LOOK AT LIFE / COCO HAMES

 

Blog title is
instructive. Don’t take that final, permanent leap.

 

By Coco Hames

 

AND
SO.

 

Considering the recent rash of suicides in my immediate
friendscape this holiday season, I feel that I should take this opportunity to
let you know that if you’re ever feeling lost, blue, overwhelmed, you get that
ringing in your ears and that pinhole gaze, don’t forget to e-mail me at dontdoitdummy@gmail.com and talk it out a bit. Don’t just jump right in, I don’t care HOW long you’ve
been thinking about it, how much time you’ve given it/everyone. If you didn’t
e-mail me first, then you’re going to get ruthlessly recycled cosmically,
like… you’re coming back as an overweight mosquito, like… no one likes
mosquitoes, and then not even your mosquito brethren will like you because you
can’t even keep up. You can’t just duck out, you know, you’ll just be thrust
right back in, and it won’t be better, you haven’t earned better yet,
you see?

If you’d like to indulge the urge by proxy, however, it’s worth taking a look
at five classic examples of suicide in film, in particular five female suicides
that stem from different cultures, age groups, eras, and impulses. And how, in
every case, the world is not a better place without them, and they certainly
are not better off dead.


MAEDCHEN IN UNIFORM
(1931, directed by Leontine Sagan)

Ah, Weimer Era cinema. Being a girl is tough going, straight up. Pain is real.
And their world is an insane microcosm of an insane world, and the attempted
suicide scene at the end of this film is in turn abrupt, passionate, desperate,
frenzied, shocking, and of course, futile. All the things that suicide is,
y’all. And as you can see, not in a good way.

REBECCA (1940, directed by Alfred Hitchcock)

In this one you get a nice, long, drawn out portrait of suffering, from two
different women, two different sides of the suffering coin. One’s even so
committed to her misery that she tries (almost successfully, so deep it’s quite
scary) to convince the other to kill herself. In the end, of course, the
diabolical lady servant succumbs to her demons (aaaaaaand fire) and our little
protagonist gets away in the RIGHT way: she just gets the hell out of there.

JULES ET JIM (1962, directed by Francois Truffaut)

Every crazy girl’s favorite love story, Jules et Jim features an
excellent performance by Jeanne Moreau as… a fuckin’ woman. For she is like
all women: strange and evil. So French. And a perfect display of how petulant
suicide truly is.

MULHOLLAND DRIVE (2001, directed by David Lynch, whose book on
transcendental meditation is pretty much a must-have audio experience)

One of my personal favorites, and one of the most relate-able final impulses —
performed by an awesome Naomi Watts — a really actually totally simple and
believable story about Los Angeles as metaphor and as the town that it is, and
how the weight of depression and desperation can drive you to the edge, and
then over it. Kind of a prime example of “you don’t have to go home, but
you can’t stay here” being a better choice than that hand gun.

CASINO ROYALE (2006, directed by Martin Campbell)

This was just on the other day, and besides the bangin’ opening pong sequence,
I really like this movie. Except for the fact I know nothing about poker, so
that goes on a bit long for me. But the vaguely underrated Eva Green (also
excellent at portraying a woman, in all her twists, turns, pathos, and glory)
shows us the ultimate futility of taking your own life: you’re nobody’s
righteous hero, sister.

These are movies, y’all, and I’m not an academic, and I certainly don’t write
like one. If anyone understands me ANY percentage of the time, I’d be
surprised. I can’t help the fact that I’m a bit “off” and wore my
headgear to school and ate lunch with my reading teacher and played with toy
horses when the other girls were learning to play makeup and make out. I don’t
care! Life is hard and crappy, but so funny and magical, and I love and live
it, as hard as it can be sometimes.

YOU have to remember what these tragic characters (and too many of my friends)
have FORGOTTEN. That you have a choice, and it is far, far better to rebel and
scare yourself than to disappear completely. Because you can’t. Wherever you
think you’re going, you can’t hide. You’re not allowed. So save the dramz for
yer momz, and remember, escape is way easier than you think, without having to
swing from the rafters. None of us remember you WELL, suiciders. If that’s your
last thought, you’re wrong. We don’t think of you fondly. You suck and if and
when we DO think of you, it is with anger, disdain, and dislike. Wouldn’t you
rather just move to the desert and bar back and wear a muumuu and do whatever
it is you want instead? I would. I would and I do. And so should you.

That’s my pep talk for 2011. Since it simply HAS to be better than 2010, y’all,
it will be.

Happy New Year.

 

Hoodies are fine for warmth but they’re extremely unfashionable,

Coco

 

 

***

 

Blurt “co-co-editor”
and advice columnist Coco Hames fronts The
Ettes – Hames on guitar, Jem Cohen on bass and Poni Silver on drums. Their Greg
Cartwright-produced album
Do You Want Power arrived in stores last fall, and they’ve got new stuff in the works
too. Check ‘em out at their official website and their Facebook page.

 

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