Freitag, 19. Mai 2017

Unnecessary Opinions on Tragedies - Kind of a Rant

I just saw an article a German magazine posted on facebook that said that Angela Merkel’s mother has been in an accident. I’m not going to say I’m deeply concerned or anything, I don’t know Mrs. Merkel or her mother personally.
What made me want to write this, though, is something that has bothered me before: the comment section.
It’s not even the people writing the really TERRIBLE stuff like “Great, I wish her the worst“. Those people are probably trolls or just really really bitter, you can’t help those.
What bothers me is the amout of people saying things like “If that happened to MY mother nobody would write an article“ or “What about the average working mother with sick parents? Nobody cares about me, only those rich politicians“.
First of all, is it really that great when something terrible happens to you and the whole internet suddenly talks about it? Wouldn’t it be much easier to deal with it privately, without strangers stating their opinions? I bet a lot of famous people would wish for that in situations like these.
(Also, why do so many people seem to believe politicians don’t work for their money? But that is another topic and I won’t discuss it any further.)
And of course it’s not just politicians. I remember the same comments when Michael Schuhmacher had his skiing accident. „If non-famous people have accidents no one cares!“
It’s that easy: When something bad happens to you (which I wish upon nobody) everyone to whom you’re important will care. And famous people are just important to a larger crowd, even if just superficially. Who the hell would buy a magazine that depicts every single skiing accident that happens?! Certainly not me, but even that is beside the point.
The point is – NEWSFLASH – famous people are people. They suffer when something bad happens to them or their loved ones, just like you do. Fame or money don’t protect you from that. The only difference is that their tragedy will be all over the media which gives people the impression they are entitled to state their opinion on it. And some of those opinions are so childish and self-righteous I can’t believe it.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t like Angela Merkel’s politics, you are entitled to your opinion on that, but there is a time and place for everything. What would you think if someone came up to you at your mother’s funeral and said “I think you’re terrible at your job so I really think you deserved to lose your mother“. Because that would be exactly the same thing. 
You don’t have to care about Michael Schuhmacher or anyone else in the media but what would you think if your brother had had a terrible accident and was in a coma and you and the whole family would gather around his bed, and then a stranger came up to you and said “Why don’t you gather around MY brother’s bed?! He has had an accident, too!“?
You would probably be really offended in both cases because you would only want to mourn in peace, favourably without any strangers watching every step you take and giving their opinion on it.
Famous people get famous for something they do – may it be sports, music, politics, whatever. Once they’re famous, magazines don’t ask them for permission before publishing articles about them. In most cases, they don’t ask for it. The magazines, however, make money with those stories because a lot of people are interested in them. If you’re not, just don’t read them. It’s that easy. Don’t subscribe to celebrety gossip magazines if you’re not interested in celebreties.
And if any tragedy should ever happen to you – which I don’t hope – you will be thankful for the privacy you have.
I just wanted to get this off my chest because – as I said – it has bothered me before and now the same thing came up again and it keeps happening. It’s as if people just don’t realize that those “famous“ people have feelings just like them. So many people just see their money and think their lives are so much easier than theirs, so it must be okay to be happy when something bad happens to them. Let me tell you, it’s not. I don’t mean be preachy but it’s just not.

But what do you think? As always, I’d love to read some opinions!

Until then, stay save. xx

Montag, 17. April 2017

My Thoughts on 13 Reasons Why

Reading all the articles on 13 Reasons Why and why it's supposed to raise awarness of mental health issues and suicide I want to talk about my own opinion on the show.
Like all the tumblr kids, I obviously read the book by Jay Asher back in the day (this is my tumblr if anyone is interested, I haven't really updated it since then though). That must have been about three or four years ago, so I was about 18 or 19. I was very in love, very sad, very emotionally unstable. You get the point – I could definitely relate to Hannah.
There is one point though, that I think I noticed back then and notice even stronger now - I hate the fact that Hannah blames her suicide on anyone but herself.
Because even at my lowest, even when I felt horrible because of a specific person, I never blamed it on that person.  

