Rather than torture myself on this busy newsday only covering a single topic in depth, I decided instead to take a surface level look at all the important stories. I was overcome with emotions these past two days, feeling sadness for Senator McCain’s cancer diagnosis, surprise at OJ Simpson’s parole announcement, and anger at the Trump/Sessions debacle. Ironic that just the other day I was complaining how slow the news was lately, and now I’m swimming in it. Let’s take a look at these stories, piece by piece.
LINKIN PARK’s Chester Bennington Takes His Own Life
In an ever increasing social epidemic, the lead singer of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, took his own life this morning and was found hanged in his home at 9 am. This comes rather recently to the suicide of Chris Cornell, Chester’s friend and fellow rock musician. This also follows the prison suicide of Aaron Hernandez and fellow celebrity suicide of Robin Williams. Suicide is a massive epidemic in this nation that everybody keeps their head down about and pretends that it would never happen to somebody they know, or even worse, that they’d never stoop to that level. That being said, suicide is the number 10 highest cause of death and 7/10 are committed by white males. What bothers me about the spree of high profile suicides I noted above is that each one of these people led a blessed life and possessed so much talent, yet each also possessed hardship as well and their flocks of fans use these hardships to justify their final acts. Suicide is never the correct option, in any scenario, and all you do when you take your own life as a public figure is show every single fan out there that uses your art to cope, whether you’re a comedian like Robin Williams or a musician like Chester, is that no matter how old, talented, rich, or successful you are, depression doesn’t get better, problems don’t go away, and it’s just a matter of time before your demons catch up to you.
I reject this, and I loathe each of these figures for taking their lives. The demons can be held at bay, not with medication, but with actual healing, whether it’s through therapy, healthy lifestyles, and having a caring partner. It bothers me that almost every person that takes their life leaves behind loved ones, and in the case of Bennington and Williams they left behind children as well. I urge anyone who is currently struggling with mental health issues, or have in the past, or will in the future, to gain perspective in the matter and ultimately make the right decision. I recognize that Chester was sexually abused when he was younger, I recognize Robin Williams was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, that didn’t mean they had to take their lives and make the worst kind of statement. Use these figures as role models only to aspire that although you might never be as “famous” as one of these people, that your flame will burn longer than theirs, and hopefully you too can leave an impression on people sharing that you suffered demons but you fought through them and lived to see another day. Despite what the media wants you to think, life’s worth living, and this is the best time to be alive.
That being said, if you do need to talk to somebody, the national suicide prevention hotline number is:
There’s no need to bottle things up. Mental health is grossly underappreciated in this country, so if you need help, get it. Together, we’re strong, no need to be bare things alone.
The Juice is Loose
In less solemn news, the internet was left stunned today after it was announced that alleged murderer and former football star O.J. Simpson will be released this October. The O.J. controversy has been on everybody’s mind these past years, as multiple shows and documentaries were released covering the trial, and it makes sense that so many people still talk about O.J.’s case to this day. O.J.’s murder trial is the best blatant example of the American media distorted and blowing racial relations and other issues so out of proportion that a clearly guilty man with a history and future of violence got to walk free. There can be direct connections drawn between the trials of the police who brutalized Rodney King, the O.J. trial, and the modern day issues that groups like Black Lives Matter cover and talk about. I personally find this entire man’s life a fascinating case study in how skin color and fame can directly affect the supposedly “blind” justice system in this nation, his first trial for the better, his second trial for the worse. I don’t take offense to O.J. being released though as the man is 70 years old, and I really don’t see him committing any more acts of violence these upcoming years. If rapists like Roman Polanski can walk around free, why can’t O.J.?
Drama in Trump’s Cabinet
Yet again, Donald Trump displayed his ugliest flaw today and back-stabbed yet another one of his close co-workers. This time, it was in Senator Jeff Sessions who is currently serving in Trump’s Cabinet as Attorney General. Trump was irritated at Sessions for recusing himself from the Russian investigations by using the power given to him by being AG. It’s understandable why Trump would be upset, Sessions just got to declare immunity from the media’s fake news while Trump and his family have spent the past six months desperately trying to convince people that he has had nothing to do with Russia, even with the media admitting directly that they lied about the Russia stories. That being said, Trump does have a duty as president to handle the office with respect, and although I’ve applauded his direct language in the past, I do have reservations behind his “Scorched Earth” policy when it comes to how he treats people he feels burned by. He actually said to the media that, “He wishes he had never hired Sessions”, which is impossible to read without hearing the sniffling of a nine year old, rubbing his nose on his sleeve after getting picked last for Little League. Jeff Sessions did comment later today and confirm that he’ll be staying on as AG and that not only does he love his job and his nation, but that he essentially understood where Trump’s comments were coming from, which puts the story that started today’s news off with a nice little close.
When it Rains, it Pours
I guess from now on I’ll know better than to hope for a busier news day. I find it so strange that so many high level and important events all occurred on the same day, and how each walled garden of the world had their own thing to be concerned about. Gamer and nerd culture were ignorant to most of the news, as San Diego Comic Con is currently going on, meaning those people’s feeds were full of gaming and tech news. People into music were lamenting Chester’s death, people into politics were stressing over Trump, Sessions, and Russia, comedians got to laugh about O.J.’s release, and last of all Ted Cruz got to tweet about how today is the anniversary of the moon landing. Strange times we live in folks, let’s just appreciate that we have the tools to consume and digest all of it!