The Huffington Post – ‘It’s Now Or Never,’ Texted Teen Charged In Boyfriend’s Suicide

What do we do with criminals criming through Munchausen syndrome by proxy? Our understanding of human Evil with a capital E is that it’s the most extreme aberration from the “common sense” of human good. When mental illness is stigmatized, you end up with a sick young woman believing wholeheartedly in the futility of her boyfriend’s depression and seeking a silver lining. (“I can write a college essay about this~!”) Everyone’s hurt when we sentence criminals to punishment over rehabilitation. Prisons should be highly-controlled schools for “How To Be Good.”

It’s wrong that I’m sympathetic enough to write about this (but also it’s a fascinating, dark, contemporary, insightful story) while I don’t muster up the same emotion for thieves, rapists, killers. But maybe it’ll be in mind next time I’m confronted with “senseless” crime.

I just don’t think it’s wise to posture like this when, barring much more common drawn-out mental illness like I’m suggesting Carter suffered from, psychotic breaks can happen to anyone, any time. No testimony to your own sanity will protect you if it happens. And hopefully they won’t demand a live cremation for you, but I wouldn’t count on it yet. (After posting I realized I didn’t feature any of the comments from people wishing she could suffer the death penalty, but trust me: they’re out there en masse.)

I’m currently listening to Suicide’s first album, and “Frankie Teardrop” scared me.

A song. Scared me. Made me feel nervous, apprehensive, but in a very tangible way, not just in the way horror movies use frenzied strings to indicate something bad is about to happen, but in a way where I was worried, scared, about what would happen next in the song. Scared about what I would hear next, what could possibly make itself known. How often does that happen? Does music ever do that these days? Is fear even an appropriate goal for music?

If you don’t know Suicide, (and I didn’t until this past weekend,) you may have written them off based on their name as I did; as naive as that is, I expected them to sound like non-descript punk with a darker edge. Then I read about them as pioneers of electroclash and … Well, I guess my point is that it’s remarkable how connected music is, how every new thing you listen to just informs the big picture.

I’m excited because I spent most of my life listening to the same music over and over; I would go to bed with the same song set on loop for the entire night. I’d wake up to it playing and only stop it when necessary. Sure, I considered myself very informed about what was being released, but I could still pick out one song from a whole album, discard the rest, and fixate on every aspect of that one track. Now, I’m finding that I have difficulty sticking with one song as long as I’d like to.. And it’s forcing me to go out, to explore more.

What’s even better is that I can track my development on some lines of sound: I first started listening to hip-hop when I was about 14, and over time I’ve moved to M.I.A. to baile funk to Diplo to Angolan kuduro music, and in turn other African sounds (The Very Best.) But when I was 14 I wouldn’t have given The Very Best a second thought! I probably heard music just like them a million times over in my thankfully very musically-literate household, and it didn’t mean anything. But now I’m finding meaning. Yeah, there we go. That’s the conclusion.