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'Kyle's Mom' is Dead at Age 38 348

Packetbasher writes "Yahoo News is reporting that Mary Kay Bergman has committed suicide. Mary Kay was responsible for 'many of South Park's female denizens--from the prickly Ms. Cartman to Stan's beloved Wendy.'"
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'Kyle's Mom' is Dead at Age 38

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  • I've lost a family member to suicide. Its always a sad occasion when this should happen. And this begs the question "What now" for south park? All I can do is hope that critics of southpark won't seize this as proof of their criticism.
  • I never was a huge fan of South Park, but it did have it's moments that it'd get a chuckle out of me.

    I just hope we don't see religious or other communities saying this is an answer to their prayers. Even if you don't agree with the humor doesn't mean that this loss of life is any different than a clergyman's death.
  • by Chas ( 5144 )
    Man. That sucks!

    Chas - The one, the only.
    THANK GOD!!!
  • by The Toad ( 25382 )
    She was obviously very talented. This would be very sad even if I wasn't a fan of South Park.

    Of course the show will go on without her. There is a long history in TV of replacing actors. I'm surprised that the author of the article even seemed to think it was an issue.
  • I wondered about what would happen if a cartoon voice died.... surprisingly few people do it. E. G. Daily is responsible for rugrats, roughnecks: starship troopers, futureama, and many many others.... why do animators use the same person for soooo many voices? Am I missing the logical reason?
  • ...why last night's episode was dedicated to her. I had no idea who she was (I'm not a diehard fan by any means). Man, what a bummer...

  • That really sucks, her voice will be missed.
  • by parkrrrr ( 30782 ) on Thursday November 18, 1999 @04:43AM (#1522314)
    Those of us who watched South Park last night may have noticed that Comedy Central inserted a brief, tasteful message saying simply "In memory of Mary Key Bergman" after the closing credits. I didn't realize when I saw it who she was, but I commend Comedy Central for the way they handled it - quietly, and without fanfare, as befits the solemnity of the occasion.
  • Last night's SP had a dedication to her at the end of the show. It didn't really register with me since, other than Isaac Hayes, I don't know the names of the people doing the voices. I never know what's serious with that show, even in the credits, so I wasn't even sure it was a real person. What a shame. I hope her family and friends, as well as the show, can recover.
  • Because there are not many good voice actors around. The situation is better here in Germany - because we have to dub all the english shows and movies we buy... you obviously don't have to do it, thus have fewer voice actors.

    Here in Germany, btw, they usually use the same voice actor for the same actor. Thus Arnold Schwartzenegger, for example, always has the same voice actor. And still you often recognize the same voice on many different shows/actors/characters.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Man, that really sucks. She had some really funny voices. We'll miss her. Cpt_Kirks
  • Imediate costs are cheaper. Don't hvae to go through the processes of hiring, don't have to pay medical and the job isn't so difficult that more than one voice can be done by one person.

  • Well one reason is that versatility in voice over work is hard to come by. Look at the amazing differences in Bergman's voice styles. Its hard to be able to give up your own voice mannerisms in favor of the characters. I came into contact with one of the voices of the animaniacs a while ago. One of the things he said that was most important for a cartoon actors rep, is *not* being recognized when doing a new character or show. The harder it is to recognize the actor behind the voice, the better the rep for the actor doing it. How many of you knew that Bergman did all the female voices of the show when it first came on? I didn't.
  • I was wondering the same thing. My sister and her husband were over watching it last night and we wondered why the show would be dedicated to someone. Knowing this now, I think it was a very nice gesture.

  • I wondered about what would happen if a cartoon voice died
    Remember Phil Hartman?
    Futurama's Captain Zap Branigan was sooo meant for Phil. Whoever does his voice is trying hard to be Phil.
    I miss that guy.

  • is basically, YOU don't like it, so you want to
    see everyone elses fun taken away.

    Please do not forget, you have the option to
    NOT watch it.

    Your words convey the idea that perhaps you suffer
    from the paranoid fear that someone, somewhere
    might be having fun.
  • Damn, I was wondering who that was...thought maybe it was somebody's mom...

    I commend Comedy Central for the way they handled it
    I agree.

    I am REALLY not looking forward to the right-wing "I-told-you-so"s. Hmmm...I will sing the 'Uncle F*ckers' song in her honor. :-)

    The Divine Creatrix in a Mortal Shell that stays Crunchy in Milk
  • by jd ( 1658 )
    "Doctor Who" is the only example I can think of, where this has been done and been remotely successful.

    (So much so, it became an important part of the program.)

    Whilst I don't watch (or like) South Park, I do respect those who do. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes, and that's the way it should be.

    Having said that, I believe South Park should continue IF AND ONLY IF a replacement can be found of equal skill and equal creativity. If they can do so, The Show Must Go On. That is the ultimate tribute that can be paid.

    On the other hand, if they just throw in some cheap wannabe they find on some street corner, in order to keep the money rolling in, and sod any talent, what kind of memorial is that?

  • by p3d0 ( 42270 ) on Thursday November 18, 1999 @04:57AM (#1522329)
    I found these: rgman/html/sound.html []

    The last one (at the bottom) is a bit eerie in light of recent events.
    Patrick Doyle

  • Yeah that's kinda like Casey Kasem doing Shaggy in Scooby Doo. Who had any idea that was him? Amazing.
  • hmm. so because you don't like the show, it should be canceled.

    WRONG! You don't like it, you can go stuff your head in the sand. Just because you object to something, doesn't mean you have any right to try and remove it.

    grr. people like you....
  • Have you ever actually TRIED to consistently "do" more that a couple of voices? I don't think it's as easy as most people think. Plus I'm sure the money isn't that great, and there's none of the normal Hollywood fame attached. I imagine they use the same people because noone else wants to do it.

