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.