Friday, November 17, 2006

自殺とメディア (Teen Suicides)

中学生がいじめられて自殺する事件が相次いでいる。 ここ最近、テレビのニュースで大きく報道されるようになってから、自殺を遂行する、あるいは自殺を予告する中学生が次々と現れている。 母親に「最近自殺が『流行ってる』よね」と言ったら、不謹慎なことを言うなと怒られたけれど(うちの母親はこういう性質の悪い冗談を好まない)、でも、これまでの一連の自殺、あるいは自殺予告の連鎖は、数から言って、相当程度メディアの報道に煽られているのは間違いのないところだと思う。

「メディアに煽られる自殺」というのは、大人にとっては奇異なものだろう。 苦悩しているとき、抑鬱状態にあるとき、自殺するという想像が、魅惑的で甘美なものであることはわかる。ただ、このアンビヴァレントな感情は、非常に個人的で内面的なもので、本来、テレビによって煽られる種類のものではないだろうと思うからだ。





Lately there has been a succession of teen suicides in Japan since it got nationwide news coverage.

When I said to my mum, “Committing suicide is a “fad” these days,” she got mad (she hates this kind of nasty joke). However, considering the number of the cases, there is no doubt that the string of teen suicides has been inflamed by the media.

A string of suicides has been inflamed by the media? This idea may sound odd to adults.

We can understand that imagining committing suicide can be demonically alluring, especially when we are deeply agonized and depressed. This ambivalent feeling should be very private and kept in one’s inner world. Hardly can adults imagine superficial TV news programs can provoke this kind of feeling.

However they actually can. One junior high student after another has killed oneself. They are merely the tip of the iceberg. There must be numerous teenagers in despair who don’t mind committing suicide.

When teen suicides are reported on TV news, the teenagers who have killed themselves are advocates for bullied teenagers all over Japan. They are lonely at school and don’t have any chances to express themselves. Committing suicide means to them not only escaping from reality but also making a profound protest with their death.

On the TV screen, there are teachers and students with grave looks on their faces in a solemn funeral service. Sad-looking TV commentators have a serious-sounding talk in front of TV cameras and say, “Don’t kill yourself.” Teenagers who are bullied at school smile wryly and think, “Well, killing myself will not be bad”

Adults might find it hard to understand, but TV news has been playing an important part in the series of teen suicides. For adolescents who are in despair, imagining killing themselves can sometimes be mysteriously captivating. Didn’t the media entice them to commit suicide by saying, “Don’t kill yourself.”?

Saturday, November 11, 2006


My first blog!! How easy it is to build one!! I am going to write anything hilarious, amusing, interesting or thought-provoking here on my blog!!