  • Dude! Don't the moderators watch South Park? "Dude! That blows chunks!" is a commonly heard phrase on the show, and expresses, to a degree, the unfortunate nature of this loss ... so why is the score a -1?
  • by jtseng ( 4054 )
    I found out about this only after last night's show. I normally don't give a sh!t about anyone who I don't know at least vaguely on a personal level, but this really saddened me.

    On the other hand, I'd like to know if anyone knows how and why she did it. My life is not always roses, but I'm not going to end it all because I know I have alot to live for. From the stories I've read, she's doing alot better than I am!

    (And I'm going to stop here b/c from here on out I have nothing good to say about this incident.)

  • I second that! Moderators, please return the first post to its orginal score.
  • by Eccles ( 932 )
    "Doctor Who" is the only example I can think of, where this has been done and been remotely successful.

    I assume you're talking about actor replacement. "Bewitched" would probably qualify as a success; its end was from Elizabeth Montgomery wanting to quit, not bad ratings. Woody Harrelson replaced "Coach" (use IMDB if you need the actor's name" on Cheers successfully, Kirstie Alley replaced Shelly Long somewhat less successfully.

    It really depends how pivotal she was to the show.

  • This was in the Yahoo article, and it doesn't seem to be responding very quickly right now, but you can give it a look: []
  • by Psiren ( 6145 )
    Just because you object to something, doesn't mean you have any right to try and remove it.

    Um, yes, it does. Please don't think I'm trying to start a flame war here, but that statement is wrong. If I watch something on television, and I find it offends me in some way, then I have every right to complain. At least, I do here in th UK.

    I'm not saying this is the case for South Park. It doesn't offend me, I just find it unwatchable. But I have every right to have to say that I think its a pile of pants and should be removed and replaced by something better, just as much as you have the right to say it's really cool and we want more.

    To paraphrase you, just because you object to my opinion, doesn't mean its wrong...
  • I never understood why it is you dub everything to german ?
    Whats wrong with subtitling ?
    Almost nothing here in Sweden is dubbed and theyre even showing Southpark with the subtitling off as default.
    I can't stand watching dubbed movies/commercials whatever, so much of the feeling the director intended to convey is lost.
    There would probably be riots all over the place if someone decided that dubbing everything is a good idea.
  • That you all used to sing that she was a bitch.

    This makes you wonder...
    WB continued after Mel Blanc,
    How will SP react?
  • Broken links...wooo scary. Did you shiver watching Blair Witch too? ')
  • by Lumpish Scholar ( 17107 ) on Thursday November 18, 1999 @05:08AM (#1522343) Homepage Journal
    Here [] is her entry in the Internet Movie Database. She's done a huge number of movies, including STAR WARS Episode 1, THE IRON GIANT, and four Disney animated features, plus over half a dozen video games.

    IMDB credits her with the following SOUTH PARK characters: Mrs. Cartman, Sheila, Female Body Part, Nurse, Mole's Mother, Little Girls, Wendy Testaburger, Stan's Mom, Kenny's Mom, Mayor McDaniels, Ms. Crabtree, Principal Victoria, Shelly Marsh, Nurse Gollem.
  • No, his comment was an observation. If he went on to say "End all organized religions", that would be hypocrisy. Its his right not to like it, but not his right to end it...which is the point he made in the first place. Calm down, AC...

  • by TheCarp ( 96830 ) <sjc@carpanet.PERIODnet minus punct> on Thursday November 18, 1999 @05:09AM (#1522345) Homepage
    While I can't say that I have lost a fammily
    member to suicide, I don't see it as quite
    so sad.

    Those who commit suicide are dead because they
    want to be. They have gotten what they want, a
    final end to their mental suffering.

    What is really sad is how our society treats
    suicide. Those who fail and are discovered are
    likely to live life much worst off than they were
    before. They get to live not only with their
    mental anguish, but with being constantly watched,
    their actions always questioned as they might be
    getting ready to try again.

    The real sadness, is that because of this attitude
    most people who are thinking about suicide never
    come out and talk about their feelins, as they
    know there is no "safe" place to do that...doing
    it is almost surely going to take away their
    ability to commit suicide, as now people will be
    prepared to "intervene". Which in turn means that
    a useful outlet for working through their problems
    is effectively shut off...and thus they are more
    likely to "just do it".

    I have always found suicide an interesting topic.
    Its interesting to ask yourself "Could I do it?"
    Most people say no but why?
    I bet many would answer that its out of love for
    this person or obligation for that... but I think
    its allot mor ebasic than that.

    Actually taking the final step of pulling the
    trigger or swallowing the pill is not easy.
    Both from my own thoughts about the subject, and
    reading the writtings of people who actually
    are suicidal (I am not...I am just fascinated by
    the subject) it takes an extreme amount of mental
    will power to do it. Which of course makes me
    think that anyone who says people who commit suicide are weak, truely have no concept of what
    is really involved.

    I for one couldn't do it. It takes alot of will
    power to force yourself to "catch the bus" and
    find out once and for all whether all those
    religious people who were thrusting pamphlets into
    your hands on the street corner were right.
    (I for one certainly hope not :) ...else I shall
    have a quite warm eternity)
  • I'm really not trying to get into a huge argument, but I have to speak up. I saw many posts saying "I hope no one tries to use this as evidence for [blank]". Having somewhat of a diverse background, and trying to keep a level head about this, I have to ask, why not? Don't take me wrong. This is a TERRIBLE thing and I'm NOT saying, "Good, she's dead". I watch South Park. I have since soxmas so long ago (spirit of Christmas). I however, have to say that to neglect this incident as useful data would be not only unscientific, but stupid! Would you say, "Boy, I hope they don't use that crash dummy test as evidence that seat belts save lives!"