 Also, the fact that I could relate to Hannah meant that suicide was an option in a situation like that. A situation that almost every teenager will find themself in at some point, I would like to claim. And that is dangerous. When I read the book I didn’t think as much about the fact that she blamed the suicide on other people and more about all the reasons she gave. And I think saying that all those things lead to her having these thoughts and saying that all those people are to blame are two very different things. In the first option it is her decision, her way of dealing with the situation, in the second one other people are to blame. 

Hannah makes thirteen casette tapes on which she explains why she wants to kill herself, the reasons being friends turning on her, bullying, rape, not getting the help she needs, etc.
In consequence, the people on the tapes turn on each other and in the end one of them even tries to kill himself.

What I want to focus on, though, is blaming your problems on other people. I find this highly problematic because a) it justifies the suicide and b) it puts a huge burden on somebody who probably didn’t have the intention of hurting anyone, especially not to the point of them killing themself.
Let’s face it – we all make mistakes, none of us is always the best version of themself. I might have a bad day, be grumpy to a shop assistant without realizing they’re going through a tough time. It has probably happened before. And while of course we should all try to be nice to each other, we cannot stick to that every hour of every day.
Maybe the characters in 13 Reasons Why – the ones Hannah blames her suicide on – were going through a tough time themselves. Maybe they were doing their best trying to find their place in society and just made some mistakes. And then Hannah kills herself and says they are the reason for it and they have to live with that guilt forever.
And that is just plain wrong. Nobody owes you anything. Not their friendship, not their love, nothing. YOU are the person in charge of your life and you have to find ways to deal with what is thrown at you. Of course I’m not a complete idiot and I know that suicide is a serious topic and depression is not a choice. And I’m all for helping people as much as you can. But if you fail at helping someone it is still not your fault if they kill themself. Depression is the cause for suicide, not your boyfriend leaving you or your friend turning their back on you.
It is very „in“ right now to talk about „toxic“ people and how you need to leave them, and if they are really toxic to you this is obviously true. But those articles are often so quick with calling certain behaviours toxic, and mostly ones that are signs of mental illness, such as constant negativity. Have we really become that unforgiving? If I go through a tough time I might send of negative vibes, I might be a bitch sometimes, and I’m thankful for the people who understand that and still remain my friends instead of calling me toxic. You never know what someone is going through.
None of the characters in the show realized what Hannah was going through, but neither did she think about what they were going through. And just because she is the main character we sympathize with her. But life has no main character, everyone is their own main character.

Actually blaming a suicide on someone else – especially for comparably small reasons – is very selfish and dangerous. Your know as little about their life and their struggles as they do about yours. So be very careful with judgement.
In the end suicide is one person’s decision and most of the time caused by an illness called depression. I don’t need to go deeper into why killing yourself just passes the problem on to your loved ones because suicide is not a logical decision and the brain of a suicidal person just works differently because the person is seriously ill. I do want to say though that even if you’re feeling like you are at your lowest, it still doesn’t give you the right to destroy someone else’s life. Life isn't fair, but life isn't fair to anyone. Everyone gets mistreated sometimes, even the people who mistreat you.
To conclude, suicide is a serious topic and it’s difficult and often even dangerous to address it. Art – and books and tv shows are a form of art – do not have to keep everything into consideration. Saying that a tv show is to blame for any suicides is like saying Nirvana’s Polly is to blame for rape cases. You never know how someone interprets a certain piece of art and what it will lead someone to do.
But saying that the show – or the book – are helpful for raising awareness of mental illness and teen suicides is just plain wrong in my opinion. It justifies and even glamourizes suicide and makes it look like everyone else is to blame for it. I do not think the story is doing anyone a favour in terms of raising awareness. 

But what do you think? Do you think the show/book is helpful? Or the opposite? I would love to hear some opinions, especially from people who have experienced similar situations.