A reader learning to market himself
Step 1: Monetize your blog. Get yourself AdSense.
Step 2: Designate beneficiaries in your will.
Step 3: Write it out. Make sure that you follow my 3 S’s of a Viral Suicide Note™: Specific, Sober, & Search engine optimized. You don’t want it to be a vague drunken rant with no keywords. Your note should be a shareable indictment of humanity, but one that exonerates the reader simply for having read it (otherwise they wouldn’t repost).
DO: Make sure it addresses a few hot-button woes of western civilization (income inequality, health care, people enjoying themselves in ways you don’t approve of, etc.).
DON’T: Make white people feel racist. Write a sestina.
Here are several tones you can take:
The George Carlin: You are highly principled and detail-oriented, and the world doesn’t make any sense to you anymore.
The Sentimentalist: Childhood was so simple. This adult life does not make any sense.
The Activist: As an American, to continue living/polluting/being taxed to fund wars/etc. doesn’t make any sense. This might require a little bit of research, or you can just rampantly quote Noam Chomsky.
The Gentle Genius: This will have a “canary in the coal mine” feel to it (i.e., “our world is no longer hospitable to our most gifted”). You can refer to injustice as the “carbon monoxide of the soul.” Only attempt this if you have accomplishments that make you seem like you were always wise beyond your years (skipped a grade, published a novel when you were 16, etc.). Bonus: your blog will get a fresh batch of hits whenever politicians cart you out to shill more funding for education, mental health services, etc.
- Make sure that the first sentence and a half contains a good hook. Most social media sites will cut the rest off in the preview, so if you want the clicks, include something juicy in the first few lines, but without revealing too much.
- Write it with a slam cadence so maybe teenagers will perform it.
- Background music. Don’t have it automatically start playing; this isn’t Myspace. And this isn’t the time to show off your taste in music. You may genuinely feel like Penderecki, but your suicide note is not the time to challenge traditional Western tonality.
- Posthumous scavenger hunt! I mean, you have to do something with all those unsold chapbooks …
- Handwrite it on tea-stained paper. If you can bear living for another five days, learn calligraphy!
- Be sure to include a link to your blog in the note! Otherwise whichever jackass Imgurs your note will get all the clicks.
- Make the whole thing a palindrome. People love palindromes!
100 percent satisfaction guaranteed
Step 4: Select an image. That image should under no circumstances be your face. This isn’t about you. Use old trees, the ocean on a cloudy day, a depleted cup of loose-leaf tea on an oak table from the view of the ceiling. Use a metallic blue filter if you choose to poison or drown yourself, a golden one if you opt for leaping from an old warehouse at sunset, or a red one if you plan on bleeding yourself. No animals in the background. If you email me, I have a few templates you are free to use.
Step 5: Before your poetic death (hopefully you read the list in its entirety before acting), schedule another blog post to go live two weeks after killing yourself to fire you back into peoples’ feeds. It should call out the predictable think-pieces about “glorifying suicide by talking about it,” “glorifying suicide by not talking about it,” “taking time for yourself,” “we’re all too selfish because something something participation trophies,” “depression isn’t sexy,” etc. Imply that glib, opportunistic journalism is a major reason you killed yourself. You can keep having blog posts scheduled to go live every two weeks until you run out of ideas. It needn’t stop there, though—you can program a bot to compose sentences using words from prior blog posts. You’ll probably get a good year of healthy click volume until people start to notice, which will cause another round of think-pieces, and another fresh batch of new fans. And if that bot can be programmed to insult libertarianism and say inaccurate things about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, your page views from comment thread reloading alone will pay your kid’s college tuition—which is good since they’ll probably go deep in debt getting a master’s in social work and make $18K/year trying to fix every drug-addled projection of you they can find.
Ian Murdock is a comedy writer and performing arts junkie residing in Phoenix, AZ.