Tag Archives: suicide

5 reasons

Has the movie Swiss Army Man opened in your town?

swissarmyman

 

When it does, go see it! Here are five reasons.

1. The title. It brilliantly encapsulates the film yet is never spoken in it. Bonus points.

2. The premise. A man shipwrecked on an island finds a corpse who ‘helps’ him find his way home (and becomes his best friend along the way).  Original?  Uh, yeah.

3. The cast. Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe fully commit to their respective roles as suicidal loser and farting corpse. I was blown away [rimshot].

4. The soundtrack. Led by two music video directors, the movie soundtrack is almost a third cast member. It’s that good.

5. The farting. It’s pretty important to the plot. And you’ll laugh at all the farting. Heck, we’re all still 12 years old at heart — am I right?

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All in the family

Turns out you can’t judge a musical by its poster.

Fun-Home-1

The only thing I knew about the Broadway show Fun Home before I saw it last night was a) the critics loved it and b) the Tony voters did, too.

It scored 12 nominations earlier this week.

I didn’t know the soundtrack or the book upon which it was based. I walked in the theatre about as clueless as a person could get.

So imagine my surprise when the show wasn’t the singing, dancing Partridge Family parody that I had cooked up in my head.

If you too are in the dark (and wish to remain so), stop reading now.

Have they left?  Okay.  So the rest of you know why my mind is a bit blown right now.

The musical’s narrator is a lesbian cartoonist. (Yeah, this show’s no Cinderella.) With the help of her very young self and college-aged self — two incredible young performers — she tells her life story.  With captions.

(‘Cause she’s a cartoonist.)

Fun-Home-2How her father was a part-time teacher and part-time funeral director — FUN HOME was the family nickname for the funeral home — and a closeted gay man who slept with lots of boys and committed suicide while she was away at college.

Yeah.

But that’s not to say there weren’t moments of humor and laughter.  Her first girl-on-girl experience in college inspired “Changing My Major to Joan,” one of my favorite songs in the show. And the kids did do a little Partridge Family at one point, so the graphic designer gets to keep his job.

The cast is all-around amazing. I do wish I had seen the show off-Broadway before they were plopped down into this in-the-round venue. It has led to a lot of ‘singing to the audience’ staging that seems amateurish for a story of such complexity.

It is quite a ride.

NYC saves

In the most recent issue of New York magazine — which features Jon Stewart mugging on the cover — a sidebar stat jumped out at me more than any feature story could.

It compared suicide rates nationally versus those in New York City.  (The percentages quoted were per 100,000 population.)

Nation:  11.4 %

New York City 5.7%

(The numbers for Manhattan drop to 5.2% if you take away the out-of-towners who come to our lovely metropolis to off themselves.)

Surprised?  I certainly was.  I think we all assume that city living is more stressful, and higher stress leads to more thoughts — and acts — of ending it all.

And then you see these numbers.

But then — maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised.  Because even if New Yorkers think about ending it all, there is so much here to distract us from taking that final step!

Having a bad day?  You can go see a Broadway show!

Is your job is driving you insane?  Walk home through Central Park or just sit along the Hudson River and you’ll feel instantly renewed.

Life can seems meaningless and without merit…and then you have the opportunity to hear a great writer speak or witness an amazing piece of artwork up close and personal.  Even when your world seems small and claustrophobic, you can look around and see the diversity and beauty that is New York City.  I’m sure that fact alone saves people every day.

Oh…and Jon Stewart.  He keeps us going as well.

iKill

When my friend Leah and I walk by the Apple store in our neighborhood, I always bow.  I sometimes add a sound effect, too….a long, drawn-out and other-worldly “laaaaaaaaaaa” that befits the store’s cathedral-like presence.

She just keeps walking.

You see, she’s an Apple fan.  I still use a PC.  Don’t get me wrong — I think the company is very innovative.  I just don’t rush out and buy every Apple product the minute it hits the market.  Like the iPad.

And thank goodness I didn’t.  It might have saved my life.

At the Foxconn factory in China where the iPad is made, there have been a disturbing number of suicides among the factory workers.  Is it the factory conditions?  Officials say no.  Could it be low wages?  Apple pays above the national average.

Is it the iPad itself?

Let’s think about it.  There have been complaints about the tablet since its release in April, including:

  • the low visibility screen
  • weak WiFi
  • difficult typing
  • more expensive apps
  • recharging and syncing problems
  • its fragile casing

All annoying, yes…but perhaps now we should add ‘makes people want to off themselves’ to the list.

My PC is looking better and better…