Guest post: The suicide pilot

Guest post by Simon Trepel, MD. He has more essays at Simon’s Creative Behavioural Therapy.

Truthfully, I probably would not have cared so much, about the shitty thing that Lubitz did, but I was literally stranded on a desert island, thousands of miles across the ocean from home, when he crashed the plane. Now, stranded is a relative term, the island was Hawaii, and I could only be less stranded while being on a desert island, if I was in Australia. But that is where I received the parcel of hate that he chose to deliver to my meme mailbox, that elephant part of your brain that never forgets, yet we call it the hippocampus. That would be a crowded university.And knowing that I needed to fly home, with my 2 daughters, ages 3 and 5, in less than a week, meant I was going to binge watch the entire miniseries, ping ponging between a fox, an spf, and a cnn.

And while it was a mystery on TV, for me, I knew early, why he splattered a plane, and 150 living, breathing, loving people, into a Jackson Pollock original, against the wall, of a new gallery of death. He loved to fly, and he hated to be sad. And, he loved what he loved, in his mind, more than you love what you love. He made the calculation that, since he could not complete his bucket list, neither could 150 people that contributed to his sadness in no way. So he exchanged a b for an f, and practiced relaxation exercises, so no one would think he was scared, for about 8 minutes.

There is no such thing as clinical depression. There is the depression your doctor diagnoses you with, and then there are the diagnoses we give ourselves. And it is different from sadness. Depression sucks, its worst feature is not the rewallpapering of your mind into a room you never want to be in, yet you are afraid to leave, because it’s even worse out there. The worst feature is, after a while, you want to die, but your body still thinks it’s its actual age. So then, you get suicidal. And here is where your personality finally gets a say. How do you want to kill yourself? [Read more…]

The inclusivity of the Students’ Union had to be “maintained”

Another “uh oh no you can’t make jokes about erm you know that one guy” episode, this time at the University of Bath.

[“]According to CWIPS” was the title of the performance that had the cramped, upstairs-corner of the Bath Brew House roaring with laughter. The show combined pop culture, Richard Dawkins, and the bestseller of all time – the Bible – to construct an amusingly witty performance. However, prior to the opening night, the society was met with some rather strong requests to edit the show.

[D]uring the opening week one of the SU officials quietly attended one of the rehearsals. Just four hours prior to opening night the committee of CWIPS was told that a sketch involving the depiction of the Prophet Mohammed titled ‘Cooking with Christ’ should be cut. “The SU couldn’t give more of an explanation,” recalls one of the members of the committee regarding the lack of justification given for the changes being made the show, especially on such short notice. [Read more…]

Un-silencing Balochistan

The Guardian explains why Sabeen Mahmud was murdered – it was because Baloch separatism is a touchy issue in Pakistan (and it’s become fashionable there to murder people who mention touchy issues).

A leading member of Pakistan’s small band of liberal social activists has been gunned down outside the pioneering Karachi arts venue she founded, in an apparent bid to silence discussion about the country’s brutal efforts to smother separatism in the restive province of Balochistan.

The murder of Sabeen Mahmud on Friday sent shockwaves through Pakistan’s embattled intelligentsia both because she was much loved but also because the killing happened immediately after an event she organised with Mama Abdul Qadeer, an elderly Baloch activist campaigning on behalf of so-called “missing people” abducted by the state security apparatus. [Read more…]

Devastation in patan. Kathmandu earthquake

More from Siobhan Heanue, because she’s a journalist (for ABC, the Oz one) and she was looking at temples when the earthquake hit, so she’s tweeting these heartrending photos.

12 hours ago there was this

LIVE on #Periscope: Patan Durbar Square Kathmandu Nepal https://www.periscope.tv/w/Vxxh_zkyNDU5fDcwMDA0MjN-CfrLnC9NHLD72y5BqYsxHoOM8DxADi3oiGWyFeAi9w== …

Then an hour later

Huge earthquake in Kathmandu. I’m terrified.

Locals dragged her into a cafe, she said, but she was still afraid; aftershocks.

Then the first photo

Devastation in patan. Kathmandu earthquake.

Embedded image permalink

[Read more…]

Kathmandu

Meanwhile in Nepal…

(I must say I was disgusted to go to Google News for earthquake news and find at the top of the page headlines about ten dead on Everest rather than the hundreds dead in Nepal. A little too katiehopkinsesque, that.)

CNN has accounts from people in Kathmandu.

Kashish Das Shrestha in Kathmandu

“Some of the historical sites are completely devastated.

“Most of the people — a lot of the people — are walking through the city. They’re confused and scared. A lot of people are crying.

“They’re out with their pets and their families and a lot of locals are volunteering in rescue operations.

“In several parts of Kathmandu, a lot of people seem trapped under the rubble. Locals are trying to rescue these people because they can still hear them.”

Journalist Kanak Mani Dixit, Kathmandu

“I see many cracked buildings and people are panicked and all running down to the streets.

“The main landmark in Kathmandu is a spire, Dharahara, and it has fallen down, it is about 140 feet high in the center city.

“Another aftershock is hitting now, it is really strong.

“Airplanes are circling now overhead and helicopters are flying and not clear if the airport is open. We hear it is damaged.”

And a pair of startling, tragic before and after photos via Siobhan Heanue on Twitter:

Siobhan Heanue ‏@siobhanheanue
I took these photos an hour apart. Was wandering when quake demolished temples before my eyes. Heartbreaking.

[Read more…]

Gender segregation as identity politics

I’ve seen the name Eboo Patel often in discussions of “interfaith” activities, but I haven’t (that I recall) read anything of his until now. He has a long piece at Religion Dispatches arguing that we should be more accommodating toward haredi men who refuse to sit next to women on airplanes. That’s where “interfaith” takes you, I guess. It’s where privileging “faith” over more reasonable and careful ways of thinking takes you.

He starts by pointing out that people often do change their seats to be helpful to others – parents traveling with children for instance.

The obvious question: why is exchanging seats on an airplane with a senior citizen, a mother with children or a uniformed veteran considered a noble gesture while doing the same for an Orthodox Jewish man viewed as acquiescing to patriarchal oppression?

[Read more…]

Guest post: Media outlets call her office for a rent-a-bigot quote

Originally a comment by latsot on Actual dehumanization.

As awful as Hopkins is, the UK media are at least equally to blame (I’d argue they more to blame than Hopkins herself) for all her hateful nonsense. I don’t just mean outlets like The Sun. If anything, the more liberal outlets are even more complicit.

Hopkins has set herself up as a professional troll: professional with a capital P. According to an article I now can’t find, she has a team of people scouring news stories and (it’s presumed) coming up with the objectionable responses they can think of, which are then announced by Hopkins. Media outlets call her office for a rent-a-bigot quote. I wouldn’t be surprised if they called several times a day, regardless of whether they’re working on an article then building an article about whatever fresh horrible opinion she has on something. [Read more…]

Pure In Heart UK

A Catholic girls’ school in Croydon is telling students a bunch of bullshit about what secks will do to them.

Students at a Catholic girls’ school have been warned that sex outside marriage can “destroy their soul” and “make their bodies sick”.

The “warnings” were handed out to 17 and 18-year-olds during a Sixth Form talk at Coloma Convent Girls’ School, in Shirley, Croydon.

Leaflets handed out during a personal, social and health education session (PSHE) warned that condoms and the morning-after pill put people “at risk” and make them “isolated”. [Read more…]