    I'm not saying there is any correlation. I'm not putting together any pieces. I'm speaking in general that when things happen, we shouldn't tie up emotions into a one-sided view. As intelligent people, we should always evaluate situations and change position when we are given enough reason to do so (proof). We should always take facts into account.

    Well that's my take. This was in no way meant to take away from the pain I'm sure this is causing the family. And this is in no way an attempt to start an argument. If you want to flame me, please feel free to email me.

    SL33ZE, MCSD
  • Yeah that's kinda like Casey Kasem doing Shaggy in Scooby Doo. Who had any idea that was him? Amazing.

    I did, but what's really fun is playing "which minor characters are also voiced by Casey Kasem." Cops, bank managers, sales clerks -- his (altered) voice is everywhere in the show. It's fun to play "identify the voice talent" for other animated shows too, although many times the actors just use their normal voice so it's easier to tell who's who. (For example, Jason "George Costanza" Alexander played Catbert's voice on the most recent Dilbert. I always wanted him for Wally, but oh well.)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It is indeed sad that this happened. It's even more sad that someone had to start bashing religon because of this. Geesh, I mean a woman died here! If you want to go bashing stuff, do it in seperate thread.
  • by aphr0 ( 7423 ) on Thursday November 18, 1999 @05:12AM (#1522349)
    And here is yet another example of fame making someone more important than any poor joe on the street. When a mother to 3 children dies in a car wreck, she doesn't even make it on page 84 of the local newspaper. If I went out and killed myself right now, not one reader of slashdot would mourn my passing, even though I have family and friends, just like this woman did. Face it.. money and fame really does equal importance in the world.

    Another thing.. hoards of people will ring in with chimes of "she was such a wonderful " when they had never even heard her name before this event. If you don't know anything about her, please don't try to fake it and say she was so wonderful. Maybe she was a complete warbitch. Maybe she was an angel. I certainly don't know the woman, so I won't make any comments as to how she lived her life and treated others.

    For the record, I am not trivializing her death. It is, indeed, a bad thing when someone dies. (most of the time, not counting terrorists and such) I just want to point out that many people are more pissed off that the voice of the southpark characters is gone rather than that a woman has died and left behind mourning family members and friends.

    I'm fairly sure I'll be moderated down as a troll or as being flamebait, but that is not my intention.
  • You should watch more television :). ALthough I admit I want Mr.Big back.

  • Very few people can specialize in voice-acting and do it well - talent like Mel Blanc, Phil Hartman, Billy West, Mary Kay Bergman, Dan Castellaneta, etc doesn't appear everyday. Look at the cast credits for the Simpsons []... A relatively small group provides the voices for a large number of characters, without them all sounding the same. I would have never guessed that one woman did so many of the voices for South Park.
  • Actually, it seems to me that doing multiple characters with very different voices in a completely consistent manner on top of the actual acting would be extremely difficult for most people to pull off on a regular basis. (hmmm...did that sentence parse correctly?)
  • Forget Catbert...he was Duckman! That show rocked!
  • > I just hope we don't see religious or other > communities saying this is an answer to their > prayers. And once again slashdot demonstrates its incredible tolerance of religious communities - look, right, it's like any situation with a vocal minority. Just because there's a few nutters out there it doesn't mean that they're representative of the group as a whole. I make no attempt to hide the fact I'm a Christian. I think South Park is utterly hilarious, although on occasion yes, I do find it a *little* close to the mark. However, you are completely right - no loss of life is cause for celebration, and I am saddened to hear this news. I am also saddened, however, that people will pre-emptively attack certain groups of people before anyone has even said anything...
  • The show is quite terrible. But the movie is very good, you should give it a try. With the exception of one song I don't like, you know what I mean.

    This year is the strongest animation year for northern american distribution, since forever.

  • Not on the incident itself, but on Parker/Stone's actions:

    Yahoo's report (actually, from E-Online's news) says "Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the duo behind the cult animated hit, declined to release a statement--a Comedy Central spokesperson says they're mourning in private.".

    MTV had a report [] yesterday morning that stated, "The show's creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, addressed the news in a statement that read, "Mary Kay was with us from the very beginning and helped make 'South Park' a success by sharing with us her amazing talent. We will miss her as an artist, a co-worker, and above all else a friend.""

    So which is right? Did they make an official statement or not?

  • Death, espically suicide, isn't funny. Even it's funny, it's nothing to joke about.
  • And here is yet another example of fame making someone more important than any poor joe on the street...... money and fame really does equal importance in the world.

    So? What's wrong with that?
  • by jdube ( 101986 )
    I am very sorry to hear this and my condolences go out to anyone who feels bad about this. First Phil Hartman, and now this? What's the world coming to? I wonder why she went through with this... I mean, she was on South Park, a very successful show! This reminds me of a poem from the Spoon River Anthology about all these people seeing a rich man and wishing to be him. Then, the man shoots himslef in the head. You must wonder why admirable people do such things, but I suppose we can't ask them or anything. *sigh*

    If you think you know what the hell is really going on you're probably full of shit.
  • Even it's funny

    Should have been -

    Even if your comment is funny

    Too early in the morning.

  • You're right - you have no idea. You can't even have a glimmer of an idea. There's nothing there to go on, and since you admittedly have no basis by which to make that assumption, it begs the question: Why did you post?

