The Dim-Post

July 27, 2011

Quote of the day

Filed under: too fucking crazy to count as politics — danylmc @ 4:35 pm

If a child commits suicide, let us consider not celebrating their lives on our marae; perhaps bury them at the entrance of the cemetery so their deaths will be condemned by the people

- Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell in a column in the Rotorua Daily Post

Put me in mind of this quote from Richard Russo’s Empire Falls:

I think a lot of what is going on with kids who get pushed too far and attempt either murder or suicide is that they are trying to deal with their own non-existence for the people who are supposed to care most for them.

 

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19 Comments »

  1. bizarre comment from Flavell.. as if suicidal kids are going to stop and think, in the midst of their depression, ‘wait, I’d better not take my own life lest I be buried at the edge of the cemetary’!!

    Comment by Plum — July 27, 2011 @ 5:39 pm

  2. These comments are reprehensible. Flavell has shown a staggering lack of empathy, as well as no understanding of mental illness, or suicide and what drives someone to it. All he’s achieved here is add a further layer of guilt onto those who could really do without it. We as a country could go a long way toward lessening our suicide rate of we stopped recoiling from the topic and treated those at risk with a modicum of understanding and sympathy, rather than condemning them as weak and selfish.

    Comment by Purple-Shirted Eye Stabber — July 27, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

  3. Also emblematic of the Toryism of the Maori Party now that Hawawira isn’t there as the counterbalance?

    Comment by marsoe — July 27, 2011 @ 5:48 pm

  4. I’m surprised this came from Te Ururoa: I knew him when he worked in education in New Plymouth and he came across as an empathetic man who kept working toward what was he thought was right (in education and in Maoridom) even when the effort appeared fruitless. This sounds like a brain explosion from a man frustrated about how to stem teen suicide.

    Comment by Ataahua — July 27, 2011 @ 5:51 pm

  5. Well, that’s so dumb it may have just gifted Waiariki to the Mana Party (assuming Annette Sykes is the candidate).

    Comment by toad — July 27, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

  6. What a giant monkey fanny.

    Comment by Dizzy — July 27, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

  7. In the same article:
    “”In doing these things, it demonstrates the depth of disgust the people have with this. Yes it is a hard stance, but what else can we do?” ”

    Phew. He’s also followed up (Herald)

    “I stand by the fact… that I put it out there, that that was one way that some people deal with it,” Mr Flavell told NZPA.

    He said his comments needed to be taken in the context of the whole article.

    “The article was written out of sheer frustration about what we do about suicides in our community and in particular it struck me because of the number we’ve had in my own electorate.”

    He said it was up to members of the marae what they did and he was not saying they should follow his advice.

    “What I said was, ‘gee we’ve got to look at other ways to stop the epidemic, whatever that might be. One way might be to take a harder line on marae, there might be other people that have other scenarios that they can put up’.”

    Comment by Pete George — July 27, 2011 @ 9:14 pm

  8. The thought, if it occurs, that still alive friends and relations will treat their suicide with contempt
    Is going to dissuade a suicide is nonsense.

    It is more likely to encourage it.

    I have been on that suicide spiral.

    The issues that conspired to set me on that journey included value systems espoused by Flavell.

    His approach is a possible way for the still alive to cope.

    That is fair enough and I will not enter into debate about it. We all have to develop coping strategies to
    deal with loss.

    The Flavell approach will not affect suicide rates.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — July 27, 2011 @ 10:39 pm

  9. A further thought to post 8.

    In a sense Flavell is right. Someone chose to suicide.

    Their choice, life goes on.

    ACT and other Libertarians would have to agree.

    Is this a cunning plan to forge links between ACT and the MP?

    Comment by peterlepaysan — July 27, 2011 @ 10:51 pm

  10. Dunno how to break it to you Peter, but the MP have for some time now been to me more than a little reminiscent of the ACT party by any other name.

    Comment by Progger — July 28, 2011 @ 1:06 am

  11. This will only serve to cause further heartache to families who’ve lost someone due to suicide, and most likely would create de facto “suicide sections” in cemeteries. A far more constructive idea would be to support increased funding and resources to mental health counselling and hospitalization; as if a ridiculous notion like this would stop kids who are already in an irrational state-of-mind from committing suicide.

    Comment by Dan Burt — July 28, 2011 @ 1:32 am

  12. Flavell should be ashamed of himself. Think I’ll have to vote Mana.

    Comment by ruskin — July 28, 2011 @ 10:35 am

  13. I think his point was that some of the mourning of suicide victims inadvertantly glamourises or romanticises it. Not sure if this actually has any impact on the suicide rate, though.

    Comment by helenalex — July 28, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

  14. “13.I think his point was that some of the mourning of suicide victims inadvertantly glamourises or romanticises it. ”
    I think you are right helenalex, it’s certainly what I imagined when I heard it. Like you and others, I can’t see it making any difference…

    Comment by Clunking Fist — July 28, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

  15. I think his point was that some of the mourning of suicide victims inadvertantly glamourises or romanticises it

    If that was his point then it’s just as retarded. Has anyone ever sat there contemplating suicide and thought, “man, all those mourners crying and flowers and cheesy music and stuff, and it’ll all be about how great I was! That’ll be *so* boss.”

    Comment by Purple-Shirted Eye Stabber — July 29, 2011 @ 11:51 am

  16. Stuff’s reporting that he’s now apologised, but reading further it seems he’s more specifically sorry for any offence he’s caused, and that he’s since “heard of practices at marae where tangi of suicide victims were shortened”, and uses it to more or less justify what he said.

    Comment by MikeM — July 29, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

  17. Has anyone ever sat there contemplating suicide and thought, “man, all those mourners crying and flowers and cheesy music and stuff, and it’ll all be about how great I was! That’ll be *so* boss.”

    Cobain?
    Looking back at his final MTV performance, it had all the hallmarks of “look at me, sitting on a stage that’s dressed like it’s my funeral”.

    Comment by Phil — July 29, 2011 @ 2:37 pm

  18. “Has anyone ever sat there contemplating suicide and thought, “man, all those mourners crying and flowers and cheesy music and stuff, and it’ll all be about how great I was! That’ll be *so* boss.””

    Actually, I believe somone HAS studied that effect, hence part of the reason we had a self-imposed media ban on reporting suicide as cause of death, in case glamourising in anyway.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — July 29, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

  19. Regardless of how he spins it, I still find Flavell’s comments more than a little ignorant. It seems obvious to me that he has not lost a family member in this way. I have. My 42 year old brother took his own life 18 months ago. Why the hell would I want to punish him or taint his memory by burying him in some special suicide section of the cemetery? Really? Does that bring him back to life? And no, it won’t stop people from doing it either. If you have decided to take your own life, you are hardly going to give a rats arse where they bury you.

    Maybe spend your energy trying to lower the suicide rate and help people before they get to that point. The people left behind will always wonder what else they could have done that might have prevented it from happening in the first place.

    And you have never seen anything quite as tragic as watching parents have to bury their own child.

    Comment by Mark Nash — August 3, 2011 @ 7:17 am


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