Blame

Why the outrage?

I have watched with incredulity the building outrage against two radio show hosts who played a prank and who have subsequently have been blamed for a nurse taking her own life.

I have had screaming arguments with friends and family over this very issue in the past two days as they gleeful seek “revenge” against the radio hosts. Some have even suggested the best thing they could do is end their own lives…missing the irony of the situation in their outrage.

Now some will suggest I am a heartless bastard for even suggesting that nothing should be done. But consider this, as I have done, from another perspective.

We are far to quick to lay blame and seek explanation from people for wrong that happen in life. If we can blame then we can wash our hands of guilt, or somehow make ourselves feel better that despite a desperate situation for one person that there is someone to blame.

This is erroneous thinking…and one unfortunately conditioned into us with the advent of the all knowing and caring state…where things happen but it is ok because someone else is to blame and the state will fix it. It is rubbish thinking.

From my perspective I have much happen in my life that I could have taken my own life…and people would have been able to point the finger at someone else.

I could have killed myself when my business failed…and people could have blamed my thieving business partner.

I could have killed myself when in the darkness of depression…and people could have blamed the medication, the treatment, or indeed depression itself.

I could have killed myself when Fidelity Life unilaterally ended my claim against all medical advice causing me to lose our house, essentially impoverishing me, unable to fight them¬†through¬†lack of funds…and then someone could have blamed the insurance company.

I could have killed myself when I was coming off the medication I was forced to take so that an insurance company to have the proper forms filled out…because the only way to deal with depression is to take drugs apparently…and then blamed the same insurance¬†company¬†and the drug¬†companies¬†for the evil side effects.

I could have killed my self when the Herald on Sunday ran a nasty story about me….and then Kathryn Powley would have been blamed for ending my life.

I could have killed myself in the dark days of despair and loneliness that I felt in the days after my mother died.

And I could have killed myself in dealing with a¬†psychopathic, vexatious litigant intent on causing me as much financial harm as possible…who even sent letters¬†demanding my appearance in court¬†the day my mother died saying it was tough she was ill but too bad he would show any consideration…and then he could have been blamed as well.

These are just a few of the incidences in recent years where contemplating ending it has entered my thoughts. Quite literally there are hundreds of nasty emails, voicemail messages and texts that have come my way in the years I have been blogging that are far worse than a prank call from a radio station that I too could have used as an excuse to end my life…some of those messages actually tell me it would be best if I killed myself.

Even today I am worth more dead than alive. I still struggle with depression and dark thoughts are never far away. I have not killed myself because…well I don’t really know why I haven’t…other than own personal beliefs around the issue, and that no matter how dark and awful things get I always seem to be able to see some hope. I certainly gave up blaming anyone else a long time ago.

But…as this story unfolds in the UK and Australia I find myself wondering why no one is looking at the actual person responsible.

The only person responsible for the ending through self harm of ones life is the person who actually kills themselves. Suicide is one of the most selfish, self centred, egotistical acts of violence that we see. It isn’t a cry for help it is a final…well look at what I did then.

Until we confront suicide and deal with it in a realistic manner then we will all continue to lay the blame at the wrong feet.

If we are to say that the radio host are responsible then what we are saying is that no media, not print, not radio, not television should ever interview, speak with or indeed prank with anyone until they have seen a full mental health certificate of the intended interviewee or prank victim.

It is flawed thinking to blame anyone else other than the person who killed themselves. No one can ever know the¬†mental¬†health status of any person they are talking to…to now attribute blame is flawed logic and will not assist in any way, shape or form in understanding and dealing with suicide.

We need to grow up and stop reacting so emotively.

In commenting on this post please try and look logically and pragmatically at the issue rather than rush to silly emotive rantings.

It’s always someone else’s fault, Ctd

Deborah Coddington continues exploring people’s propensity to blame their misfortune on others:

But we love to blame someone else for everything. Despite the road toll coming down we’re still among the worst drivers in the world and, unsurprisingly, the age group that refuses to improve is the 40 to 59 year bracket.

But it’s never the driver’s fault. Media reports said a car crossed the centre line near Wairoa killing four people in late January. Really? The car must have read Stephen King’s novel¬†Christine.

And in Paraparaumu late last year critics blamed the Transport Agency for a man and woman’s death in a fatal accident because a planned median barrier had been delayed. But police said their car veered across the centre line. Inattentive driving caused their death, not the state of the highway.

Now we’re blaming the loss of school swimming pools for the rapid rise in drownings. But isn’t it our own stupidity and carelessness?

Talk to the lifeguards and they’ll tell you that idiots are swimming drunk, perhaps with all their clothes on, outside the flags. Or fishing off rocks but not wearing lifejackets.

People go fishing in overloaded tin cans, in ominous weather, with no lifejackets – or stow them under the hatch.

Parents once ignored everything else when bathing babies, or watching kids swimming in pools or at the beach, but these days it seems that phone calls, text messages or chatting with friends are more important. “I was only distracted for a minute” is enough for a little one to drown. In the past decade 89 preschoolers have drowned as a result of adult complacency.

Often these adults blame anyone but themselves. Yes, it’s tragic – dreadful – to lose a child, but if two toddlers wander off near the Gisborne river and their mothers don’t notice for 15 minutes it’s hardly the fault of the Gisborne District Council (as the family claimed) when 2-year-old Sukhraj Singh is drowned and his cousin is barely alive. Toddlers must be kept within grabbing distance.

Blame, blame, blame…everyone but themselves. Perhaps this is all simply a case of stupid is, as stupid does.

Fenton and Wall: Goff might be happy

It has occurred to me that Phil Goff may actually be happy about the abusive, ignorant and hostile comments made by Darien Fenton and Louisa Wall towards NZ icon Sir Peter Leitch.

Goff knows that the election is over. That there is SFA he can do to turn things around. That his leadership has failed to inspire.

But he obviously doesn’t want to blame defeat on himself. Whatever we might all think about Goff as Labour leader, we would all agree that he’s not the only reason for Labour’s bad polling.

And so, the blame game will be developed in the Goffice, for what will be the concession speech from hell. He will need excuses, and he has plenty of those now.

Perhaps it will sound something like this:

“Frankly, we didn’t deserve to win this election when senior members of the caucus were more interested in hate than love, more interested in blame than responsibility, than making enemies instead of making friends.

Our campaign manager plumbed new depths of narcissm online.
Our communications expert offended people with her comments.
A senior Maori caucus member developed an unhealthy porn addiction.
Another caucus member was more interested in taxpayer travel than working class rights.
A union member abused a businessman hero and kept it up until even our closest allies told her to shut up.

To the man or woman who takes over from me tonight, I sincerely wish you the best of luck, and I hope for Labour’s sake, you cut out the cancer from the party that I could not treat with inclusiveness and gentle prodding. Good luck Mr Shearer.

Yes, Goff has been a bad leader. Labour should have rolled him some time ago. But how do Labour roll an entire half of a caucus?