    Moreover, it's just as possible that many clergyman are damned (if your beliefs extend to that possibility).


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • On a side note, according to IMDB she played the following characters in SWI:TPM :

    Old naboo Woman/Torno the Hammerhead Boy/Torno's Mother/Lost Human Boy/Female Human Merchant

    No Jar-Jar...besides, like South Park, George Lucas would manage to find a substitute.
  • The part that's wrong is the fact that nobody cares if an average Joe kills himself. She was famous, so people grieve for her as they should for anybody, in a perfect world.
    Patrick Doyle
  • hmm. i think the Darwin Awards are pretty funny.
  • by B1 ( 86803 )
    I wish this *would* kill off South Park. I think it is a terrible show.

    With all due respect, hoping that her death will kill off South Park is in poor taste.

    I'm not saying we all need to outwardly mourn her passing. But, for you to see her death as a good thing because it could advance your personal cause, sounds a little selfish and cold-hearted to me.
  • So the voice for all of the females on South Park killed herself? Does that mean no more females, or the show will be canceled, or they will get a replacement?
  • MTV Article - 11.16.99 14:30 EST
    Yahoo Article - November 17 09:50 PM EST

    Even though the Yahoo article is supposedly newer, I'd go with (ugh) MTV. Why would they make up a statement?

  • Why is a clergyman's death more signficant than the average person's?

    I personally wouldn't care less if some people are horrifed that i died without being brainwashed by them.

  • Right.. hiring would be more difficult. You would have to spend x times more on salaries too

  • What were you clicking on, her Bio? Yeah, that's broken, but I was talking about the sound bites.

    Here's one of them: rgman/sound/southpark/5.ram []
    Patrick Doyle

  • by Spatch ( 28798 ) on Thursday November 18, 1999 @05:37AM (#1522376) Homepage
    Remember Phil Hartman? Futurama's Captain Zap Branigan was sooo meant for Phil. Whoever does his voice is trying hard to be Phil.

    That's Billy West. He also does the voice of Fry and his nephew and a ton of other incidental characters on the show. He's also been the voice of Ren and Stimpy (I felt bad for him taking over Ren's voice when John K. got the shaft) as well as the Honey-Nut Cheerios bee, among others. Also hands-down the funniest of Howard Stern's on-air pals, though it's been years since he was on the show.

    West is an incredibly versatile voice actor, and it's pretty obvious he's doing the voice of Zap Brannigan in a Phil Hartman style as sort of an homage. Hartman was meant to voice Zap before his wife cut things short -- Matt Groening has also gone on the record to say that Fry's first name is 'Phil' in honor of Hartman as well.

    I miss Phil Hartman, too. I'll miss Mary Kay Bergman as well, but always felt her voices on South Park at least were more or less one-note voices (slight Jewish mother accent for Kyle's mom, boorish tone for the mayor, Minnesotan accent for the principal, but behind it all, I always heard the same voice.) Still, anyone who can put on those subtle accents and create characters out of that is unique and talented. It will be interesting to see how South Park copes with this sad loss.

  • It surprised me to find all the other things that Ms. Bergman did.

    The IMDB (Internet Movie DataBase) shows [] that she did voices such as Daphne on the new Scooby Doo, Bimbette on Beauty And The Beast, and some voices for Star Wars EP1-TPM.

    She even did vocals on Weird Al's [] "Pretty Fly For A Rabbi" ("How ya doin', Bernie?")

    A great talent has been lost and this is very sad.

    Wherever you are Mary Kay, I hope you are at peace.


  • Then the original moderator should post to the article, and thereby nullify his/her moderation.
  • Heaven forbid that we Christians should ever be as intolerant and callous of others as they are of us. I mean that literally and quite seriously.

    Unequivocally: any "Christian" who could rejoice over a (presumably) non-Christian dying is seriously warped and I will not claim.

  • by Sorklin ( 88002 ) on Thursday November 18, 1999 @05:45AM (#1522383)
    You address the 'sad' part:

    The real sadness, is that because of this attitude most people who are thinking about suicide never come out and talk about their feelins, as they know there is no "safe" place to do that...

    This is all too true, though maybe not in the context you mention it. I don't believe that its fear of being prevented from killing themselves that stops most people from talking about their suicidal feelings. Most suicides make multiple attempts to let people clue into their pain. Often these attempts may be too cryptic for relatives or friends to realize. Often the fear that keeps them from being more open about their pain is that whatever they fear will be confirmed from those around them -- eg. I confess that i'm extremely lonely and if I tell someone they might tell me its cause I'm an asshole, or ugly or something along those lines.

    And this is still a way too simplistic explanation. I've spent over 8 years dealing with the suicide in my family. I've been in therapy and have examined this problem from many angles. Its just too complex to reduce to some pat explanation, even as I have above. The biggest damage that suicides bring are usually to those around the victim. Having lived through one, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Its not something you get over very easily.

    But I also agree with part of your assessment. I have come to believe that there are many situations where suicide may be warranted. I don't believe you have outlined any suicides i would consider acceptable (which i define as something I would be able to accept if it happened to a family memeber or loved one). Chronic pain with no cure is one of these. Perhaps a debilitating condition that one can't work through might be another. Its a personal choice. But this choice is also one that your loved-ones will have to deal with. To only consider your own view is selfish. Many others will be severly impacted by your decision. At least recognize that.

    Its a sticky subject, and there are lots of emotions on all sides of it. Its something I wish I didn't have to examine so closely, but I think I'm better off from having done so.

