Human Exceptionalism

Captain America Anti Suicide Campaign Undermined by American Culture

I am all for trying to prevent suicide.  Apparently the comic book character Captain America is on the case in a story called “A Little Help.”  From the story:

Captain America’s latest foe is deadlier than the Red Skull: suicide. The character armed with his trademark shield faces off against suicide in a new story that publisher Marvel Entertainment has released Wednesday for free through its website and app. The toll-free hotline for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is featured in the work, too. Entitled “Captain America: A Little Help,” the 11-page story is written by psychologist Tim Ursiny, and illustrated by Nick Dragotta. In it, a despondent youth is poised to jump off a building when he spies Captain America facing a bevy of villains on a nearby roof. The fracas keeps him from going over the edge, literally and figuratively.

There is no dialogue, save for the end, which ends with the boy both saving the hero and, in the process, himself.

That’s good. But we have, shall we say, a societal disconnect–a paradoxical message sent like unremitting tinnitus with much more force than a laudable comic book story.  On television, in the movies, and in the news, pro suicide advocacy is ubiquitous–including in some of the publications praising the Captain America campaign.  Million Dollar Baby comes to mind. The drive to legalize assisted suicide is all the rage in the media.  Giving Jack Kevorkian hero status with a puff bio-pic, starring an A-list movie star as K can’t be helpful to turning people away from self destruction.  Many crime and medical dramas promoting assisted suicide and euthanasia.  And that doesn’t include the nihilism that permeates youth culture.

So you go Captain America!  Too bad you have so many others putting cultural impediments in your way.

For those interested, here’s the actual comic that is accessible to all without charge.

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