Monday 23rd December my second year college students here in China were analyzing an article about a speech that Spiro Agnew made many years ago, about the power of the (unchecked) press. During that activity I made a statement which shocked many students. I told them that they have to be stupid to want to live in America or Australia or other western countries. I asked my students if they were afraid to walk in the streets in China at night and they said that they weren't. I told them that in China I am never fearful walking at night - but I am in Australia. Violence is everywhere. Just today there was yet another headline of a young person's violent death at the hands of 'ordinary' citizens in Australia.
There is another form of violence however, one that doesn't get too much publicity. It is called 'emotional abuse.' In my emails today I received an appeal for publicity for a new film project which deals with abusive social media that results in suicide. 'Violent death at the hands of 'ordinary' citizens' does not automatically mean as it does in the link above, that some person has physically bashed someone to death, but as can be found from time to time in the media, it can mean kids killing themselves because they can no longer cope with the downright 'ugly and abusive' behavior of 'ordinary citizens,' - citizens like 'YOUR' kids.
I have lived in China for 11 years and I say with complete honesty, that western 'culture' is nasty, abusive, derogatory, inflexible, self-righteous and oh so bloody politically correct. It is downright murderous. You may disagree if you wish but you are more likely to be speaking from offended pride than an honest appraisal of the real world around you.
The email I received today is about 'suicide' - the variety which is the end product of vicious and depraved hearts and minds who actively seek to destroy another person's life. How often have you heard someone say "I'm going to destroy him/her?" They really mean it until someone actually does die.
The film that the email speaks of is Kickstarter Film project that addresses how the Internet, particularly social networking, can influence suicidality - both positively and negatively.
The film is called 'Take the Reins' and is about two parallel lives - one in which the main character finds a connection with the world - and the other, where the disconnect becomes so great that the main character can't imagine going on.
The Suicide Study Group (on Facebook) and members of the Professional Women's Network (LinkedIn) have endorsed the project.
In the film, the main character shares her passing on Facebook, as the world ignores her. Emma Barrett -- the actress and producer-to-be -- knows that someone who is deeply, painfully troubled may still feel drawn to write one last post rather than call someone before committing suicide because that's what people do when they want to speak today -- even for the last time. Emma's shock came when she read the mean, mocking and indifferent comments people wrote on the characters' Facebook page.
You can go to kickstarter.com to read more and to view interviews etc and you can find the press release here.
Without the help of considerate people, the film will not achieve funding.
According to the press release:
'Take the Reins' is currently 29% funded, with 11 days remaining in the crowdfunding campaign. The project can use your help to bring this wonderful film project to the screen. To participate, visit the project Kickstarter page located at: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/emmabarrett/take-the-reins.
Suicide is an epidemic that is out of control. According to recent statistics, over 38,000 people in the United States die by suicide every year. Adding detail to that grim fact, there are an estimated 8-25 attempted suicides for every suicide death