In December 2017, Logan Paul went on a plane and landed in Japan with his camcorder, looking for an adrenaline fix. This was back when he always looked for the next Jackass-level stunt to perform, the next rush for his fanbase to vicariously experience. He put himself on a tight schedule to publish daily content to his YouTube channel. “It’s everyday, bro”, as his brother Jake once said.
People have their opinions about this guy, but here’s the plain truth: Logan works very hard and has earned his millions.
Since I already mentioned the words “Logan Paul” and “Japan”…you already know where this is going.
Yup, the Suicide Forest controversy.
He filmed the body of a dead man, a recent victim of suicide-by-hanging. Surrounded by his buddies in the woods, Logan quipped that the man was “still hangin’ around.”
Before uploading the footage to YouTube, he took pains in blurring the man’s face out, providing a number to the Suicide Hotline, and adding a trigger warning in the beginning. He even demonitized his own video.
Yet, despite his good intentions, he still made a critical mistake: He filmed a dead body.
In an undignified manner.
And the entire world saw it before the family did.
The backlash was swift. YouTube and Twitter took no prisoners with the Logang. After a day or so, Logan took the video down and apologized. He vowed to make preventing suicide his life’s mission and donate to prevention charities.
So what does this story have to do with the dead crawfish that I found today?
See, Logan’s video could have been solid content. It could be up today if he only made a minor change: Omit the image of the body.
If he left his initial reaction to the body in the video, returned to his hotel, described what he saw, and how it shook him, then it would’ve been fine in the eyes of the world. One can gain perspective from seeing a dead body (strange to say).
I don’t have ESP, but I believe Logan was trying to teach his audience something: Eventually we will all die. We will all become something that is unmoving, unbreathing, and literally dead.
It’s a scary thought, but eventually our skin will rot. We will stop moving, but the world around us won’t. The sun will move and bake our corpse. The rain will move and bombard our thinning flesh until it surrenders to the puncturing drops from above. Insects will move and pick up the remains. What was left of us will eventually be gone.
It’s better to become a pile of bones much later, rather than sooner. We need to use up the life we were meant to have. Suicide is the worst sin we can commit to ourselves. Suicide destroys any semblance of potential we have for the rest of our lives.
Today, I walked through the local nature preserve and found a rare sight on a wooden railing: A dead crawfish sizzling under the Florida sun.
According to the Internet’s Code of Ethics, it’s actually acceptable to post pictures of dead crustaceans (strange to say).
Half of the crawfish’s body has already decayed, and I don’t expect to see it there tomorrow. If it were still alive, it would be moving still. Moving to survive. Moving to escape the Sun’s merciless rays. And moving to prevent bacteria from disintegrating its body.
It would be alive, and it would be moving. And it would be alive.
In life, we have the power and the means to escape the destruction of our bodies. In death, we won’t.
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