[NetBehaviour] on suicide

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Thu May 23 14:39:50 CEST 2019

on suicide


this is always a difficult topic, rarely discussed, full of
trigger warnings, legislation, censorships, stigma, religious
mandates, and prejudice; the very mention of it conjures up
violence, not choice, and indicates that for all (im)practical
purposes, our bodies are not our own, any more than the software
on our laptops, bought and paid for, is our own. Cells and bytes
are owned by the state, by corporations, by data itself. The
misery and debt alone may be ours to keep.

growing old is a complex of outlasting and being outlasted; the
curtain of memories and production becomes tattered and one is no
longer considered interesting or having a say in the world. one
has rarely, now, a say in one's body, no matter one's age or the
glistening productions of athleticisms and the continuous breaking
of records. healthcare veers close to annihilation, to be sure.
and speaking, not being spoken to or spoken with, is evanescent at
best. DIWO, doing it with others, requires community, access, and
funding in the first and last places; DIM, doing it myself,
requires an impossible fortitude, as if every personal gesture
mattered, not only to oneself, but somehow to the world at large.

the gestures don't matter at all; the world is replete with the
failure of f2f communication, the sliding of representations and
presences of the body into imaging, databanks, and projections.
machines may listen to my music, and soon machines will produce
it, and very little else will be necessary; humans and their
suffering are becoming byproducts of data streams. i participate
in this; i'm aware of my invisibility, a set-in or set-back as a
result of age. every person addressing me as 'sir' is dismissing
me at the same time. but this isn't about age or disappearance,
it's about absent ontologies, species, race and gender and
religious representations disappearing into finance, the right,
and data-banking: classification is also a form of face-to-face

suicide is the last holdout, the last hold of the body onto the
body, the last sight, the last sound, the last of everything. even
when multitudinous, it concerns one, the disappearance of a
singularity before the singularity is even recognized,
acknowledged replete. fecundity appears only in the destructuring
of its absence.

there are people who do not want to live, no  matter how 'want' or
desire becomes embedded in legislation, the good or bad advice of
friends, local and imminent circumstance. and what of this? and
what of who or what they leave behind? we are always in attendance
to the world, the world is always in attendance to us. the ending
of the dancing is always the dancing of the end. here, rhetorical
figures take over, suture, the pain beneath the surface. here ends
the fragment of the essay, what is left is unsayable, an unsaying.

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