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By now the best result of the Aussie DJ prank would be if Jacintha Saldana surprises bereft loved ones and assembled media at her funeral by rising from her coffin and yelling, “Gotcha!”

Faking her own death would be a dandy revenge.

It’s either that or most the serious people on the planet now have more evidence that we all need to be way more serious.

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

Man, where’s a loud whoopie cushion when you really need one?

That’s why the Lazarus act would be perfect. Because nobody wants to see this woman dead.

I realize it’s tasteless to blame the victim here, but I blame the victim here.

Let’s make this clear: The proper reaction to being victimized by even a devastating practical joke isn’t to kill yourself.

The proper reaction is to kill the practical joker.

Or at least get even.

That’s what Carrie White did. She was the victim of the most cruel practical joke I can remember. It was 1976.

Carrie was a nerdy, friendless, teenage girl abused by her unstable Christian fundamentalist mother. Long story short, some real meanies dumped a bucket of pig blood on Carrie at her prom.

Her prom! Pig blood!

Now, I love taking practical jokes to outrageous lengths, but if I ever find myself in a barn with a knife poised above a pig, I’m going to step back and say, “Boys, I think we’re crossing a line here.”

Stephen King wrote a thrilling book about it called, “Carrie,” and there was the Brian DePalma movie of the same name.

I don’t want to spoil the ending for you but, wow, talk about getting even.

I prefer that bloody resolution to what Saldana’s left in her wake.

How dare she?

I tried putting myself in her teenage children’s shoes. I wouldn’t be thinking that the DJ’s had been cruel or depraved. No, I’d be thinking, “Man, mummy was nuts.”

It’s my layman’s understanding of the Bible that suicide victims don’t get into heaven. That seems harsh.

But there’s so much the killjoy Bible frowns upon my most steadfast religious belief is that finding a good parking spot in heaven is bound to be a cinch.

But let’s assume all the suicides go to some purgatory where they sit around and commiserate about why they chose to end it all.

You’d have people who’d accidentally shot their children, drunken bus drivers with  the deaths of innocents on their consciences, men and women who’d been scarred by war, despair or hopelessness.

They’d turn to Saldana and ask what soul-searing heartache led her to end her life.

“Well, I was the telly operator at London hospital where the Queen’s relation was having a baby. Some morning radio jokers called pretending to be the Queen and I put the call through to the attending nurse. I felt really, really bad about it.”

Tell that story in a room full of people who’ve truly suffered from life’s hardships and they’re likely to respond with something more severe than noogies.

The whole odd episode is causing people around the world to consider what is and isn’t funny. One Australian poll found 65 percent said the DJs shouldn’t be blamed.

Just 65 percent? That 35 percent feel they should be blamed is appalling, enough so that I’m urging the English to act.

Yes, I believe it’s time for the people who gave the world Monty Python, Benny Hill and Simon Pegg (“Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz”) to organize a "Lighten Up!" protest at Saldana’s funeral the way our “God Hates Fags!” gang does at soldier funerals.

Of course, I’m kidding. I’d never advocate something so despicable in the wake of something so tragic.

But you already knew that. You understand I’m the kind of guy who pulls your leg while he’s simultaneously asking you to pull his finger.

So, naturally, the only abomination I see is that a woman could end her life over something so harmless.

And for once I’m not joking.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is a ridiculous Diary!! (11+ / 0-)

    Quite how you can compare the tragedy of a dead nurse with the fiction of a movie is quite beyond me.

    Please delete this and think again.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 11:26:50 AM PST

  •  I don't think we know (17+ / 0-)

    what exactly caused Ms. Saldana to take her life. She may have been very depressed prior to the phone call and this was the tipping point that pushed her over the edge.

    That's the problem with this situation - you don't know who is going to be on the other end and whether they are up to coping with being tricked.

  •  The bible does not say suicides don't go to heaven (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil

    Killing yourself however, is either a mental health issue or an act of cowardice.  She is not a victim of anything more than falling for a prank.  

    •  An act of cowardice? (5+ / 0-)

      Kind of shit I'd expect to see over at Redstate

      "I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth." --- Bill Hicks

      by voroki on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 12:44:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It can be either (0+ / 0-)

      a mental health issue, or an act of cowardice, but epending specifically on the individual circumstances it can also be an a rational health decision, or an act of bravery.

