Friday, September 09, 2005

Lions & Tigers & Pixels -OH, MY!

Earlier this year in the UK, 17 year old Carina Stephenson, "by all accounts a vivacious 17-year-old" hung herself. Why did she do it? Unless she explicitly explained why in one of her three suicide notes, nobody will probably ever know. But it's probably safe to guess that her spending four months taking part in the filming of a reality show that is set in the Australian outback had something to do with it; after having endured the primitive conditions there, upon her return to the UK she became reclusive, no longer apparently the "well balanced, normal, happy and healthy girl" she had been before. So why all the renewed fuss in the media about suicide fora on the internet? Because the fora are being blamed for this death, too. Yes, it would appear that Carina's mother is convinced that if it were not for the existence of suicide fora, her daughter would still be alive today.

But reading suicide fora on the net didn't make Carina suicidal, she was already suicidal from having to put up with heaven knows what for four months on a strange continent. I'm guessing that the family signed some sort of waiver when it agreed to participate in the filming of the show that would absolve the show's producer's from any legal responsibility should the stress of primitive living be too much, because that's the only way i can rationally account for the lack of finger pointing at the show's producers. One has to wonder if the people being filmed for this show were paid anything resembling a decent compensation for their time and their troubles.

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