Late one evening this summer, I was relaxing in my
apartment. I received a phone call from my girlfriend at the time, and
she was crying. She could barely speak. When I finally calmed her down,
and got her to talk, she told me that her 13 year-old step-brother had
hung himself with a belt in the shower. I didn't get a wink of sleep that
night. The following morning, I drove home to be with her, and I attended
the funeral that week. The church was overflowing with Jason Dailey's classmates,
teachers, friends and family. It was one of the worst moments of my life
to see a boy so young and full of life, laid to rest at the age of 13.
I read Nick Spacek's column in the University Daily Kansan, making a big joke out of suicide. Now, I am a very easy-going person with a very dry sense of humor, but I fail to see the humor in Nick's story. I can say for a fact that I am not alone in having this opinion either. I can guarantee that nobody who attended Jason Dailey's funeral would have laughed.
I am like many KU students who have had a close encounter with suicide. My step-sister attempted to take her own life when I was in high school. I amvery thankful that she failed and is still alive today. I can't imagine life without her.
When I went home for winter break after my first semester at the University of Kansas, I was told that one of my high school classmates had shot himself. Suicide is not omething that should be looked at in a satirical way. I understand that people are entitled to freedom of speech, but there must be a line drawn somewhere. I can understand that if there were an article published about suicide, but Spacek's article served no purpose.
It was simply a misguided attempt at comedy. I guess i just don't understand how someone could submit an article to the Kansan, with a complete lack of passion. How could one not realize the effects of such a thing? I am not trying to preach, and I am certainly not attacking the Kansan, but I would encourage writers and editors to consider the consequences of their words.
As for Nick Spacek, the next time you write a column, think about the people it might hurt and put yourself in their shoes. When someone close to you takes their life, good luck finding a shoulder to cry on.
Loveland, Colo., junior
Suicide column bad judgment by editor
As a reader and staff member of the University
Daily Kansan, I was both appalled and shocked at Nick Spacek's column
that ran this past Thursday.
Not only was the column in poor taste, but it also lacked any sort of redeeming literary value. As I read the article I kept waiting for Mr. Spacek to make a point. Unfortunately, that never happened.
Maybe he that he was being funny. he wasn't.
Maybe our editors think that suicide is a cute topic. It isn't.
It is embarassing that the editors of the opinion pag would allow such a worthless and offensive article to be published. Many people, including myself, have either been directly or indirectly affected by suicide. Mr. Spacek made a complete mockery of a serious and tragic subject and in the process exposed the editors of the opinion page, Andy Obermueller and Paul eakins, as both unprofessional and untrustworthy.
I find it hard to believe that either Obermueller or Eakins thought that Spacek's article was quality work. Instead, it looks as if Obermueller has once again taken his desperate need to solicit negative response one step too far.
It is these types of poor decisions that give the Kansan such a poor repuation on campus. I only hope that Obermueller and Eakins' lack of taste and professionalism does not reflect negatively on the rest of the Kansan staff. We all work hard to produce one of the nation's best college newspapers.
Harley V. Ratliff
Associate Sports Editor
Lighten up: Suicide column was a joke
All I've been hearing about is support for a KU fan
whose rights were violated when his sign was taken away at a basketball
game. Everyone thinks that the Athletic department was wrong. I agree.
So why is it now that I'm seeing letters to the editor complaining about a column written by Nick Spacek on suicide? The University Daily Kansan printed that column because Nick Spacek has first amendment rights. I wouldn't be surprised if the people writing the complaints were the same people ready to protest for the freedom of speech of the KU fan.
Spacek's article was about how hard it would be to kill yourself in a residence hall. He wasn't being serious. It was meant to be humorous. See, Kurt Cobain should have lived there because then he couldn't have killed himself. Get it?
OK, so maybe Spacek won't be a writer for the Daily Show. And granted, sucide is a touchy subject. But he has the right to write his column, and the Kansan respected that. I commend the Kansan for supporting his rights and if you've spent the week complaining about the Athletic Department, you should too. So maybe the column offended you. That's OK. But don't tell him he shouldn't have written it and on't tell the kansan editors they shouldn't have printed it. If you are going to support First Amendment rights, you should support them for everyone. The column was supposed to be funny. Lighten up.
Overland Park junior
the article itself