      Not every suicide is a failure of character.  Not every suicide is unjustifiable. This one was.  But I believe in our right to choose death with dignity, so let's remember that deaths, like lives, are highly individual and not subject to one single rule.

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 12:54:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is nothing rational about... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nuclear winter solstice

        taking ones own life.  It's as I said.  It is either a mental health issue which would exempt one from the "cowardice" tag or it is cowardice, plain and simple.  

        If someone is mentally ill, this suggests they are incapable of making rational decisions thus they are not to blame.  If they are not mentally ill, they are completely able to make rational decisions and choose to give up, rather than live to fight another day.  This is cowardice.  

        God never gives us more than we can handle and to excuse or try to explain away an act of a coward as anything less that exactly that, is simply ridiculous.  You give up and kill yourself, you're a coward and you get no respect or sympathy from me.  I say good riddance.  

        Suicide is not only cowardly it is selfish for all the people it leaves behind, hurting and confused.  Why would I feel sorry for someone that chooses such a selfish act?  I don't.  I feel sorry for the family and friends and children who get left behind wondering if it was something they did or if they could have done more.  

        But the answer is no you couldn't.  They are selfish and didn't love you, or else they would have never done such a thing.  Dust your feet of and let the dead go and bury the dead.

        •  Feh. (4+ / 0-)

          I hate that "God never gives us more than we can handle" line.   People die in suffing and agony and despair all the time and it's plenty more than they can handle and there's nothing godly about it.

          Someone with a terminal condition has every right to decide when and how to end their suffering.  Their families are not confused -- they know exactly why their loved one checked out, and bless the fact that they find release.  There's nothing rational about choosing to fight another day when it is a known fact that every day will bring greater suffering than the day before, and to no positive end or hope of cure.

          What a cruel and rigid ideology you express.  I could not disagree more.

          "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

          by lgmcp on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 04:10:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There are few crises that people can't rise to. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lgmcp, emidesu, Cassandra Waites

            But there are many crises that no one should ever be expected to have to rise to.

            Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better?

            by ConfusedSkyes on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 04:17:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  It's your right to believe how you wish (0+ / 0-)

            just as it's someones right to kill themselves.  It's still cowardice and selfish and I don't think this lady had a terminal illness, so I fail to see your line of argument other than to find the thinest of threads to hold on to the ridiculous justification of the unjustifiable.  

            •  You made a broad blanket statement (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FiredUpInCA

              which went far, far beyond the case at hand.  I am challenging your contention not that THIS suicide was unjustifiable, but that ALL suicides are unjustifiable.  I think you're very wrong when you make that claim of "ALL".

              "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

              by lgmcp on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 04:57:02 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  There was a point in history... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                nuclear winter solstice

                where suicides were an honorable way to die.  We do not live in such a society.  We live in a society of crybabies and those who think "life isn't fair", "boo hoo", "I'm going to kill myself".  With no regard to the pain and suffering they leave behind.  Well you know what, life isn't fair and suicide is never the answer.  

                Someone being days from death due to terminal illness, is not necessarily unjustifiable.  It would be easy to claim they are mentally unstable due to the circumstance.  It just isn't a good argument to make, compared to the selfish act of someone who's just going through a "bad patch."  

                If we can draw that line, I don't really see how anyone can justify such cowardice and selfishness.  In the case of this women, she had two kids and a husband, if I remember correctly.  Is there ANY justification?  Aren't all suicides, minus terminal illness (which is debatable) acts of cowardice and selfishness?  

                I think so because God does not give us more than we can handle, whether you like that or not. That's truth.  We all owe a death and we can handle death too.  So, being on the verge of death doesn't necessarily justify such either.  
                 

                •  I'm glad you think the terminal illness issue (0+ / 0-)

                  is at least somewhat open to debate.

                  "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

                  by lgmcp on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 05:19:39 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I Am Hesitant (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  FiredUpInCA, lgmcp

                  . . . to respond to you, Vent, because my thoughts on the subject may offend you. However, I hope I can express myself well enough to avoid giving offence.

