Maybe it was looking at I Heart Huckabees again recently or maybe I have too much thinking time on my hands but I have been noticing a number of coincidences lately. Today at work our lead story was about a father who decided to poison his two kids with lannate( mercifully they are still alive in hospital) before drinking the weedicide and killing himself. Naturally, and sadly, it was as a result of his wife leaving him after she suffered years of abuse. I will ignore, for the moment, the anger that arises in me when I hear of  such cases of male vanity resulting in the “well if I can’t have you I will destroy someone you love” scenario and talk instead of the off coincidences leading up to the news story.


Two days ago i was reading some research papers on the net and came across a French study on suicide in Trinidad and Tobago. The findings of the study were alarming despite the fact any news person would have guessed at the general thrust. It seems that East Indians account for some 83% of suicides in this country. While my involvement in news suggests that this ethnic group is more prone to suicide than others even my colleagues were shocked at the alarmingly high percentage.  I also found it interesting that the preferred means of suicide overall was the ingestion of weedicide which accounted for over 81% of all suicides. I shared the information with all in the newsroom and we discussed it based on our observations of suicides in the last year. I am sure there are several cultural reasons for the preponderance of suicide in the East Indian community and there may well be a reflection of the tendency in Asia as well..though I am no expert on the matter.


The popularity of weedicide as the medium puzzles me despite the fact it is readily available in economies such as ours that have a sizeable agrarian component. I have known three people who killed themselves using this method and the one thing I know is that it is neither quick nor painless. The after effects are awful as the corrosive eats away at the oesephagus and even though the patient may recover for a period the damage done to the internal organs almost inevitably results in death..and a painful one at that. It has been my view that anyone who consumes either gramoxone or lannate knowing what the effects are must have a serious case of self hatred in addition to suicidal tendencies.


In between reading and discussing the article with staff I also chatted with Robin about weedicides and he informed me that though anyone can buy the substance without a permit the vendor has to pay for a licence to sell the stuff. Then today, before I learned about the murder/suicide thing I noted that Newsday published a piece on lannate and its status as a controlled substance in Europe. All of these things came together in my mind when I heard about our lead story. I know they are unrelated incidents and share no causal root but my mind has made them into a connected series of events.


The above can mean one of two things. Either the human mind  is wonderful in its need to see reason and sense in disparate events or else I should avoid watching I Heart Huckabees for at least another year.



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