As you probably know, I blog only when I have something to say, which isn’t very often these days.
However, the recent controversy over YouTube star Logan Paul caught my attention for two reasons: 1) He went to Japan, a country in which I used to live, and 2) he encountered a suicide victim inside a forest named Aokigahara, a place referred to in English as the Suicide Forest.
I have been to Aokigahara. It’s at the foot of Mount Fuji, a famous inactive volcano. I didn’t venture inside the forest because of all the warning signs and creepiness. Plus, it’s believed to be haunted, and I’m scared to death of the supernatural.
As a person with mental illness and suicide ideation, I wanted to see with my own eyes this ‘foolproof’ method of ending one’s life. Suicidal individuals wander inside the vast, dense forest and literally never find their way out. They usually die of starvation. The trees are so dense that helicopters cannot see inside the forest from above.
To be honest, I had never heard of Logan Paul before this latest controversy. I was able to see the video on TMZ though since it doesn’t exist on YouTube anymore.
Paul seems to me like an arrogant, immature 22-year-old. Being a YouTube sensation and getting filthy rich from it, it appears in the video that he and his friends decide to give his fans a treat and spend the night in the ‘haunted’ forest. They accidentally find a hanging body as a result.
From this point the media rage ensues: Paul didn’t turn off his video camera. Instead, he decided to show a close-up of the hanging body with purplish hands. The face was luckily blurred out.
And then he uttered a joke and laughed. Jeez, an arrogant, rich kid had the audacity to do this. *Sarcasm mode off*
My gosh, young people nowadays take selfies with their dead grandparents at funerals. They watch daredevils fall to their deaths from tall buildings without batting an eye. Some people, young and old, laugh as a coping mechanism when faced with awkward situations.
Bottom line: Logan Paul is a young, foolish, stunt-driven punk who laughed while standing next to a suicide victim. What the hell else would you expect?
Personally, seeing the cold purplish hands of the victim in the video was a strong enough deterrent for me. I don’t want to end up like that, so I keep taking my meds and visiting my therapist.
Paul probably had little interest in promoting suicide prevention. Anyway, the video is out there and it’s not going away. Paul will continue to make money off his videos because his legion of young fans are forgiving of their heroes.
Since I saw the video a few days ago, I’ve had zero thoughts of suicide.
All I can say is: It helped me.
Has it occurred to you that the video might help others too? Help them in ways that a suicide hotline number wouldn’t?