                  I too am a religious person, and belong to a mainstream Christian denomination. My concern is with this assertion:

                  "God does not give us more than we can handle, whether you like that or not. That's truth."
                  No, that's not truth; at least not by any objective measure. It is your belief. You may be basing this belief on your own experience, and you may have very compelling evidence that supports your belief. But the only thing that you can claim as objectively, demonstratively true is that God has never given you more than you can handle.

                  Making one's own experiences and beliefs into universal truths entails the risk of making oneself callous, self-righteous, and judgmental. And condemning people as cowardly and selfish--people whom you don't know, whose lives are hidden from your scrutiny--seems to fit the bill.

                  Which is not to say that strong beliefs and specific moral convictions have no place in a discussion like this; quite the contrary. It's simply unreasonable to universalize them.

                  As for suicide, I believe that it is almost always (but not always always) a tragedy. However, theologically speaking (at least according to most Christian doctrine), the deadliest "sins" are spiritual, not corporeal. The poet Elizabeth Bishop, inspired by Caravaggio's "The Denial of Saint Peter," wrote this:

                  Saint Peter's sin
                  Was worse than that of Magdalen,
                  Whose sin was of the flesh alone;
                  Of Spirit, Peter's.
                  Anyway, those are my beliefs. And so is this: The one who commits suicide requires forgiveness, even as those whom the suicide has wounded require comfort.

                  Thanks to denial, I'm immortal. -- Philip J. Fry

                  by IamGumby on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 06:31:38 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Tell that to someone screaming in agony 20 (0+ / 0-)

                  hours a day (and unconscious/passed out for the rest) for several months until they finally manage to die on their own.

                  You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

                  by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:34:52 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  It takes a truly selfish person ... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lgmcp

                  to want a person in great pain to continue to live and experience it because of the pain their death would cause those left behind.  I'm sure there's a special place in Hell for such bastards.

                  "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

                  by Neuroptimalian on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:12:49 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Incredibly bad taste, (14+ / 0-)

    and offensive to the sense of the community. Please delete.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by DaNang65 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 11:37:38 AM PST

    •  Disagree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBL55

      I appreciate your POV, DaNang65, but I think this is a valid topic. Did a joke cause this woman to kill herself? That certainly seems to be the case.

      Many are arguing exactly that. I find that in bad taste.

      But I do regret if this offends your sensibilities. I believe others will agree with me that the topic needs airing.

      •  You have no idea why she killed herself. (8+ / 0-)

        You may be aware of one of several factors in her life during the hours preceding her suicide, but for all you know she made this dreadful decision based on something about which you know nothing.

        Speculating on why a perfect stranger on the other side of the planet took her life is ... well, "stupid" doesn't go far enough.

        Maybe someone should post a diary wondering why anyone would post a diary speculating why a perfect stranger on the other side of the planet killed herself.

        "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

        by JBL55 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 12:18:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You do not appreciate my POV (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shahryar

        because you haven't got any idea what it is. The only thing you know for certain is that I believe this diary to be offensive to the sense of the community.

        I derive my estimation of my "sense of the community" in some measure from this diary, the reception it received, and from being around here a lot longer than three weeks.

        Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

        by DaNang65 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 12:45:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  gracias (0+ / 0-)

          I'm going to pass on the opportunity to bask in the grandeur of your enlightenment.

          You seem to come to this conversation from a position of such high self-regard that it's impossible for me or anyone to nudge you to further thoughtfulness.

          It's because of you I'll be more careful about the content of the stories I post. I get the feeling you're dainty about anything that challenges what you perceive as conventional wisdom.

  •  The venom at the DJ's is ridiculous... (4+ / 0-)

    It was a silly prank that the nurse fell for - she was embarrassed.  So what - you laugh it off and learn from it.  

    Making this woman a martyr of any sort is ridiculous.  Every market in America has radio stations with these supposed to be amusing/entertaining stunts.  This attempted stunt by the Aussies wasn't with malicious intent in any way.  

    In 2008 Palin was tricked by some French-Canadian shock jocks and looked like a fool - and folks here loved it.

    They have the billionaires, We have the Big Dog!

    by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 11:47:29 AM PST

    •  Here's the difference: (5+ / 0-)

      Palin was a public figure (much as I wish she wasn't) and this nurse was not.

