Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jockey Suicide Article Raises Wrong Questions

A Korean jockey, Park Jin-hee, 28, was found dead on Friday. Her suicide note says she couldn't stand the pressures applied to her by some of the horse trainers.

From the story:

'"I'm an optimistic person. But the racecourse changed me to be like this. It took away a lot of things from me and pushed my self-esteem to rock bottom," she said in the note.

She said she could no longer cope with the intense competition she faced as a jockey.'
So she couldn't cope with the intense competition she faced as a jockey -- as a COMPETITIVE ATHLETE.

When I was in college, I dated this girl who was really hot, but for a variety of reasons made me miserable. You know what I did? I killed myself. Oh no ... wait ... I ended the relationship.

The headline of this story, as well as some of the writing in it, claims that people should be questioning the "ugly side of horse racing." Or, maybe, people should be questioning the ugly side of Koreans killing themselves when they face pressure.

I get that this chick loved racing horses. That makes sense to me. But if the pressure was too much, she should have quit. When I first arrived in Korea, I felt sympathy for these people. I still feel sympathy for their families and friends. But I've grown cold toward the people who commit suicide. Maybe I've just become a jerk (very likely), but I'm tired of reading these stories and seeing blame placed on everything except for the society of acceptance toward suicide that exists here.


Anonymous said...

Very true about the blame being shifted anywhere and everywhere as long as it's not squarely on the fact that Korean society accepts suicide as a solution to problems.

I must say, though, that I still do have some sympathy for people who commit suicide, because the acceptance of suicide as a solution is not down to them individually. When your whole society tells you something is right, you believe it. Unfortunately, it's been proven that suicide is essentially a disease. The more people in your society or locality who do it, the more common it becomes - suicide spreads, essentially.

The media plays a big part in this. If they stopped putting so much focus on suicides, people would be less aware of them, and if they didn't know they were going on, they'd be less likely to catch the disease, as it were.

Fatsy Le Shaft said...

You're right on that. I jumped on this one pretty harshly. And you're right that the media portryal doesn't help. It seems to make people want to do it more.