photo IV


I was not quite sure what I had just witnessed when I first watched Daniel Victor Jones use the freeway median to hold his shotgun upright as he positioned his mouth firmly upon the barrel and proceed to pull the trigger. The shotgun round violently ejected out of the back of Mr. Jones’s skull exposing a gaping cavity where the back of his head used to be. Mr. Jones’s body abruptly hits the ground. A stream of blood snakes freely over the concrete, dispersing and dividing wherever it pleases. Mr. Jones now lays lifeless in a pool of his own blood. The news helicopter is continuing to circle and film.

After the initial shock of what I had just viewed wore off. I quickly became curious as to why this event had taken place. Asking my-self the same question, “What circumstances and pressures in this man’s life have led him to make such a permanent and dramatic statement?” I continued to watch the video clip repeatedly, visually dissecting every single moment that ultimately concludes with Mr. Jones’s inevitable suicide.

The whole video clip from start to finish has this amazingly dystopian essence about it: the main character, the scenery, the colors, the video quality, the camera angle, even the news anchors voice describing the ensuing events moment by moment. Everything about this recorded event has this oppressing characteristic. It almost appears as though; Mr. Jones is trapped or caged. Like an animal that has just had four walls suddenly surround it, he franticly looks for an exit but finds none. He chooses death over life. The choice is obvious.

In essence that is the most fascinating part of this occurrence. Daniel, as well as others who ultimately decide to take their own lives, serve as a glaring contradiction in the face of civilized society. Thousands if not Millions of people are physically rejecting the systems and institutions that are meant to make the human condition manageable. The visceral action of suicide is a form of protest.  Perceivably demonstrating that the system of living we have developed that is meant to work for us is actually working against us.

Advanced technological culture abstracts and trivializes the importance of life. People are conditioned to be a number or statistic measured by economic output taught to view the environment as a limitless exploitable resource. Never truly understanding the significance of what it means to actually be alive.

Civilization lumbers on attempting to make every imaginable aspect of our lives more convenient, all the while shackling our-selves to a digital cyber-savior. Ironically it comes as no surprise that there are those, when misunderstood, frightened and panicked, who chose to escape their modern conveniences with three simple keystrokes. CTRL+ALT+DELETE.

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