      Regardless of the suicide (if that were possible), the DJs were completely wrong to air the bit.

      "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

      by JBL55 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 12:20:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And they had a history of crossing the line (5+ / 0-)

        like when they were reprimanded for setting up a situation where a young woman would inform her mother about a sexual assault she had experienced, on the air.  

        Shock jocks court that harsh edge of inappropriateness.  It's their product.

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 12:56:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  and that's why I find that product ... (5+ / 0-)

          ... tedious to the point of never listening to them.

          Why anyone older than, say, junior high, finds "oh, my, aren't we bad boys/girls?" entertaining is beyond me.

          But as long as they get positive reinforcement for doing it, they can only be expected to keep pushing that line.

          Buncha jerks.  At best.

          "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

          by JBL55 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 01:07:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  You're right. There's the difference. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JBL55

        The radio disk jockeys (DJs) who called Palin were calling a public figure (and pretending to be someone -- the prime minister of the UK, maybe?). Those DJs were targeting a politician (who presumably has people answering the phone and screening the calls).

        The DJs who called the nurse in London weren't targeting that specific nurse. They called the hospital. Don't ask how I know this, but hospitals have lists of people who can get information about a specific patient and when the patient is a member of the royal family, they shouldn't just ask for your name, they should ask for a password or something.

        If the nurse committed suicide, that's very sad and my heart goes out to her family. But I suspect that she didn't follow protocol. And probably she was going to lose her job because of it.

        “If you misspell some words, it’s not plagiarism.” – Some Writer

        by Dbug on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:43:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I agree. The pranksters are not responsible (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nuclear winter solstice

      I can't make fun of her because I suspect something else in her life was lacking that she made such a terrible decision to orphan her kids over a silly prank. My suspicion is that the hospital may be to blame. Maybe the nurse was reprimanded by hospital management?

      I still think that for her to do this there is something wrong with her psychologically.

  •  Mental health issues (15+ / 0-)

    are widespread, underdiagnosed, and misunderstood.

    Suicide is a mental health issue. You cannot simply say to someone clinically depressed or contemplating suicide, "Oh, snap out of it! It's not that bad." Would you say that to someone who has cancer? Of course not.

    Mental health is HEALTH. People cannot "snap out of it" anymore that they can "snap out of" cancer. And when one is depressed, logic frequently gives way to catastrophic thinking, as in "this will never get better. I will never recover. I can't do anything to change or get through this situation." It's easy for someone not suffering, or who has never suffered with it, to think that it's stupid. Thinking clearly, yes. But people with mental health issues are NOT thinking clearly. That's pretty much the definition of having a mental health issue.

    This diary is grossly misinformed on a number of levels, and worse, lacks empathy and compassion.

    "No one has the right to spend their life without being offended." Philip Pullman

    by zaynabou on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 11:53:02 AM PST

  •  this place really is becoming a cesspool (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, Tonedevil, second gen, emidesu

    I guess we'll let anybody in.

  •  Don't have a problem with prank, but I have a BIG (9+ / 0-)

    problem with the idea that these idiots can embarrass and mock a perfect stranger who's just doing her job and then put it out on the air for thousands, in this case millions to hear.  She wasn't a public figure, who the fuck are these assholes to decided its their right to humiliate and embarrass and perfectly innocent person to the whole world. The vitriol they have received is completely deserved.

    "I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth." --- Bill Hicks

    by voroki on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 12:12:25 PM PST

  •  I don't get this story (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nuclear winter solstice

    The DJs didn't actually talk to the princess, right? Just to the princess' nurse. And that's the big horror? Or did the nurse spill some horrific beans? Don't get it.

    •  The nurse was SO humiliated (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nuclear winter solstice

      that took her own life shortly afterwards, as direct reaction to being so publicly hoaxed.   Presumably indicating some prior state of fragility -- or a REALLY intense case of royalism.   Had a husband and young children, too.  Very sad.  

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 12:59:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Even less (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Anak

      Actually, this nurse didn't even spill the beans. When someone called and said, "please connect me to my granddaughter, Kate," the nurse (who killed herself) put her call through to a nursing station.

      That's it.

  •  Blaming one person for another person's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nuclear winter solstice

    suicide I'd almost always wrong.  I think I agree with the diarist's sentiments, if not his style.

