America Sucks From A Shitpipe

Yesterday, celebrity chef and television host Anthony Bourdain committed suicide at the age of 61. This news coincided with a CDC study that American suicide rates have increased 25% nationwide since 1999. My home state Kentucky’s suicide rates have increased 36.8% in that time, making the commonwealth the tenth ranked in the country in suicides per capita.

In the last twelve hours I have come across some truly shitty takes as to why people are committing suicide more than they used to. It’s as if everyone raced to the computer to fire off the shittiest word salad they can conjure with barely a half-thought. Meanwhile I’ve taken about fourteen hours to conjure up this which makes this a lukewarm take.

I have a theory as to why more and more people are committing suicide in America: because this country sucks from a shitpipe.

Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at what has happened since 1999 in this dumb fucking hellhole.

  • Gore won the election but Bush went to the White House because the fix was in from Roger Ailes and Katherine Harris
  • 9/11
  • Starting a war in the middle east that our military is still engaged in despite using obviously faked evidence as a pretext
  • This is also when we opened Gitmo
  • Hurricane Katrina
  • Increasing frequency of mass shootings
  • The economy goes tits up
  • The middle class is gradually dismantled
  • We elected Obama who ran on a platform of CHANGE but he turned out to be about 20% to the left of Bush
  • In his defense, Obama comes up with the Affordable Care Act and signs Dodd-Frank. Fortunately, his political opponents take it in stride
  • Citizens United… oh boy
  • Opiods become the new meth
  • Meth is still around, though
  • More hurricanes
  • More and more mass shootings
  • Social media makes it where we can learn all the bad news FASTER
  • Good news, gang! Gays finally have the right to get married now! Evangelist radicals take it in stride, no problem.
  • The craziest assholes get the biggest platforms
  • Alex Jones says there’s a lab where frogs are turned gay with science
  • Stagnating wages
  • Goldman Sachs, go fuck yourselves
  • Nationwide obesity and diabetes rates increase
  • Clinton won the election but Trump went to the White House because the fix was in from a massive international syndicate
  • Apparently, we are Russia’s bitch now
  • There’s a pee tape and we can’t see the fucking thing
  • You learn that a 40-hour work week at minimum wage can’t buy shit
  • Baby boomers trash you for being lazy, anyway
  • Your college loan debt is a science-fiction epic
  • That Stanford rapist was sentenced to prison for about seven minutes
  • There’s a mass shooting every other day practically
  • And a bunch of other stuff I don’t want to recall because it’s too goddamn depressing
  • WE DIDN’T START THE FIRE IT WAS ALWAYS BURNING SINCE THE WORLDS WERE TURNING!

You can start to see how American life gets on top of people. When the dissonance between your inner doom and the asshole on TV telling you that America is the greatest country that God ever invented. You look around the town where you live and see how bad things are and it doesn’t fit with the news that the Dow Jones hit a new high today. You know you’re being lied to and all you really want is two things: for somebody to be upfront and honest with you, and for someone to treat you with some humanity.

I would leave the US if I could. I don’t love it, but I can’t afford to go. It wouldn’t be the end of mine or your problems. But maybe if this was a better place, it wouldn’t exacerbate the problems you already have.

I don’t blame anyone for checking out early. They’re not weak or cowards. They’re just pressing stop on a shitty movie. We are not much better than the countries we call our enemies, in that our country does the bare minimum to give its residents a viable way of life.

My generation watched the plug get pulled on a vegetative American dream. Hopelessness and helplessness are far for the course.

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12/5/17 (Wrap-Up)

(I wrote this 12/5/17. I’ve been holding on to it for a few weeks. Might as well post it now.)

child

My mind ran with terrible thoughts as I tried to sleep last night. I lie awake with dark, empty thoughts of death. Death seemed sweet to me. I felt myself slipping away.

The emptiness was replaced with a cycle of thoughts stating and reinforcing the case for suicide. I felt myself slipping away. I told myself I was slipping away. I felt like I was already out of everybody’s life as it was. My death was a mere formality.

Last week I read a story about a war criminal in Bosnia-Herzegovina who drank poison to protest the verdict of guilt against him. I was impressed with the drama of it, his showmanship.

I sometimes have this fantasy of doing something similar but at an award show on live television. If I were somehow fortunate enough to be nominated and win a Grammy, I could go onstage make a statement and then swallow a cyanide tablet or two and that would be the end for me.

I wrote a song about it, “Drunk On TV“. It’s on the last TVH album. Part of the song is about being a guest on a late-night talk show and, as you can guess, sitting there drunk and/or strung out.

Jane’s Addiction was right. Nothing’s shocking. It would take a televised suicide to jolt the masses. . . and even that would be a moment that would pass. Anyone willing to commit an act like that would become a footnote to history like R. Budd Dwyer or Christine Chubbuck.

And yet the world kept going after they died. Even though the urge kept calling me, I knew the world would keep going. It is even as I speak. . . going on all around me.

I find that relieving.

 

Anxiety Variety (No Talk Thingy)

I have forgotten to talk to people.

I come from nowhere. I go nowhere and stay there. I throw these little chunks of writing out into the world and that is how I communicate.

I forget to talk to people. I forget to stay in touch.

I don’t have conversations very often. The ones I have tend to be short and awkward. I feel cold and distant from everything around me. Is this my choice or by circumstance?

I haven’t had a real conversation since Thursday. I’ve gone a whole four days without a real conversation.

I live alone. I don’t have a roommate. No one to annoy, no one to annoy me. No one to split bills with. No one to worry about if the bills are going to be paid or not. No one to talk to.

I go to the store. I say a few words to the clerks. Nothing major. All small talk. Pleasantries. I nod my head and say thanks. I want to get out there as soon as I can.

Home is the bunker. Home is peace. Home is life. No pressure at home. Just the loneliness.

Tuesday I will have to go out for a while. I will probably end up in a conversation whether I want to or not. I want to talk. I don’t want to forget how to do it.

After midnight postscript: I went out into the world on Tuesday like I said I would. I had two doctor appointments. I spoke with the doctors. They were doctor-patient conversations. Do those count? I’m just glad I spoke to somebody anybody no matter who or what about.

My temperature was taken, my pulse and blood pressure was checked. I was given a flu shot. It was the most intimacy I’ve had in ages. I expect to be alone. I’m resigned to it. I don’t know how to demand more. In order to love myself, I must give myself a chance to open up to people.

It’s not like I haven’t done it before. 🙂