  • Hear hear! Our society has a tendency to neglect evidence that doesn't meet its prejudices. We start with the assumption that all faiths and cultural constructs are equal, and then reject any evidence that would suggest that they aren't as "bashing".

    Kind of like the whole microsoft vs. Linux debate, don't you think? anyone who doesn't like windows is degraded as a "Microsoft Basher" no matter what they say. At /., anyone defending NT is ignored as a "Linux basher".

  • Um...bewitched, batman, superman, james bond, fresh prince of bellair, they go on and on...
  • This is great to play on Simpsons. Hank Azaria is Moe for one. Kelsey Grammar is Sideshow Bob. Phil Hartman I'm sure was Troy McClure and many others until his tragic death...never been the same since...they changed the meow mix commercials too :'(
  • Why on earth would a merciful God, who (remember) is in control of *everything* want /anyone/ to suffer in the pits of hell forever? Believer or not?

    If I truly believed that the majority of mankind, including most of my friends, were going to hell, I'd never stay sane.
  • ...eventually everyone will be worshipping the exact same set of people...
    What planet are you living on?
    And, can I move there?
  • by RatBastard ( 949 ) on Thursday November 18, 1999 @06:18AM (#1522418) Homepage
    The reason people are mourning her and not some unknown mother of three in a car wreck is that they don't even know the mother of three exists.

    There are six billion (6,000,000,000 to make sure that we Yanks and the Brits are thinking of the same "billion") people out there in the world. People are dying all the time. In the time it will take me to fisnish this sentence at least one person (at my typing speed it will be far greater than that) will have died somewhere in the world for some reason.

    Do I mourn the person(s) who died while I was foolishly puttering away my limited time on this world typing this? Probably not.

    Why? I DON'T KNOW THEM! I have never met them, I don't know their names, I've never seen their faces, they have never directly impacted my life in such a way that I can associate the effect with the person as an individual.

    The death of a famous person is a lot different. I don't really know them, but I know of them. I've seen their faces, or heard their voices, or music, read their words, seen their films, etc... They have efeected my life in a way _I_ can accociate the effect with the pserson.

    THAT is why famous people are mourned by the masses of the population. It is BECAUSE we know of them, we know they exist.

    In the end >99% of us will only be mourned by the family and friends we leave behind. Is that really so bad?
  • Truth be told, what makes her death important is the fact that she did voices on South Park.

    A lot of Slashdotters watch South Park, making the fact that someone new will have to be found to to those voices important to the readers of Slashdot.

    So, the fact that someone has died isn't the important thing - the important thing is that the south park charactors are currently voiceless.

    Death is so common in the world that it would be impossible to report on every death merely because someone died - but if a death effects a lot of people (however minorly), it'll be reported.

    This is unlike the case of that Kennidy guy getting killed in a plane crash - your comment would have been valid for that story.

  • And here is yet another example of fame making someone more important than any poor joe on the street
    You've got it all wrong.

    It doesn't make the person more important. It's just that she has touched many more peoples' lives. Her death affects many more people than yours or mine would.

    There's nothing wrong with that.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you don't know first hand, it's difficult to explain, but...

    Sometimes the pain inside, in your gut, gets so bad you're willing to do anything to stop it. The reason for trying suicide isn't always the desire to end life, it's just one method of stopping the pain. Wanting to die isn't the objective, it's just a side effect of that particular method of making the suffering stop. But if you don't have the guts to... commit to death, then you have to do something about the pain some other way. Anything, you just have to make it go away. The reason you need to do something painful is to block out the other pain, to overwhelm it. This can be done physically, but it doesn't always have to be so. Self-inflicted psychological pain is another method, although that sort of thing is very personal. As for the physical... remedies, they can often be habit forming. You do it so often to stop the pain, that eventually you get... addicted to the counter-pain in a sort of way. It becomes a ritual, you don't even think about it. It can be anything - starvation, induced puking, forced sleep, the list goes on. But the thing is, you don't care. It keeps you alive. It becomes a survival mechanism, and gets built into your system. I have a particularly sick method of stopping the pain - self-mutilation. It's not pretty, but it works. I inherited the habit from my mother. But as I've studied depression a bit, as well as my own depression cycle, I've come to have better control over it all. It's like a hunger pang: if you just wait a while, you do eventually get over it. Same thing goes with depression, but it doesn't go away as quickly. Oddly enough, the act of knowing you're in a depression cycle, and knowing that it does eventually end helps a bit. Mine are long and dark, though, but they come far less often these days. I'm not sure why I'm telling this. Maybe to help those who don't really understand have a little better of an idea. But if you've never felt the pain, the... blackness, then you'll never fully understand...
  • There's something sick with a culture that has such an obsessive need to know everything about things which really don't affect them.

    Why do people care who Sarah Michelle Gellar is dating? Do they actually think they'd stand a chance with her otherwise? Who cares if a certain former football star got arrested for drug possession? Does it matter if your favourite entertainer is a satanist?

    If people are honest with themselves they'll realize the only way that the fortune / misfortune of a celebrity affects them is in how it affects the entertainment they provide or provided.

    This also goes beyond celebrity. Hundreds of thousands of people die every year in traffic accidents all over the world, and flying is statistically much safer than driving, yet when an airplane crashes it jumps to the top of the news.

    If you're a frequent traveller and this is a repeatable problem, I can see how you might be interested, but most people seem interested just in the event. It's the whole "rubbernecking at the scene of an accident" crap.

