Opinion ~ To Ban or Not To Ban?

I recently received an email requesting my signature on a petition set to ban Eminem’s new video “Space Bound” due to the realistic depiction of committing suicide by shooting himself and the belief that the video will cause severe trauma for most people who have lost a loved one to suicide. There is also concern that the video will result in an increase in suicide attempts and completion. I have watched the video. It is graphic. It is bloody. It is emotionally charged. So, the question is…where do I stand on this video?

I do not think banning the video is called for. As a mental health therapist, with specific training as a suicide intervention counselor and a rape/domestic violence crisis counselor, I have experienced suicide first hand. Not only has suicide been a presence in my professional life, but my personal life as well, coming from a family with a history of gun-related suicides and/or deaths. I have many thoughts on this topic, and these thoughts extend well beyond the scope of this article, however, here are my first thoughts and reactions to the video itself.

When watching this video I ‘felt’ something. I experienced the video as an artistic expression with purpose. Eminem’s video (and lyrics) speak less of suicide with no meaning, and more of what we all are capable of doing to relieve that energetic, powerful combustion of passion. The video, in my opinion, touches on what can happen when we are so attached and the resulting intensity of the inevitable detachment.  I also believe that each individual has the ability of discernment and the right to not have that ability hindered by censorship.

With that said, here is an opportunity to exercise your own freedom of discernment. Here is a link to the video. It is graphic…no matter what my opinion is, please, make your choice on whether to even watch the video carefully. It is ultimately your choice…and yours only.

Eminem~Space Bound

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3 thoughts on “Opinion ~ To Ban or Not To Ban?

  1. Oh, now I watched the video and I know eminem is always one to push the boundaries, I knew he’d gone to dangerous territory with the Rihanna video. I think this one has gone over that boundary and gone running naked with it. I think personally is should come with a warning and over 18 only. There are too many under 18’s there that will be easily affected by not just the graphic material in the lyrics but also the stupid scene when he blows his brains out. I really think that the video is very clever, but so inappropriate for music, loved by children and young adults who are so impressionable. Just saying!

  2. Thank you for the article lovely Annie. As someone who doesn’t like Eminim and who has attempted suicide, I chose not to watch the video. However I feel that someone who is so depressed that suicide seems a feasible option to them would either go ahead with it anyway or be put off by such a video. I know that I, for one, will be unlikely (never say never) to attempt suicide again, mainly thanks to my little sister. After my failed attempt she pointed out to me that there was always the possibility that one would not kill oneself, but simply end up sufficiently brain damaged/paralysed etc., to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that you had brought that terrible state upon youself. That would be too much for me to have to live with.

    It is said that pornography does not cause people to go out and rape. I believe the same can be said about suicide. Just watching a video depicting it does not mean that one will go out and do it. I say this based on my presumption that the video isn’t encouraging people to go out and commit suicide, just showing that it is a possible scenario in certain circumstances.

    I think it is incumbent upon parents to prohibit their children from watching unsavoury videos, programmes etc., or to sit with them and watch such vids/programmes and discuss them with them. Because I did not like the family dynamics in The Simpsons I did not allow either of my sons to watch those programmes. Yet I made them both watch Missippi Burning at a tender age in order to try teach them the evils of racism.

  3. just reading through some previous articles and this one caught my eye. one of our closest friends did this in the same way last month, thus, I am choosing not to watch the video even thought I like Eminem’s work. i am having a hard enough time getting the images out of my head that my imagination is creating all on its own.

    Yet, another interesting and very important topic of discussion. Thanks,Annie.

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