Suicide notes not messages

Suicide rates by Health Service Area (HSA), 19...

“Out in the culture, suicide notes are often romanticized, quoted as poetry or as laugh lines. But… suicide almost always rises from psychic distress that distorts thinking, distress that might have passed if time allowed. Maybe one day there will be a cryptographer who can decipher the notes left behind and figure out how to stop the next one.” via Chicago Tribune.

A largely incoherent article about an intensely poignant subject. Mental health professionals are all about deciphering messages that arise from distressed distorted thinking, which does not appear to have occurred to the writer of this article. Hard to understand in what possible sense suicide notes are not messages.


The Culture Warriors Get Laid Off

Addams Family Values album cover

Frank Rich thinks the culture wars are over. I think he’s deluding himself.

“…The family-values dinosaurs that once stalked the earth — Falwell, Robertson, Dobson and Reed — are now either dead, retired or disgraced. Their less-famous successors pumped out their pro forma e-mail blasts, but to little avail. The Republican National Committee said nothing whatsoever about Obama’s reversal of Bush stem-cell policy. That’s quite a contrast to 2006, when the party’s wild and crazy (and perhaps transitory) new chairman, Michael Steele, likened embryonic stem-cell research to Nazi medical experiments during his failed Senate campaign.

What has happened between 2001 and 2009 to so radically change the cultural climate? Here, at last, is one piece of good news in our global economic meltdown: Americans have less and less patience for the intrusive and divisive moral scolds who thrived in the bubbles of the Clinton and Bush years. Culture wars are a luxury the country — the G.O.P. included — can no longer afford.” via New York Times op-ed.