    The only part of the posting I completely disagree with is the second last paragraph saying "It is, indeed, a bad thing when someone dies. (most of the time, not counting terrorists and such)"

    All human life is somewhat valuable. (Though I think we place a little too much importance on it here in the "west"). To the family of a "terrorist" they may be a freedom-fighter, doing what little they can to fight back against an oppressive regime. It's just as unfair to say that someone's life is less valuable because someone else has labelled them a terrorist as it is to say someone's life is more valuable because someone has decided they're a celebrity.

  • If only people with extreme amounts of fame receive attention, eventually everyone will be worshipping the exact same set of people, and there will be less and less variety and flavor in life.

    Myself, the only person I worship is my Dominatrix. And then only when I'm horny, or when she demands it, or I see her in those sexy, skintight black leather pants that so deliciously accentuate her ... ahem, sorry.


    In all seriousness though, suicide is a terrible tragedy, as is all death for that matter (terrorists and serial killers aside). There is simply no way around it: mortality sucks. My thoughts go out to her family and friends, who will be very hard hit by this.

    However, we should remember that suicide is her right. Perhaps not legally, under our less than just legal system, but ethicly and morally it is her decision to make. While this is hardly comforting or joyous (and I personally really wish she hadn't made that particular choice), it is nevertheless IMHO an important point that often gets ignored and forgotten. Whether she was diagnosed with a painful or perhaps undignified disease, or just unhappy with her life in general, the decision to end her life, while tragic, was her's and her's alone. A choice we may all regret, but one we should respect nevertheless. Of course, those local representatives of the religious right will almost certainly pull out their flamethrowers and moderate me down to -1 for expressing this opinion, but that's alright -- I wore my asbestos underware this morning anyway.
  • by Stevis ( 69064 ) on Thursday November 18, 1999 @06:41AM (#1522441) Homepage
    A copule of comments on this thread have been along the lines of "Man, she was successful, had a way better life than me, why would she do this?" I just wanted to comment on that. It's natural to think that way--I used to, I'm not trying to rag on anyone here--but clinical depression (not the blues, or being down, but an honest-to-God mental illness) can strike anyone, regardless of what reason they have to be happy. I speak from personal experience that I'm not going to delve into, but let me say outward success will not help someone get over this disease. They need treatment, both pharmacological and psychological in most cases, to get through it. And it's not easy to tell if someone's depressed. The person I know is a wonderful actor, and if you aren't very close to them you don't know what's going on. It would be entirely possible for her close coworkers--hell, even for her husband and family--to have been completely unaware of what was going on until it was too late. There doesn't have to be an obvious trigger, a depressive episode can start for any number of unclear reasons.

    Now, I don't presume to do pop psychology at a distance, since we don't know any details (and shouldn't. It's not our lives.) This has probably been to presumptive already, I just wanted to share my experiences. Without meaning to turn this into a PSA, I wanted to point out that there are plenty of resources on depression out there on the web if you're curious about what I was saying or depression in general. It's worth a look; it's very likely to touch your life somehow before it's all over.


  • What the hell is wrong with the moderators on this site? This post raises valid questions, and I don't see the core of malicious intent which would validate a label of 'Flamebait'!

    Her suicide is sad news, and we know nothing of the details and circumstances surrounding it. Just because this poster admits he doesn't like South Park and questions how her role in it influenced her life doesn't mean he's trying to start a flame war.
  • Why on earth would a merciful God, who (remember) is in control of *everything* want /anyone/ to suffer in the pits of hell forever? Believer or not?

    Why would a just God, who (remember) is in control of everything, allow anyone to get into heaven? You have to be perfect to earn your way into heaven...

    I don't think God wants people to be destroyed, but if you don't ask for Grace then you get what you deserve, and I think that God will respect your descision to be judged.

    If I truly believed that the majority of mankind, including most of my friends, were going to hell, I'd never stay sane.

    matrix("What you've got to realize is that most of these people are not ready to be unplugged")

    Christ says: [] "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it."

    But enough with the religious debate. I hate to see anyone die for such reasons as suicide. And my hart cries for her family and loved ones.

  • by bgarcia ( 33222 ) on Thursday November 18, 1999 @07:01AM (#1522460) Homepage Journal
    Can you explain exactly how this voice actor touched anyone's life? Is there anyone in the world that wakes up in the morning and says, "Today is going to be a great day, thanks to the woman that does the voice of Kyle's Mom"?
    You're mistaking "touched" for "had a profound impact upon".

    I liked South Park. She was the voice of many South Park characters. She's made me laugh. She's made many, many people laugh.

    Why so much anger? Do you simply hate celebrity status of people?

    She was no more special than you or I. Her passing will not change the world. If I die, someone else will take over my job, and the same will happen with her.

    When I die, I will be replaced at work. But there will be ~100 people at work who will mourn my passing, because they either know me, or in most cases they simply know of my work and realize that losing me will be a setback for the company.

    Now, Mary Kay is known by thousands and thousands of people all over the world. That's the only reason it's news. There's nothing wrong with that!

    Obviously, you're unaware of the small nuclear weapon I have wired to go off when my EEG flatlines...

    Then you will have profoundly touched my life at the time of your death. In the meantime, I will simply remember you as Yet Another Slashdot Poster.

  • his reminds me of a poem from the Spoon River Anthology about all these people seeing a rich man and wishing to be him. Then, the man shoots himslef in the head.
    Richard Corey [], by Edwin Arlington Robinson:
    Wheneve Richard Cory went down town,

    We people on the pavement looked at him:
    He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
    Clean favored, and imperially slim.

    And he was always quietly arrayed,
    And he was always human when he talked;
    But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
    "Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

    And he was rich--yes, richer than a king,
    And admirably schooled in every grace:
    In fine, we thought that he was everything
    To make us wish that we were in his place.

