Friday, May 3, 2013

Suicide rates rise sharply in the United States

Suicide rates rise sharply in the United States.

Suicide Among Adults Aged 35–64 Years — United States, 1999–2010
The NY Times covers this important story succinctly. The actual CDC article in html and pdf:
The NYT top pick comments in the article are literate and poignant. My own personal belief is that the rise in suicides rates across the United States is a direct result of the fascist coup that is the "War on Terror".  20% of all suicides are estimated to be Veterans. But one doesn't have to be a survivor of Fallujah or Ramadi to have been psychologically devastated by the last thirteen years. The huge military industrial machine that we created has deeply affected the economy, social fabric and social consciousness.  Even those of us who attempt to disconnect ourselves from it wake up in despair over another annihilating drone attack on some village in Pakistan.  If there is a global consciousness, we have spawned generations of people of color the world over who hate us for incinerating their children, parents and relatives.

At age fifty (approx the median age of the CDC study), I can still remember all of the family stories of living through the depression. But the world was smaller then: less crowded, less competitive, less fast paced, less intensively criminal, with a cheaper cost of living; emotions were more simple and forgiving.  It was however, no less racist, sexist, classist or impoverished. And people dealt with tragedy of the Depression WWII, Korea,Vietnam with sadness and alcohol/drug abuse then too.  But then maybe those under 50 don't have those "Depression, WWII, post WWII era" survival stories in their memories anymore. There is something dangerous and dark that has pervaded the consciousness of my generation. Something that can't just be explained away by an economic downturn. There is a real sadness and despair; an environment of "cynicism coupled schadenfreudethat has both the left and right wondering if someday soon surveillance drones will be launched against Americans.  This is not just mistrust of authority; the psychological resilience of the middle class has been torn.