Keith Flint - RIP
My blog is feeling a bit disregarded - I guess I've switched more to my vLogging and YouTube, however I don't think that is the right media for this one. I don't want people seeing my face while I write or say it.
Keith Flint is in the news for all of the most horrible reasons. It appears he was so unhappy that his choice to end his life was better than the alternatives. Think about that for a moment. Heart breaking isn't it?
I'm not going to write too much about Keith, other than to say I've seen The Prodigy perform several times - and they've always been epically loud, energetic….and brilliant. That Jilted Generation is feeling some pain for him today, I'm sure.
In the UK men are three times more likely to take their own life than women. It's even higher in the age groups of 45-49. There were approximately 6,200 suicides in the UK in 2017 - I don't have figures for 2018 to hand, however I understand they've fallen, and that rates are the lowest now then they have been for 30 years. You can read this report from The Samaritans if you're interested.
I really struggle to relate to somebody being so, so separate - and I choose separate deliberately, 'unhappy' just doesn't seem to cut it - that making their days stop is a preferable solution to whatever it is they have going on. This is by far compounded when you look at the profile of people who have taken this route. I want to be clear - I'm not at all being critical here - I don't understand enough to take such a route.
The profile of people in this scenario are not what you'd expect. Stories you hear are always similar - apparently happy in life, strong friend and family bonds, etc. It's a higher proportion than you'd imagine. Outwardly functioning and happy people, and yet turmoil on the inside.
It's a horrible scenario from so many directions. Horrible for the person to be experiencing where they are, and horrible for that strong round of friends and family…who often have no idea that somebody they care so much about is suffering so very much.
I have personal experience of somebody who was highly functional, happy as anything as far as anyone could tell, ending their own days. While it was over 5 years ago, I still feel it. A lot. As do several of my friends. We deal with it by just not discussing it anymore. It's not done out of malice, or because we've forgotten, it's because when we do meet up we don't want to all end-up a guilt ridden crying mess of a group.
It's thoroughly changed how I and what I think about such things. Hearing people say 'how selfish' it is for someone to take their own life just makes me want to smack them in the face with a shoe. You wouldn't think it selfish somebody falling over and breaking their leg, so why a thing such as this? People in such a place are by the very definition unwell, just in ways that we can't always relate to.
It's changed how I treat people. It's changed how I observe them too. I try and keep an eye out. What for, I'm not entirely sure, I just try and pay attention Friends I have who I know are having a hard time, I try and keep in touch with even if it is through stupid memes and jokes, I just want them to know I'm about - often whether they want it or not.
These are ever so simple things to do - do they work? Well, I don't know. How would you know?
I'm sure just looking out for some people isn't enough - it's a very complex issue, and one beyond my understanding, as I can't relate. It's always there though - knowing that it's the most unlikely of people. So perhaps we all need to learn to look out for each other some more regardless, perhaps that nice interaction one day will be enough to avoid something catastrophic.
Keith Flint - the world lost an artist today.
PS. The Sun are (IMHO) bunch of complete scumbags.