    So on we worked, and waited for the light,
    And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
    And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
    Went home and put a bullet through his head.

    Simon and Ganfunkle did a good song of the same title, based on the poem.

  • I really didn't want to get into this (so why did I start it? Ok you got me) -- but wasn't God supposed to have created Satan. And isn't God supposed to be everywhere and in control of everything?

    It all makes less sense than believing, as I do, that it's all just there. Nobody made it, and when you die, you rot away and nothing else.
  • First, suicide is not something that active Christians feel a need for. Secondly, have you watched SouthPark? It is a show about the corruption of children in every disgusting way possible.

    If she was a Christian, then she was either a very lax one or had some serious issues. "By your works you shall be known".

  • Duckman still comes on every night on Teletoon here in Canada. For a while David Misch, one of the producers, was hanging around on talking about making the show. It was very cool.

    He would not, absolutely would not, tell about what was supposed to happen at the beginning of season 5. The last show of season 4 was quite a cliffhanger (apparently designed to get people to pressure USA to keep the show). The newsgroup went alight when that episode first aired in Canada. He wouldn't tell though, and he has a good reason for it.

    He maintains (as well as many other sources) that they are actively trying to get Duckman back on the air with new episodes. Comedy Central just picked up the first four seasons for air in the US in 2000, there is hope that this may trigger a resurgence. I'm hoping, at least.

    On a sadder note, in 1997, the voice of Charles, Dana Hill died. The voice was taken over by Pat Musick. That was too bad...
  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Thursday November 18, 1999 @07:19AM (#1522479)
    Man goes to doctor, says he's depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain.

    Doctor says 'Treatment is simple. Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him, that should pick you up.'

    Man burst into tears. Says 'But doctor, ... I am Pagliacci.'

    From The Watchmen, Alan Moore

  • Quoting from the author's original post under this subject line:

    Heaven forbid that we Christians should ever be as intolerant and callous of others as they are of us

    And then, from the message this reply attaches to (by the same author):

    If she was a Christian, then she was either a very lax one or had some serious issues. "By your works you shall be known".

    To this I say "Good Show!" Thank you for illustrating the very reasons many people distrust and are "intolerant and callous" of Christians.

    Damn, how'd I get sucked into a usenet religious flamewar?


  • by Anonymous Coward
    People are saying "what now for the show? get a new voice, lose the characters?"

    What did the simpsons do when voice of Troy McCleur and others died?

    (I dont know, because in here in the UK we havent caught up yet)

  • Why didn't they show her the same respect they showed Jesus? Well, for one, they loved her. Matt and Trey worked with her, considered her a co-creator of the show and went out of their way to cherish their relationship with her professionally and personally. Real love and friendship are something they value and understand. For two, they weren't disrespecting Jesus on the show, they were satyrizing people's inane images _of_ Jesus, the utter absurdity of most of what organized religion promotes, and other concepts that are obviously a little too far above your monobrowed forehead. From all of Mary Kay's friends and family, I bid you bite me.
  • Correct; no Christian has ever committed suicide.
    That's not what I said. I said that, if she was a Christian, she had serious problems. Odds are that she wasn't. Show me someone with a serious Christian faith that they spend time on and take seriously and I will show you someone unlikely to commit suicide.

    If you want to respond, respond with a counterexample.

    Your last sentence is so ridiculous it hardly merits a mention: you are saying that I can't tell if someone has a Christian faith by their actions over a period of time? The Bible disagrees with you, pretty strongly. In fact, the sentence you object to is a quote from the book of James.

  • Here in Germany, btw, they usually use the same voice actor for the same actor. Thus Arnold Schwartzenegger, for example, always has the same voice actor. And still you often recognize the same voice on many different shows/actors/characters.

    Arnold Schwartzenegger is a very interesting example, since he is a native german speaker (being from Austria originally). He should be able to very easily dub his own dialog into German, so you should be able to get his real voice. It is really kinda sad if they don't take the german speaking market seriously enough to do it that way.

  • Hmm... And how do you explain the 178 people martyred in the last year? Or the 7 (I think) people killed in Texas last month as a man came in, screamed "This religion is bull" and started shooting?

    Most of your examples are pretty spurious. For example which crusade do you object to? There were a dozen or so lasting over several hundred years. And why? Most of them were started by Kings trying to get their hands on the wealth of the east. The Church endorsed them, but only in an attempt to protect Christendom from being taken over (by force) by Islam. Let's try to bring some facts in here people. Granted, I don't think the Church should be fighting wars under any circumstances, but the picture is not nearly so black as people try to paint it.

    The Inquisition was overrated. As an institution, it only killed something like 15 people. Fact. Look it up. You talk about he Salem Witch trials? How bout the far worse ones that went on in Europe over a period of centuries? Note that, in many cases, these trials were the government using the church to do their dirty work. cf. Joan of Arc. This is an argument against Christendom, not an argument against Christ. Also, C.S. Lewis very rightly pointed out that the only reason we don't hang witches today is that we don't believe they exist. If we did, we'd hang the lot of 'em.

    Finally, remember that you need to look at all of these against a proper historical context. Before the church came along, one of the more popular ways of killing people was throwing them in to the lions, or pooring liquid lead down their throat, or letting them die from exposure and suffocation due to hanging out in the sun all day.

  • What if you've picked the wrong god?

