Blair made light of it in a ironic "solar proponent needed fossil fuel to kill himself properly" way, which I thought in poor taste; but somewhat worse was that the photo at the top of the post was captioned "Brooklyn lawyer David Buckel died hilariously". Given the odd ways you never quite know who in a newspaper is responsible for captions or headlines, I let it pass. But seriously - since when does anyone consider suicides "hilarious" regardless of motivation? Especially the patently gruesome style of suicide that is self immolation - which all normal people just think are awful for onlookers and emergency services to deal with and wish would not happen - and about as far from hilarious as it is possible to get.
So, object of Blair's obsession, Jonathan Green, then tweeted that this was a "new low" for Blair.
Personally, I think his utterly unwarranted ridicule/attack on a Labor politician for having a husband who has completely rehabilitated himself after being a heroin user and serving time for some dealing was worse, as it had obvious potential to be read by said politician and her children, and made no moral sense whatsoever.
Blair now posts that he has received a polite note from some mental health advocate asking that he edit or delete his original post. Blair has declined, arguing as follows:
You know, it just might be that the reverence and solemnity now surrounding suicide is adding to the problem. It just might be that socially-enforced solemnity over poor decisions actually helps validate those decisions, and may encourage others to follow similarly ruinous paths.He makes half a good point. The media reaction to, say, teenagers who have suicided claiming bullying as the motive does concern me as indeed inadvertently encouraging other teenagers who feel victimised to think that, at least in death, they will get the respect and a kind of revenge. This is legitimate concern, and is well discussed in recent years, such as the reaction to that Netflix show "13 Reasons Why".
But is Blair not bright enough to understand that the appropriate counter-reaction to "overly solemnise" does not have to be "finding hilarious" actual gruesome suicides?
It occurs to me about twice a week that Tim is not very bright - given that he swallows and repeats all climate change denialist claims completely uncritically - obviously not caring to look up the wealth of material on the net about what is actually happening; preferring to be a mini Delingpole going "ha ha ha - as if". The faults and errors in his ignorant attempts to defeat science by laughing at it like an idiot laughs at something he doesn't understand are so obvious that critics have largely stopped engaging with him on that point. Similarly with Bolt. They are not serious; yet the consequences of their position is serious.
So when it comes to suicide in a far away country and one by a Greenie, it's all worth a "hilarious" reaction too. It's letting dumb-ass culture warrioring make him think and sound like a minor psychopath.
And he can't see that. But as I say, not very bright.