Response to Comment on "On the passing…"

(I wrote enough of a response to a comment that I figured I’d make it a post:)

Dear “Domthebomb,”

First, allow me to congratulate you on your nickname. Now, to some of your points:

  • “…how you could actually pass judgment on a man who isn’t even alive to defend himself…”

Shall I kill myself so that you can’t criticize me anymore? And do you really think that anyone aside from Hitler could effectively “defend himself” by convincing me that killing himself was a good idea? Especially considering that I already think I’m right about absolutely everything?

Again, maybe if there’s intense, terminal physical pain, there might be an excuse. But there’s good reason to assume that this was not the case here.

(By the way, don’t give me this “pass judgment” garbage; it’s ultimately just a fancy way of saying “have a negative opinion.”)

  • “I can’t believe you would profess to know why he did something so uncomprehendible…”

I didn’t say I knew why he did something so incomprehensible, I said I could guess, which by definition means it is comprehensible. Please re-read the post, distinguishing “what I know” from “what I think” and from “what I could guess.” I readily admit that I don’t know why, even though I could make some pretty good guesses based on (A) published reports, (B) personal reports from friends, (C) memories of the person in question, (D) friends and family who have committed or attempted suicide, and (E) previous life experience.

  • “unless you have personally experienced the pain he must have gone through.”

What if I had and I’d sought help? What if I hadn’t? It’s irrelevant. Should people refrain from discussing suicide simply because they haven’t experienced suicidal ideations or attempted it themselves? Should I really take back “Remember kids, killing yourselves is bad” due to lack of qualifications? (Okay, maybe due to lack of taste.)

  • “Although it seems you don’t think he suffered anything more than excessive pride and selfishness.”

You misread the post. He obviously suffered from far more than that, but again, I think that his “twisted,” “insidious” pride probably kept him from getting enough help for his core problems… such as “some extreme physical or psychological drama,” as you put it.

  • “Not everyone realizes this existentialist vomit about living because others will miss you…especially when they’re enduring intense pain.”

I agree entirely (except I wouldn’t call it “existentialist” vomit. Read L’Etranger; Mersault didn’t care). But how should we apply that thought? Giving them a free pass? Or, perhaps, by explaining to them that they will hurt us by killing themselves? No, it won’t prevent every suicide. But mightn’t spewing that particular “vomit” stop a few suicides here and there?

  • “In the first you admit what an ‘arrogant jerk’ you’re being, but in some great savior-like technique you accept this burden, sacrificing your image for the greater good of humanity, and possibly even some mixed up kids [Moderator adds: and mixed up adults].”

You know me; it’s no burden. It doesn’t matter that I’m arrogant and a jerk, therefore it in no way encumbers me and adds nothing to my (admittedly impressive) nobility.

  • “Still, you shake your finger at him, you can’t seem to forgive him…”

Don’t get me started on “forgiveness,” sweetheart. I believe very firmly in forgiveness and I have forgiven much and have been forgiven much (apologies for sounding like Bush there… forgive me). I happen to know that Richard’s friends and family have forgiven him. As in “verifiably.” I forgive him as much as I can, which is to whatever extent I was hurt–again, I wasn’t a close friend of his.

But there is an important lesson to be learned here, brought into sharp focus by the untimely, accidental death of my cousin a week ago… I can forgive her for everything she’s done, but I can also criticize her actions–the same ones I’ve forgiven–because we can (and had better) learn from them. I’m making a new paragraph here and italicizing and boldfacing, so pay attention:

There is a difference between forgiveness and permissiveness.

I can forgive an action while at the same criticizing it. I can forgive an action while at the same time doing whatever I can, be it little or much, be it tasteless or not, to prevent it from happening again.

  • “Pat yourself on the back, I’m sure you have.”

Well, I’m a good-deed-doer. That’s my thing. It was good to see you today.

This entry was posted on Monday, October 3rd, 2005 at 9:37 PM.

8 Responses to “Response to Comment on “On the passing…””

  1. PaxonIB Says:
    October 4th, 2005 at 8:22 PM

hey Mr. V. It was nice seeing you yesterday. Funny that you mention “The Stranger” by Camus… we are reading that in Olin’s class!
See you at our graduation..!

  1. Lassie-v 5.0 Says:
    October 4th, 2005 at 9:29 PM

Nice long post. I’m not sure who I agree with but it’ll probably end up being the poster not the repsonder, though domthebomb did make some good points, Mr. V. made better responses. [Moderator comments: YEAH! Take that, Domthebomb! FFFFACE!] I was also informed that you were at school yesterday and walked into my computer class right afteri left. Danr i missed ya but youre gonna be at graduaation right?

  1. jassymane06 Says:
    October 5th, 2005 at 2:35 PM

Ok all the philosophy is killin me, and honestly, not to dicredit either dispute, but both are opinions. One beleives in not criticizing the dead, while Mr. V beleives criticism is allowed even if someone’s dead. I however have a problem with how the dispute was carried out. If someone is expressing their OPINION it is necessary to try to understand where said person is coming from (as is necessary in most disputes). NOTE that I didn’t say you must agree. God no, Where would the fun in the world be if we all got along! But beforeanalyzation, you have to understand what is being said. And it takes a wise man to hear and understand an argument and still dispute it.
Just my lil rant for today.

  1. donnimikk Says:
    October 5th, 2005 at 5:05 PM

Firts of all, if you can’t figure out this alias, you’re not as clever as I thought, coach. ANyways, I certainly agree with you on this subject. Often, people pass up subjects that need to be talked about so that no one is offended. All too often, I’ve noticed that people only think from their pespective, and if we all just stepped out of ourselves and sat on the outside looking in, we all might be able to lighten up, and your classmate might have been able to deal with his issues.

  1. jaxaca Says:
    October 5th, 2005 at 9:43 PM

A bit off topic, but I was reading your haiku entry and it inspired me…for at least twenty minutes. As a result, my friend and I came up with many fake haikus…having nothing to do with nature at all. They were funny nonetheless and therefore made them worthwhile. See Mr. V? You are inspirational, but I’m pretty sure you knew that. As you may know, in the good old ib program, we are reading the Stranger, so we know exactly what you are talking about. Anyway, I enjoyed your short visit on monday and hope you come back soon. Now, since you know that I go to that school that you taught at, and that I was maybe just possibly one of your former students you can put your deductive skills to work.

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    October 5th, 2005 at 11:23 PM

Dear Jaxaca,

I will do no such thing. It’s almost midnight and I’m tired.

  1. domthebomb Says:
    October 10th, 2005 at 4:57 PM

yeah i don’t talk english real good. ok ok… i could respond to each and every one of these responses to my response, but I am too lazy so i will agree to disagree…until the next time you write something really lame [Moderator comments: But everything I write is really lame! I’m a loser and I wish I could be as smart as Dombthebomb! boohoo ] No hard feelings. Later.

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    October 10th, 2005 at 5:53 PM

Holy crap, I didn’t know I could do smiley faces on this thing! Testing:

The real moderator for this website claims not to remember making those comments, and interprets “I will agree to disagree” as “Lo, I am wounded, and must withdraw.”

Anyways, just send me $500 for correctly guessing your true identity.