    One thing I have never been able to figure out is how people think that a god that would sentance people to burn in hell for all eternity just for not believing was a 'kind and loving god'. There are just too many inconsistancies there to take everything at face value. One has to wonder if god(s) does/do exist, how accurately man has forwarded their message. Would it be the first time that (often self-appointed) authority figures overstated the downside of misbehavior in order to try to intimidate people to 'correct' behavior? Would it be the first time that authority figures invoke the name of a 'higher power' to gain power?

  • You won't understand the words, and the subtitles are a translation, and thus lose any clever wordplay that was in the native version.

    "You cannot truly understand Dilbert unless you read it in the original Klingon."
    --Top 10 things heard spoken by a Klingon programmer
  • Tony Hancock, Max Linder, Mark Sheridan, T. E. Dunville, the French clown Marceline, Freddie Prinze... that's not counting attempted suicides and drug and alcohol abuse (many others). It's like black-lung for coal miners: black-spirit for comedians. It's daunting. One cannot protect some types of artists- they remain vulnerable and you can only wish them well and do what you can to not overload them, knowing that much of the world will not be so forgiving, and even if it was, it still might not help...
    In conclusion, I'd just like to say, "Suicide is baaaad, mmkay?" ;P *heh*
  • The part that's wrong is the fact that nobody cares if an average Joe kills himself.

    My understanding is that something like 10,000 people kill themselves every year. If I wept for each, I'd be grieving approximately once an hour. Add in all the other unfortunates who die prematurely for whatever reason, and I'd be crippled if I expressed grief for each of them.

    Grief doesn't help the deceased. I think the real priority is getting us to care about the living.
  • Why do people care who Sarah Michelle Gellar is dating? Do they actually think they'd stand a chance with her otherwise?

    This is totally true:

    I have a friend who has a friend who went to Michigan State. Well, he went there with his girlfriend I guess, and they had been dating for a number of years in high school also. Well, I guess this girl is a total bitch! Yah know, the kind to keep the ol' ball and chain around his neck at all times. Well, this guy gets a great intern opportunity to work in L.A. (he wants to be an actor), so of course he takes it, depite his obviously upset girlfriend.
    So his job is not too exciting.. basically driving a cart around sets of various Television shows. BUT, he actually gets to cart around a lot of the actors and actresses. One time, eh was carting around Sara Michelle Gellar... and she was like, "you're really cute". Well, obviously he is pretty flattered and all... and then she actually ASKS HIM OUT. So he really wants to, but he fels bad because he still likes his girlfriend back home... yah know, the total bitch. so he tells her no. and he tells his girlfriend about it too, who of course gets pissed and real jealous.
    Well, then Sara persists.. you know those Hollywood types, always getting their way. So he actually goes out with her! And they have a great time, so he starts seeing her more often. Well, his girlfriend is starting to get a clue, because he si never around at night when she calls anymore... so she is being double bitchy. Then, one night she calls.. and I guess Sara Michelle Gellar actually picks up the phone!!!!!! Now you can imagine the fireworks that come from this! I guess the girl actually flies to LA to bitch her boyfriend out and all, and i think he actually made up with her and they are back together again still! Can you believe it! He actually gave up Sara Michelle Gellar! I could just die...
  • Free Will.

    It's an old philosophical saw:
    God is All Knowing, All Good, and All Powerful.
    Evil exists, therefore, He either Doesn't Know About It, Doesn't Care About It, or Can't Do Something About It.

    Sound like rational logic isn't up to the task of explaining this paradox?
    One explanation I've heard for this is that God create us with Free Will. The principle of Free Will is very important, God didn't want to make a bunch of robots to be "His friends". He created beings who could CHOOSE to be "His friends". This essentially redefines "Good" to mean, standing for the principle of Free Will over human miserey and suffering. The human miserey and suffering is allowed to exist, because if God stepped in and interfered in our Free Will to stop it, then we'd be robots.

    I wish I had a nickel for every time someone said "Information wants to be free".
  • Good thoughts. What I guess I was trying to say, was if people only knew how *much* suicide really impacts those around them, they might realize how important they really are. But you're right. In the throws of depression, its very difficult to think about anyone else besides your problems.

    I would hope that if someone became lucid enough to think about other people's reaction to their death, that they might realize the profound impact it would have. Perhaps then they might realize that maybe they should stick it out and try to improve things. Its my hope. Not necessarily realistic.
  • I read most of the posts that have a score of +1 or higher. My reaction is that the Slashdot community has difficulty dealing with death. That's par for the course in the larger society, at least in North America.

    BTW, we might want to informally agree to separate Church and Slashdot. This just doesn't feel like the right forum to discuss spirituality.

  • I agree with you, suicide is under the vast majority of conditions a terrible and stupid choice, for the reasons you and others have stated. Nevertheless, the right to end one's life is IMHO one of the most fundamental rights one can have. I don't have to agree with a person's choice to respect their right to make it.
  • The real problem with hell is that it is eternal punishment, the point of no return, no second chances.

    That kind of attitude is one of the things that turns so many people off from religion. 'No second chances' just doesn't seem consistant with a 'kind, loving and forgiving' deity. And eternal punishment seems only fitting for the worst sort of offenders (such as Stalin, Hitler, Bill Gates :-), etc). Even a lot of people who really are pretty much assholes really don't deserve eternal torment and damnation.

    The Bible tells you how to be sure that you will avoid hell. Take the advice. Don't go there.

    Well, the Bible is not only inconsistant and vague, it is greatly open to interpretation. There are hundreds of denominations which call themselves Christian, and yet almost nobody agrees on what the Bible really means.

    All I can say is that any deity that would condemn me to eternal fire for basically being human is evil and doesn't deserve to be worshiped. So either way, it looks to me like most of the world's organized religions really have things wrong one way or the other.

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears