T Nation

The Suicide of Martin Manley


Unwilling to see himself succumb to what he perceived as the indignities of old age, disease, and nursing homes, this man planned and executed his own suicide on his 60th birthday.

If anyone cares to read the website he left behind and have a discussion, I will give my own thoughts about his reasoning. I don't want to start the thread of with a bias one way or the other.



In 1978, a Balinese man named I Gusti Nyomon Lempad gathered his numerous family, friends, colleagues, and students around him, thanked them all for being in his life, bid them a fond farewell, and then closed his eyes and exhaled his last breath.

He was Bali's greatest living artist. He chose the day, the time, and even the hour of his death. He felt he had lived enough, and it was time to move on. He was 116 years old.

Martin Manley, though perhaps not having lived for as many years, has done essentially the same thing. My hat is off to him. Every man dies. Not every man dies well.


I read a bit of his posts and history and all I could think was "meh". Sort of pathetic, at least he didn't take a dunkin donuts full of people with him. Apparently he killed himself because he looked old (I guess, didn't really see any other reasons. His life seemed pretty ordinary, boring maybe. Doesn't seem like he went out on top in any sense other than he chose the time and place. I'll give it another couple of clicks to see if my opinion changes.


The reasons a man might choose to die are as varied and valid as the reasons another man might choose to live. I stay alive because my curiosity about what this existence holds is stronger than my curiosity about what is on the other side of the veil. If the movie no longer holds our interest, who has the right to tell us to remain in the theater?


I get his point though, because if you off yourself because you think you have seen it all and life is not worth living there is something you are missing.

You have not seen it all, how could you and if there is nothing you care about you have nothing to lose and are truly free.

Time to shake things up a bit.

Bike through India, open a call girl ring, learn how to drive a race car.


Pfffft, you wanted to kill yourself anyway.

Most people are not so much afraid of dying, they are afraid of living.


Oh, don't worry. I have no intention of ever snuffing myself. And interestingly enough, all three of your suggestions have both occurred to me and hold appeal. Regardless of how boring life might seem. Although in my case, I would bike across Indonesia, learn to fly an airplane, and open a video brothel, whereby the prostitution laws would be circumvented by the addition of a video camera ("those aren't prostitutes, they're actresses").


I know one thing, if I ever open a brothel it will be called "The imponderable Panda".

I would, of course, need a Panda.


You fuckin serious mate?

He died a coward's death. No fucking way he will be welcomed to join his ancestors in the halls of Valhalla with such a pitiful doom. Sure he will be remembered by more than just an obituary, but to me at least he will be remembered as a pathetic and miserable excuse for a man. Suicide disgusts me.


You don't know your Norse religion.

The Goths and the Celts believed that to die naturally was shameful. Vikings unlucky enough not to die in battle fell on their own swords or jumped off cliffs in order to be able to enter Valhalla.


I stand by what I said. Death by your own hand is the ultimate form of cowardice.


And also I wasn't talking about Norse religion. Crom does not reward the weak!


You said Valhalla, which is Norse.

Conan didn't believe in Valhalla or any other sort of glorious afterlife.

"In this world men struggle and suffer vainly, finding pleasure only in the bright madness of battle; dying, their souls enter a gray misty realm of clouds and icy winds, to wander cheerlessly throughout eternity."

And Robert E. Howard, who invented Conan and Crom, committed suicide. So what does that tell you?


Read a little more. My GOD what I've clicked around on is painful. His catalog of hats? Traffic tickets he's gotten? How much he likes Godfather's Pizza? WTF. I'd be embarrassed more than anything to have this be my epitaph. Is this guy for real or a sublime prank?


Not suggesting you kill yourself, but go write your epitaph. See if you come up with something more interesting.


WTF, if this guy is real, he's a bloody pussy!
And 60.... Hardly about to collapse of old age and become a vegetable now is he...


There is no best artist.


In your culture, perhaps.

In other cultures, sitting around old and enfeebled waiting for death is the ultimate form of cowardice.


Howard used Valhalla in his stories as well just as he did blend many such historical fantasies and truths with his own fiction. You're right though it wasn't technically the Cimmerians who believed that.

Writers seem to be a troubled bunch. I guess Howard talked a bigger game than he walked. At least his racist friend HP Lovecraft was brave enough to stick it out till the bitter end.


And I'm sure that Cthulhu will reward Lovecraft accordingly.

Hemingway, on the other hand, I am confident is enjoying a haunch of venison and a flagon of mead in Asgard as we speak.


3 bad ideas. Bike through india: tons of people travel everywhere and do pointless stuff, such as biking in idea. Like a lot of people I did it for a while. You can't do anything really interesting because all your time is devoted to basic such such as finding what to eat, where to sleep, where to go, etc. You get very tired.

Open a call girl ring: You get laid. Eventually you run out of fluid and have no interest anymore. You feel weak. Pointless.

Learn how to drive a race car: lol.

You can't try to understand the universe with physics or math because you are limited intellectually. Everyone is limited, only to different degres. You never were a creative type and you don't have anything to say artistically. No one will listen to you anyway.

The only valuable thing that there is to do is to sit into your favorite meditation position, and push through the pain until you die or gain something great. Just like Jesus who meditated 40 days in the desert and a bunch of others also. Eventually all kinds of weird shit happens in your brain and you feel great. There is something that flows into your body and it's pure joy. You are a weirdo and no one listen to you. No one ever did anyway.