Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington committed suicide

Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, committed suicide. According to reports, he hanged himself, possibly on Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Authorities found his body Thursday morning around 9 a.m.

To say I am at a loss for words is an understatement. I apologize in advance if this post is rabbling.

I found out about Chester while checking my Facebook feed. I immediately assumed it was a hoax, but I checked the news feeds anyway. I was completely stunned. Within minutes I got eight different texts from friends and family, including my father and one of my uncles.

According to one of my brothers who I was with at the time, I sat in a daze for a while. Linkin Park is a fundamental part of my life. Their music, especially Chester’s lyrics, helped me cope with my past. I probably would not have managed those early years without the band. Continue reading

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Music That Inspires: Temple of the Dog

On May 18th of 2017 singer and songwriter Chris Cornell took his own life. Cornell was the lead singer of Soundgarden, and one of the most influential musicians on modern rock history. Along with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains, Soundgarden led the wave of the 1990s grunge music scene. Without Cornell’s writing and voice, hundreds of bands and thousands of popular songs would not exist.

The first time I remember hearing Cornell was from the Black Hole Sun music video. I had never heard anything like it before, and I was fascinated his voice. Cornell’s vocal abilities are impressive. He was one of few people who can scream sing and still be intelligible. You can feel the power of his voice even with the volume turned down.

Rather than comment on his suicide, I would like to focus on his music. There are so many good songs and albums to pick from. He fronted Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog, and released five solo albums. I think, however, I will go with my favorite, Temple of the Dog by Temple of the Dog.

It is rare to find an album where every song is good. This is one of those albums, and why would it not be? It is Chris Cornell singing with Stone Gossard, Mike McCready, Jeff Ament, and Matt Cameron, i.e. the group that would become Pearl Jam.

The album resulted from Cornell writing two songs in tribute to his roommate Andrew Wood, lead singer of Mother Love Bone. Wood overdosed on heroin. Cornell had no one to talk to following Wood’s death, and wrote the songs Reach Down and Say Hello 2 Heaven to cope with his feelings. He later presented them to Ament and Gossard, who were members of Mother Love Bone. The rest of the album came together after that.

Because there is not a bad song on the album, it makes it difficult to choose what to highlight. However, I think I will go for the songs I like to listen to the most. Continue reading

Rethinking juvenile justice

One of my pet peeves is the way we treat children who commit crimes. For some reason, we treat them more harshly than we do adults. We feel compelled sentence them to long sentences, long mandatory minimums, and sentences with no possibility of parole. We like to charge them as adults, the younger the better, and inexplicably place children in prison with adults.

More bizarre is that we allow this to occur despite knowing what could happen to these kids. It makes no sense for us to charge 8-year-olds as adults. It makes no sense for us to imprison a 14-year-old to life without the possibility of parole. It makes even less sense to lock them in solitary confinement or sentence them to death.

The latter the Supreme Court addressed several years ago. They banned juvenile executions in 2005. However, life without parole still remained in place. Now they have struck that down as well, and made the ban retroactive: Continue reading

Bulletin Board v286

Catholic church’s secret archives key to exposing sex abuse scandal — Huddled in a law office on Hamilton Street, the district attorneys of the five counties in the Allentown Catholic Diocese spent days poring over files that detailed nearly two dozen allegations that priests had sexually abused children over several decades. That unprecedented step came in May 2002 after sex-abuse allegations exploded in the Boston Archdiocese, prompting Allentown Bishop Edward P. Cullen to grant the five prosecutors, including Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin and Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli, a rare glimpse into the diocese’s secret archives.

German Man Handed 1-Year Sentence for Sex Abuse of Boys — A German man was convicted yesterday for committing indecent sexual acts against two boys in Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov district, but was handed the minimum sentence of one year, meaning he will be free in a matter of months. Udo Sabiniewicz, 56, was arrested in June for allegedly sexually abusing six boys after the mothers of two of the children filed complaints with the police. Keo Thea, chief of the municipal police’s anti-human trafficking bureau, said at the time that the boys had accused Mr. Sabiniewicz of repeatedly molesting them.

Legal action launched by victims of ex Scout leader who indecently abused children in Hinckley — Victims of a former scout leader who sexually abused four boys in the 1980s have instructed lawyers to take legal action against the Scout Association. Michael Medhurst, 61, was jailed for more than five years earlier this week after admitting a string of indecent assaults against four children between 1981 and 1987 in Leicestershire. The charges related to four victims, all from the Birmingham area, who were assaulted by Medhurst between September 1981 and September 1987 in Hinckley and Castle Donington. Continue reading

The Honey Badgers discuss male suicide

A few days ago the Honey Badgers invited Tom Golden, a psychotherapist and the author of Swallowed by a Snake, on their show to discuss men’s health.

I think this is one of the best shows the Badgers have done. It is an excellent discussion about how men deal with emotional pain, what men learn about how people will treat them if they show pain, and the lack of support for suffering men.