    There is only one person responsible for a suicide.  In most circumstances, nothing you did or failed to do "caused" someone else to commit suicide.  If we blame the shock jocks here, where does it end? Do we look at each suicide and root out the person who was not nice enough or not caring enough or otherwise responsible?  Do we prosecute those persons?

    This suicide is a tragedy, as is very other suicide. We can leave it at that, because that is enough.

    The electoral college was my safety school.

    by Fiddler On A Hot Tin Roof on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 01:21:49 PM PST

    •  I don't believe the DJs "murdered" Saldana, but... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nuclear winter solstice

      ...their hands are certainly crimson with her blood.

      Even before hearing that the nurse had taken her own life, I figured the Australian radio hosts for a couple of assholes of the variety that isn't smart enough to be able to discern the difference between a funny prank, and an enormous, giant douchebag move. Loosening the lid on a salt shaker so the entire contents empty when the container is inverted by an unsuspecting diner? Funny prank. Filling that salt shaker with Drano crystals? Giant, enormous douchebag move.

      Cogito. Ergo sum ​​atheus.

      by Neapolitan on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 02:14:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Goddamned spell auto-correct. I'd = is. (0+ / 0-)

    The electoral college was my safety school.

    by Fiddler On A Hot Tin Roof on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 01:22:55 PM PST

  •  My only requests with dark humor and satire: (2+ / 0-)

    1) It be funny.
    2) It uses funny to further a point.

    This is fairly incoherent, and while it occasionally breezes past a point, I don't think that humor was necessary to make the point. And I don't think that there was any humor to capitalize on anyway.

    Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better?

    by ConfusedSkyes on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 04:08:14 PM PST

  •  This diary is offensive. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA

    You have no idea what that woman was experiencing and neither do I. It is not our place to judge, and it's insensitive to her family.

    Stay fired up: now is the time to focus on downticket change! #Forward

    by emidesu on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 04:46:12 PM PST

  •  Let's not, srsly. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    Obvious Hack Work

  •  This station is typical of why (0+ / 0-)

    I hate "morning zoos" wherever in the world they originate. The first rule of comedy is to be funny and this stuff is usually obnoxious, cruel or shocking but not funny.

    At the time of Saldanha’s suicide, 2Day FM was serving two five-year license probations over stunts that violated Australia’s broadcast code. In August 2009, DJ Kyle Sandilands of  “The Kyle and Jackie O Show” got a 14-year-old girl to admit that she had been raped after strapping her to a polygraph machine while her mother quizzed her about her sexual activities. “I’ve already told you the story about this, and don’t look at me and smile because it’s not funny,” the girl said on air. “Oh OK, I got raped when I was 12 years old.” Cruelly, Sandilands pressed on, asking, “Right, and is that the only sexual experience you had?”[...]
    The station’s “Heartless Hotline” shows, ... exploited disadvantaged listeners by offering them prizes, but threatened to take them away if a more interesting listener wanted the loot. In one 2009 case, a mother of five children, four of them disabled, was offered tickets for the family to the Sydney Royal Easter Show, but was then told she had to argue with another caller over the tickets while the station decided whether she could keep them.[...]
    In 1996, host David Rymer pretended to be from a school testing board and convinced a young girl that her perfect score on a major national test was a mistake, causing her to burst into tears. Her father sued, the media vilified him, and he was suspended.
    To hell with this station's management and to hell with people who think their "comedy" is entertaining.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/...

    The choice of our lifetime: Mitt Romney, It Takes A Pillage or President Barack Obama, Forward Together.

    by FiredUpInCA on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 06:52:31 PM PST

  •  it's more then a joke (0+ / 0-)

    She violated the trust incumbent in her position and she violated that trust with the monarch of her country.

    It's her perceived betrayal of the Queen and her employer...

  •  The lady moved from India 10 years ago (0+ / 0-)

    I hate to generalize. But just from personal experience, I noticed Indians tend to commit suicide a lot more easier. Stressed for an exam? Suicide.

    She is most assuredly a good person, but I wish she had a better coping mechanism to situations like this. Maybe if she could have voiced her feelings to a friend or family member instead of internalizing it.

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