By Moh Bloggs- Bridgend is a sleepy little place in South Wales, I’ve passed through it once many many moons ago, it struck me like the rest of the small towns in Wales a place without any real purpose.
This small town is now the centre of what is one of the UK’s largest suicide patterns with 16 apparent suicides amongst young people in the last year alone.
The latest victims are two cousins who were found dead within hours of each other, Nathaniel Pritchard, 15, died in hospital after “harming himself” and Kelly Stephenson, 20, was found hanged while on holiday in Kent. The Police are not linking the current deaths to the pattern in Bridgend at the moment, but I think there is something more sinister at work here.
Suicide is a problem in Western societies and although the national statistics office will draw a fancy graph to show the rates falling over the last few years, it does not hide the problems young people face growing up in Britain today. To be young and “free” is not easy, it after all means you have nothing holding you back to becoming what you want to become. If you want fame, fortune or just that pretty blonde girl that lives next door all you have to do as Nixon once wrote is “Seize the moment”. The problem with this little sunny paradise Western society creates for it’s young, is that what if you are unable to get what you want despite all your trying then what?
The worst thing you can be is a loser, a geek, a bum or whatever the hip young call it these days it’s worse than being dead for sure. The materialistic image conscious society in which we live makes it impossible for today’s young to be anonymous and just go through life. You are either in with the crowd or you are on the sidelines watching. The kind of pressures put on the youth can quite easily lead to a sense of being worthless and not fitting in, I mean people get an ulcer worrying over a spot on their face.
Even if you somehow manage to cope with the ridicule of not fitting in you could be subjected to something only secular British society could conjure up, The Happy Slap. Something that is used as entertainment and involves slapping a random passer by or some poor kid from your school and videoing it on your mobile phone. Said video is then posted onto the internet for the humiliation to be watched by millions of people. This “craze” has gone as far as leading to deaths of innocent people.
A life without purpose is a life never fulfilled, a life never fulfilled is a life not worth living I wonder how many times thoughts like these must cross the minds of normal people on the street everyday especially when life is not looking good. Having no direction in life but to satisfy your latest desire wether that be for clothes, women, cars or Man Utd’s quest for the title draws a fine line between sanity and despair. I still remember an old work colleague virtually in tears on a Friday afternoon because her house mates were away for the weekend, and she would be “home alone” for two whole days. It is this kind of simple example that highlights the hidden misery secular values produce, when a persons solitude isn’t seen as an opportunity for self reflection but a condemnation of social status, no one want’s to be a Johnny No Mates do they.
Even for those who do get what they want life is still miserable, just look at Britney she’s now the kind of fruit cake even Mr. Kippling would be proud of. For someone who had it all fame, a wholesome squeaky clean American life and a moralistic stance on issues such as pre-martial sex it has all gone horribly wrong. Life’s tough at the top, mainly because once you’re at the top you quickly realise there is nothing there.
It is no surprise then that the Prozac generation of the 80’s and 90’s are now moving onto to harder drugs to hide away their misery. Drug abuse and especially that of Cocaine is on the rise in the UK from students to City workers and Celebs they all seem to be snorting the stuff, anything to mask the misery of life. For other more simpler folk they would rather just get “off their face” on a Friday night and sleep with a woman / man they barely know and tell their mates of the conquest the morning after.
If to this you add all the other woes of living with secularism such as debt, gambling, alcoholism , relationship problems , and the likes is it little wonder that some people will try to take the easy way out?.
After all “Suicide Is Painless” – as the theme tune to 80’s TV show M.A.S.H. said.