Just when you thought that the lowest form of entertainment was The Bachelor or any other reality TV show, something new arrived.
Hell on Earth, a Bay Area band hoping to further develop this reality show, faux-entertainment, claims they will showcase a live suicide during their show that was supposed to take place at the State Theatre on Saturday.
The band members, apparently strong spokesmen for physician-assisted suicide, are trying to promote their cause by letting a terminally ill person, (a right-to-die activist and member of the Euthanasia Society), commit suicide on stage.
Though, they claim that the live suicide is supposed to promote the death with dignity, the Orlando Sentinel reports that David Goldberg, a spokesman for the Denver-based End-of-Life Choices, said the band is not supported in their deed.
“While we encourage national dialogue on dying and death issues, we are concerned about this particular circumstance,” Goldberg told the Sentinel.
The show was originally supposed to take place at the State Theatre, a venue popular among indie bands and new-wave punk kids. The band announced plans to showcase the suicide several weeks before the scheduled show, which consequently resulted in the gig’s cancellation.
While the officials don’t know how much of what the band says will occur is true, they have the right to be worried.
Hell on Earth has previously performed at the State Theatre, where, as a prank, they diced rats in blenders and later drank them.
The question is whether the band is doing this to show support for euthanasia or for publicity? Neither way is truly commendable. Given that, suicides were quite a fad during romanticism and again in the late ’60s, but the deed itself remained in the shadows.
Under Florida statutes, assisting someone to commit suicide, whether it is a physician or otherwise, constitutes manslaughter and is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
The band, a self-proclaimed set of industrial rockers with long dreads and scarily, crappy music, is trying to put on a show with a live suicide.
Can a band that promotes drinking dead rats and copulating with dead, skinned calves really promote a serious cause?
They certainly have not started out on the right path to convince anyone of their sincerity.
So far, the band has made it to the headlines of Rolling Stone magazine, CNN, the Associated Press and has been printed in other papers around the country such as The New York Times.
But its sales have not gone up. In fact, one of the stores that sells the band’s records reports no sales of Hell on Earth’s latest album since before the news. The band’s Web site says that they they will continue with the show, and a live broadcast will be available online through www.hellonearth.net.
They justify their actions by claiming that the person committing the suicide is doing it out of his or her own free will.
The band also claims that the suicide and show will take place in two different parts of the city, because the activist does not want them to go to jail.
Hell on Earth may be just a band name, but it seems as though that is just what the audience may expect from watching their show.
If this suicide is truly an attempt to publicize a cause, Hell on Earth has not taken the right steps toward achieving their ultimate goal.
If, however, it’s just a publicity stunt, they are getting themselves into more trouble than any number of album sales is worth.
Olga Robak is scene’s Entertainment Editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.