Sunday, October 07, 2007

Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

Baby boomer suicide rate up 24 per cent: StatsCan.

OTTAWA (CP) They may appear to have it all, but new data suggests Canada's baby boomers are more likely than people in other age groups to take their own lives, experts say. Canada's suicide numbers jumped a startling 10 per cent in 1999, largely because so many 40-somethings took their own lives, Statistics Canada reported last week. The suicide figures jumped by 24 per cent for people in that age group, while the number of teens who killed themselves dropped by 6 per cent, the agency reported. Researchers are reluctant to speculate about a single-year spike, said Brian Mishara of the University of Quebec at Montreal. But some of the risk may be related to an inability to adapt to social change, he said.

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Losing no sleep over this is the blogger at Die, Boomer, Die.

The flaw in Orwell's 1984 is that nihilism isn't motivating for the average person, not enough to sustain them throughout a long life of hardship and horror. Stalin managed to terrorize people only till he was gone, and then the pressure over, people turned to abortion and alcoholism and inertia, giving us the former workers' paradise that Russia is today. Orwell's world didn't even have the pressure of Stalin to compact the soul into sheer need for survival if possible. There has to be something, and Stalin offered at least the minimum. After him, not much, and eventually, one might go so far as to say only bare living itself. There needs be more to motivate even the dullest Man to live.

Canada? the West? the revolutionary Modernity of our time? Well, most of us have found or made something of it that works, but obviously many haven't or won't. Of those latter, many make meaning out of minding the lives of others in some gnostic nightmare programme of nihilism and despair reflective of their own nasty lives of the mind. The sooner they shuffle off this mortal coil the better. With luck they'll leave some nice slippers for us in second-hand shops. They won't leave much else anyone could want.

Yes, a new day dawns, and the piper wants his price. It's not like he was hiding this time. We knew all along of his presence: Panic sitting at the end, tootling. What surprise? Why the panic?

The rest, if there's any hope at all for us, must take charge of the world and its reason. No time for foolery, for morbid nonsense, for passivity. Life is for the living, and the generation that brought us to this pass is passing. And in their stead we offer....

1 comment:

truepeers said...

Despair and humiliation are the inevitable fate for the Gnostic with enough self-awareness to learn that reality is not so bendable to his or her desire to remake creation. I speak from experience even if I still show signs of Gnostic grandiosity. Maybe what we can offer has to be thought about from the starting point of asking how could we provide even those most trapped in the Gnostic evil, with a life to be deeply humiliated about, a way out other than suicide. There is Christianity but we have not yet taken up missionary work. So what is Christianity's counterpart in the arena of politics and secular thought? What is the revelation appropriate to free nation building in our time and place? It all begins with teaching a genuine love for the other's freedom, a hard act to make real, an art so much "greater", but so much humbler, than Pink Floyd's (a band still worshiped by many youngsters). There's got to be a way to make that challenge - the desire to become a quiet and competent master worker, and not an artistic celebrity or intellectual magician - appealing. True peers.