I like that they do not skirt around the issues, especially the idea of there being one “right” way of healing. It is very common for people to tell wounded men that they need to talk about it. Many people fail to realize that this often is not how men cope with their pain or how they show their emotions. Men tend to be doers, so one may see a man make something or do something as a means of dealing with grief or hurt rather than sit down and cry it out.

The two parts that stood out for me was Brian talking about his father’s current health condition and Rachel speaking about a former boyfriend who broke down in front of her. These two stories show the types of things men go through, and ultimately shatter the narrative that men have it easier.

This is definitely an episode of Honey Badger Radio worth a listen: Continue reading

42% of British men consider suicide

According to a new report, 2 in 5 men British between the ages of 18 to 45 contemplate suicide:

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm) study found 42% of men aged 18-45 have considered killing themselves and revealed “shocking” facts behind male suicide.

The YouGov research also found 41% of those who had contemplated taking their own life had not discussed the feelings with anyone else.

Men said they did not want friends or family to worry about them or were not wanting to cause a fuss, the study found.

In the UK 12 men take their own lives each day – making it the biggest cause of death amongst those aged under 45.

Twelve men kill themselves per day. That is a stunning number, one that speaks volumes about men’s life experiences. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v269

Breastfeeding mum loses custody of boy after false sex-abuse claims — A mother found to have made false sexual abuse allegations has lost custody of her young son and been hit with a rare order to pay her ex-partner’s full legal costs. In a blistering judgment, Federal Circuit Court judge Josephine Willis said the north Queensland mother “showed ­little emotion or warmth” and communication with her was “quite impossible”.

Children in boot camp abuse investigation suffer lasting damage, lawyer says — The brochure struck a note with some parents: Are you overwhelmed with frustration or fear over your teen’s defiant behavior? Have you run out of ideas or strategies to get your teen on the right track? Have you tried it all and nothing seems to work? The solution, it declared, could be a police-sponsored boot camp for southeast Los Angeles County youth held at a military base in the mountains of San Luis Obispo.

Group supporting male abuse victims launched — MALE victims of domestic abuse have been given a voice, thanks to a new charitable organisation run by an abuse survivor. Swindon’s Voice For Men, run by counsellor Simon Taylor, aims to give abused males a chance to seek help in a non-threatening group environment. Simon, along with partner Su Mills and colleague Michael Bizley launched Swindon VFM this week, complete with website and dedicated listening line in place to help those in need.

Joint Letter Calls for Male Rape Change to Law — Nine Chinese public interest organizations submitted a joint letter on August 5, asking for the inclusion of male rape to the draft ninth amendment of the Criminal Law. The letter, jointly signed by a total of 1,149 people and nine officially approved public interest organizations, was submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislative body, through the online opinion-soliciting channel, according to ycwb.com, a Guangzhou based news portal on August 7. The letter proposed that the definition of victims of rape should be broadened to include all possible victims.

Male child sex trade goes on unchecked — The male child prostitution is going on in several hotels and inns around Pirwadhai Bus Terminal, well-placed sources disclosed to The Nation on Saturday. In this regard, the Special Branch (SB) of Punjab Police has prepared a number of reports and sent to Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera for further legal action against the owners of the hotels and inns involved in the child prostitution business, sources said.

Prosecutor: Federal Way woman made child porn ‘to troll for men online’ — A Federal Way woman accused of sexually displaying two children to impress a men online has been charged by King County prosecutors. Judith Christine Everett is alleged to have taken sexually explicit photos of a 13-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy. Everett, 39, has been charged with sexual exploitation of a minor. Writing the court, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Cecelia Gregson said Everett abused the children “to troll for men online.”

Scotch College: More sex abuse claims surface against Michael Achurch — Matthew Stuart still feels the pain of being denied justice for more than three decades. Even after Melbourne’s Scotch College apologised and paid out compensation for the sexual abuse he suffered as a teenager, the elite school community was still denying it happened and questioning his motivations, he said. But the 51-year-old’s bravery in speaking out about Michael Achurch, as revealed in The Age earlier this year, has prompted at least four others to report being sexually abused by the same teacher.

Sex abuse victim fears others could have been targeted by former teacher and hopes they come forward — A SEXUAL abuse victim has spoken of his relief that the former volunteer teacher who abused him is behind bars. But the man who suffered at the hands of John Weston is concerned there could be more victims and is urging them to come forward. He told the Bristol Post: “I am one of this man’s victims, hence my need to remain anonymous.

Suicide Rates Among Released Male Prisoners 8 Times Higher Than National Average; Mental Health, Support Services Can Help — Preventing suicides while offenders are in prison has been a much bigger priority than preventing them once prisoners get out. But a new study looking into prisoner suicides once they’re released has found that the risk of suicide for male offenders is eight times the national average, with over 25 percent of those suicides occurring in the first four weeks of their release.