Suicide has never been so funny. And leave it to those comedic geniuses (the Japanese) to show us just how to go out of this world on our own terms. You're really gonna hafta read this article yourself (linked through the picture). But for all those PESUP readers that don't likey the read-ey, I'll give you the finer points.
First, the Grim:
Nearly 34,000 Japanese killed themselves last year, according to the Japanese national police. That's the second-highest toll ever in a country where the suicide rate is ninth highest in the world and more than double that of the USA, the World Health Organization says.
Now, this isn't cool. That's like a whole baseball game crowd just deciding to end it all at the same time. Creepy.
Next, the Cultural:
For an unemployed, former "salaryman," suicide can be "a rational decision," Yamada says. When a man commits suicide in Japan, his beneficiaries can still collect his life insurance. And insurers pay off Japanese home mortgages when a family's breadwinner dies — even if the death is a suicide. "If he dies, the rest of the family gets money," Yamada says. "If he continues to live without a job, they will lose the house."
Now, this one, chalk it up to poor fiscal planning. In America, if you so much as die the WRONG WAY, they refuse to pay out your insurance. Insurance companies here are in the business of increasing your policy so that you have maximum coverage (i.e. expense) and minimum payout. I was gonna take out an insurance policy on McNugget, but no one would cover someone drowning in a pool from choking on a cheeseburger because the beer was on the other side of the pool and that's too far to wash down a cheeseburger.
Then, the Funny:
"People really want to be connected. People got together to die," says anti-suicide activist Koji Tsukino, 43. Tsukino, a recovering alcoholic and drug user who tried to kill himself 10 times before he turned 30, says the latest suicide craze is even scarier than those in the past.
Do you know WHY he's an anti-suicide activist? He doesn't want anyone showing him up. That idiot failed at dying 10 times. Maybe he's Hancock. Maybe he's stupid. I'm an anti-misogynist, cause I'm really bad at giving massages and the girl giving out the pamphlets wasn't wearing a bra.
Finally, the Lost-in-Translation Moment:
Hydrogen sulfide is dangerous even to those who don't want to kill themselves. The toxic gas can carry into neighboring buildings and apartments. In April, 80 people were injured and another 120 had to be evacuated after a 14-year-old girl killed herself with hydrogen sulfide in southern Japan's Kochi prefecture. She'd left a note on the door of her family's apartment that said, "Gas being emitted. Don't open..."
Damn, that's just nasty.