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

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

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

The consequences of suicide

Suicide is a terrible act. A person must be a dark place to even consider let alone commit it. It is a hollow act that stretches out to everyone close to its victim. Everyone feels its emptiness.

I have known three people who committed suicide. I do not take the issue lightly.

So when I read about Julie Burchill’s son committing suicide, my response was sympathy. Burchill is a well-known feminist writer in the United Kingdom. She posted about her son Jack’s suicide on Facebook.

Burchill appeared to have a adored her youngest son. According to an article about her:

She once described him as her Achilles’ heel — the one person capable of hurting her because she loved him so much.

That stands in stark contrast to how Burchill viewed her eldest son Robert. Continue reading

#YouAreNotHelpingYourself

Hugo Schwyzer recently quit the internet. According to a statement he released on his blog, he got tired of the “take-down” culture on the internet, tired of the critics, and needed some time off to deal with some personal issues. The latter turned out to be an online affair with a woman who is a sex worker. I am unclear as to how this became public, but that seems to be the actual reason Schwyzer bowed out.

Schwyzer to attempt suicide a few days after leaving the internet. Less that 12 hours after the attempt, Schwyzer gave an interview further explaining his behavior.

As much as I dislike Schwyzer’s positions and believe that he has done great harm to the male students in his classes and the boys he has mentored over the years, I do not want to see anything bad happen to him. He has my sympathy to an extent.

However, I cannot help but think that Schwyzer’s behavior over the last two weeks is a deliberate emotional manipulation. For a man who wanted to take time off from the internet, Schwyzer remains present across the web. He gives an interview every few days. It would appear that he is trying to garner attention rather than deal with his issues in private.

That brings us to his recent Twitter admission. Continue reading

R.I.P. Earl Silverman

Last month, I wrote about Earl Silverman closing down his shelter for abused men. The Men’s Alternative Safe House (MASH) was reportedly the only private men’s shelter in Canada. Earl paid for everything out of his own pocket, but could no longer shoulder the costs. He eventually sold the home. The day after he finished packing everything up, Earl hanged himself in the garage. According to the article, Earl was a victim of abuse at the hands of his ex-wife, and found it difficult to get help:

“When I went into the community looking for some support services, I couldn’t find any. There were a lot for women, and the only programs for men were for anger management,” Mr. Silverman told the Post shortly before his death. “As a victim, I was re-victimized by having these services telling me that I wasn’t a victim, but I was a perpetrator.”

Continue reading