deadly Japan has seen since the end of World War II -- and thousands were hospitalized.

Two years later, the nation was shocked by the brutal murder of a school girl in Kobe. She had been killed and her head left on a stake outside the school. But if the murder was to shock, Japan a bigger surprise came when the killer was revealed: a 14-year-old school boy.

The list of gruesome murders has grown longer with time. In 2001, seven years to the day of Sunday's attack, a man entered an elementary school in Osaka in western Japan and killed eight children with a knife. In the same year, a teen hijacked a highway bus in western Japan killing one person.

More recently, a man wanted by police on suspicion of murder stabbed and killed a woman and injured seven others in a shopping mall in Ibaraki, north of Tokyo in March of this year. And in January, a high school student injured two with a knife on a shopping street in Tokyo.

Source: PCWorld


Anonymous said...

A new suicide method has been developed as an alternative to hanging suicide and briquette suicide (carbon monoxide poisoning).
You don't have to provide rope for suicide by hanging or make a fire for suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning.
It is easier than suicide by hanging or by briquette (carbon monoxide poisoning).

Only mix 2 kinds of liquids those you can buy at drugstore or at gardening corner of homecenter.
[Hydrogen sulfide],a potent poison than carbon monoxide,occur quickly.
* It is sometimes misunderstanded with "chlorine gas",but it is [Hydrogen sulfide],more potently. *
You can lose your senses in a second(knock down:painless!!) if you breath [high concentration hydrogen sulfide] over 1000ppm!!!!
You can't "knock down" with "chlorine gas"!

Strong Acid + Calcium Polysulfides = Hydrogen sulfide (H2S)

* If in a bathroom or a car,enough with each 2 litters (about half gallon).
* You can use sulfuric acid of a car battery as strong acid, and you can use a pesticide lime sulfur as calcium polysulfides.

It reachs a fatal concentration over 1000ppm quickly.
(Please mix in a vessel, such as buckets)

Acid Sources
Lysol(R) Ready to Use Disinfectant (4-8 percent citric and hydroxyacetic acid)
Lysol(R) Toilet Bowl Cleaner (9.5 percent HCl)
Sno Bol(R) Toilet Cleaner (15 percent HCl)
**The Works(R) Toilet Bowl Cleaner (15-25 percent HCl)** coooooooooool!!!!!!!!
Blu-Lite(R) Germicidal Acid Bowl Cleaner (20.5 percent phosphoric acid)
Kaboom(R) Shower, Tub, and Tile Cleaner (5-7 percent urea-monohydrochloric acid)
Tile, stone cleaners (1-30 percent HCl)

Sulfur Sources
Artist oil paints (0-15 percent zinc sulfide)
Dandruff shampoos (1.0 percent selenium sulfide)
**Pesticides (5-30 percent calcium polysulfides)** coooooooooool!!!!!!!!
Spackling paste (1-2 percent zinc sulfide)
Some latex paints (6.6 percent zinc sulfide)
Garden fungicides (5-90 percent sulfur)

Hydrogen Sulfide: A Potential First Responder Hazard
Advisory New York State Office of Homeland Security September 26, 2008
Emergency Managers Advisory

Dangerous Japanese 'Detergent Suicide' Technique Creeps Into U.S.

Chemical TerrorismFact Sheet
Blood Gas Agents - Hydrogen Sulfide

Mujahideen Poisons Handbook

Blues Tea-Cha said...

Thanks, 'non-mouse. Those are some interesting links altho it's probably more information (TMI) than I wanted to know and may violate some local ordinances.
Asphyxiation, poisoning, hanging, self-exenteration, and the gun never appealed to me. I always imagine suicide as a more of a leap or perhaps a high-speed crash.
For philosophical and practical reasons I do think legal suicide will be increasingly permissible or even embraced by societies. The carbon savings along could be huge. Maybe the survivors could inherit the carbon credits to sell or trade. Kevorkian Kwik Klinics and the fully-automated Kevorkian Kwik Kiosks might one day be as ubiquitous as 7-11s, MacDonalds, Starbucks, and ATMs, and could take care of all our terminal needs.