Tuesday, February 12, 2008

90 Day Jane

This girl has created a blog, with one post a day in a countdown from ninety. At the end of ninety days, she claims she will commit suicide.

Obviously this is incredibly disturbing and I hesitated posting about it because I don't really want her to get any more attention than she already has. However, I think as a social experiment this whole thing is fascinating. In her posts she says she has "lived her life online." Her logic, then, must be: so why not die online? This is perhaps one of the most intense cries for help I have ever seen. Gawker wondered today if someone could find her to help her, or if blogger would shut her down. And then, of course, the legal questions arise.

What surprises me more than the disturbing nature of the blog are the horrendous comments. KKK syndrome abounds on this page. Shielded by the veil of "anonymous," these people are free to write whatever they want to 90 Day Jane. And I can't believe some of the things I'm reading. She's placed a query to her readers, for suggestions on "how to do the deed," in her "about me" section, and some of the responses are horrifying.

I've no doubt that there must be a large amount of information on how to commit suicide on the internet, but this is perhaps the most direct and unemotional offering I have ever read. "I'm not depressed and nothing extremely horrible has lead me to this decision." Can it be real?

Blogging culture really frightens me sometimes. For instance, after her suicide, the artist Theresa Duncan's blog continues to post saved entries. The last one was on New Year's Eve, she died on July 10th. What's even stranger is that Theresa, and her boyfriend Jeremy Blake (who also committed suicide shortly after her death), claimed to have been terrorized by scientologists. For more on the couple and their story, read the January 2008 Vanity Fair piece by Nancy Jo Sales.

I want to thank everyone for their comments and words of support on my blog. I do my best to keep my personal life private, although I don't mind sharing every now and then. But stories like these make me wonder if the line between the private and the public has ceased to exist.


And here's the update from Gawker. 90 Day Jane lives! It was an "art" project . . . of course.


Mary-Laure said...

"I've no doubt that there must be a large amount of information on how to commit suicide on the internet"

I did some research about that some time ago and, what can I say, I found plenty of stuff (but there's no fool-proof method).
I hadn't heard of the blog you mention and find it extremely disturbing. I think her claim that she's not depressed may be a symptom, precisely, that she is very sick and in denial; talking about one's death in a very unemotional way is a symptom of mental illness. Thinking about one's death is very much a symptom of depression.
She may also be a fraud à la Lonely Girl.

I'm resisting to click on the link to her blog.

Joanna Goddard said...

that is so sad....

riese said...

I was fascinated by the Duncan story for a lot of reasons ... and the blog/life divide ... really, I shouldn't even try to comment because I have too many thoughts.

Anyhow, I think 90-day Jane is almost absolutely not actually interested in dying. She might be interested in killing herself, but if she actually wanted to die it would be a really bad idea to tell everyone. 90 days is more than enough time for someone to think they know who it is and stop her, yeah?

Anyhow, a lot to think about.

jen said...

she's gone. it's over. it was "art." she took down the blog completely, but they are saved in my reader forever - if you haven't seen it, i can email you a copy of the last post. (i was going to post it here as a comment but didn't want to be obnoxious).