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I just read an article about this filmmaker that convinced the city officials in charge of the Golden Gate bridge to set up a camera on public ground to film the bridge 24 hours a day to ostensibly chronicle the "day in the life of the bridge."

Turns out he is doing a film about suicide and he wanted to catch all the suicides that happen on the Golden Gate bridge throughout a given year. He actually caught all 19 successful jumps that year and all the attempted ones as well.

The city officials are all up in arms that they were lied to regarding the motives of the filmmaker.

Give me a break. Who in the world cares?

This got me to thinking. Why not actually build a rampart where people can go to the edge and from which they can fling themselves off? No worrying whether the cops are going to get them first. No worrying about breaking the law. No worrying whether they’re going to clear the suicide net or not. Just look down and step off.

However, before they can legally launch themselves into oblivion, they must undergo a 2 hour counseling session with a licensed psychologist in a little office right next to their final leaping pad. Anyone can call a hotline and request their two hour preleap counseling session at such and such a time. They meet the counsellor at the little preleap office and go through their two hours. If at the end of that session, they still want to leap, go for it.

I know this sounds odd, and yes, there are those that won’t have the mental wherewithal to make a call and pre-plan like that, but there are many who might be saved because you gave them a controlled route to their demise instead of making them dodge all those that are capable of saving them.

In the "crazy-enough-to-kill-yourself" community, the Golden Gate is a big draw. Let them come and allow them to do it, but only after going through a "hoop" before doing so.

Then film the heck out of it. Film the aftermath as well. The families that were devastated by their supreme act of selfishness. Film, film and film. So people can see just how tragic it is to take your own life, not for you, the scum bag doing it, but for all those that you leave behind. Tragic isn’t even a good enough word. It’s the ultimate act of hatred towards those that you professed to love at some point.

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  1. Interesting idea though one wonders if the thought of the devastation of those left behind will have any real dissuasive effect on the wood be jumpers. One of the interesting comments you saw in The Bridge, if you saw it, was the feeling that nobady cared, that the jumper was all alone. I think the survivors made a pretty good case that they had repeatedly expressed their support and love for the sick. The other theme in the movie was mental illness that at times reached the height of paranoia and/or hallucinations. Again, I am not sure that those people would be receptive to the sort of corrective guilt you suggest. Just saying.

    I like the idea of the little hut with the two hour session. I wonder who in gods green earth would want that job and weather we’d need a second person to talk them off the ledge, as it were. I also agree with the comment that most folks who would be rational enough to respect the law and sign up for the session would probably not be that suicidal. You should suggest it to the city under a grant and see what happens. I mean, other than a flood of lawsuits for wrongful death when the surviving family sues the bejesus out of the city for accomodating the demise of their loved ones.

    That, however, is just what I think.


  3. I was quoting the article. That year, 19 successfully jumped. Why the anger? Geesh.

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