Friday, February 9, 2007

This morning on NPR, bullfighting, suicide, and a prediction

Two interesting stories popped up on NPR this morning.
First, Spain is having second thoughts about their tradition of killing and torturing bulls for amusement. Bullfighters in training attend subsidized schools that are run by some of the best bullfighters in Spain. One of the matadorks has a wooden leg and the other has been pierced about 30 times in his career. This "tradition" is being marked as barbaric (nooooo, really?) and more than 70% of the populous in Spain has no interest in attending these events. The nations environmental minister is trying to keep bulls from exiting the ring in a state of rigor mortis. Instead, she would like them to just be bloodied, stabbed, injured, suffering, and miserable. Hey, if you are going to torture the animal, the least you can do it let it die and move on to a more peaceful lifestyle where humans DO NOT exist.
The other show I heard this morning touched on the subject of suicide and young people. (mainly teens and college students) One point they made is that isolation is a contributor to suicide. If a person is different than most of his/her peers (gay, trans-gender, handicapped, etc) the statistics say that suicidal tendencies increase. That seems pretty obvious. One point made by the guest was that cell phones have a huge impact on suicide rates. Apparently, because of the connectivity, kids can call parents at any time and talk things out if they are having trouble with school, friends, or relationships. I never even thought about that shift in the relationship between kids and parents these days. Yeah, give your kid a phone and you can call and check up whether they answer or not, but the option of the child being able to call anytime with good or bad news is helpful in many ways.
A doctor at UCSF was saying that she had 5 students in the past two weeks come into her program because of attempted suicide. College is an interesting experiment. Its a time to meet an entirely new population of which you might meet a group of people to bond and hang out with no matter WHO you are....OR, your loner tendencies in high school keep you from making any headway in a new environment ripe with opportunity to make new friends. College is a time of liberal thought and appreciation of uniqueness of your classmates. Sure, you don't like everyone you meet automatically, but it seems more likely that former loners are accepted into social situations they may not have been before. Most of the suicides in college are probably related to the isolation and pressures of having to keep tabs on yourself as no one is really there to push you to do your homework or go to class. If you fall behind, no one else is there to pick up the pieces but YOU! Keep that cell phone handy for times of trouble.

On a lighter note, I have a prediction. Music has proven to be stagnant and a bit too rock electro for a bit too long. 80's hipster fashion has been lingering and seems really stale. The next big thing is a movement towards a gypsy lifestyle (def. of gypsy is: One of a vagabond race, whose tribes, coming originally from India, entered Europe in 14th or 15th century, and are now scattered over Turkey, Russia, Hungary, Spain, England, etc., living by theft, fortune telling, horse jockeying, tinkering, etc.) Youth of today seem more and more irritated that they have to hold down a job and make money for someone else when they themselves get paid crap. I find myself listening to new-ish bands like BEIRUT, which encapsulate dramatic and romantic vocals with instruments of ye olden days like horns and accordions. I imagine a drift towards the lifestyle of fleeting moments, less attachments, experiencing life on the go, but fully through music and nature. Well, maybe a gypsy lifestyle minus all of the stealing and crime. What I am trying to say is that people are fed up with trying to convince the government that war is bad, and the next move will be a romantic anarchy of sorts. Investing in the moment, not caring as much about the dollar signs, but the astrological signs. We'll see.

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