Do yourself a favour: try to kill yourself

posted 31 October 2003

Slate is running an absolutely fascinating article about the economics of suicide, full of interesting statistics. Did you know that 3% of Americans have attempted suicide? There are more than 1700 suicide attempts every day. And more bizarre still, an unsuccessful suicide attempt raises your income by 20% compared to those who did not attempt suicide. What the hell?

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Rape accusers exposed, redux

posted 31 October 2003

This time an American tabloid has exposed Kobe Bryant's accuser in a rape case that is receiving massive levels of publicity in the USA. Salon is having a great time playing the I-know-something-you-don't-know game that "respectable" news outlets play in these circumstances, in order to hold the attention of readers. Cue the usual arguments about whether or not the accuser's name should be published, right? Except in this case the Globe published not only the accuser's name (in half-inch type on the front cover) but also ran a full-colour picture of her in a sexually suggestive pose (taken long before the accusation). Cue a whole new set of arguments, like: this is why rape victims are afraid to come forward. But Ellen Levine, of Good Housekeeping magazine had this to say:

"Why does the man get drawn and quartered while the woman is garbed in a journalistic burka?" she asked. "I'm not saying that I know the answer. Just that I think it's a timely question. And of course the Globe's going to choose a picture that's racy. And if it sells very well they'll be doing a lot more of it."

It's not quite a mirror of the UK situation -- we don't reveal either name -- but the issues are the same.

Oh, and in other news, I got yelled at today for blogging while at work. So expect updates later in the day. Hi, Simon!

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On the whole - with the exception of occasional terrifying statements by Oliver Letwin, the only...

posted 31 October 2003
On the whole - with the exception of occasional terrifying statements by Oliver Letwin, the only things they do that get any press or interest from the public have been their bi-weekly attempts to commit televised hari-kiri.

-- Tom Coates on the Conservative Party. Hehe.

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