Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Delicacy of Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain. Study in American pop culture. Study in the abuses of celebrity. Study in despair. In the ways we look away. How we consume for our own pleasure. Lay the body of the icon out like a smorgasbord, partake of it greedily. How his music lulled us in our misery, fed our sophomoric angst, placated the cowardly rebel that slept in our hearts, and pleased us. Pleased us so with its melancholic brooding. Its angry, raucous ranting.

Did we not know that such beauty must arise from a life? Did we not know that such language and sound is not born of itself but is birthed in the bloody, fleshy extrication from a human body, a human sensibility, and is a blueprint for his genetic composition, for the story that sings his soul in this living?

Immaculate conception of human grief evidenced in the rollicking grunge rock we exalted and devoured at once. But what of the father? Man-boy who graced us with such exultant offspring of sound. What of the boy who weeps in this photograph dated September 22, 1990? Alone and anguished and invisible to the clamoring crowd just preparing for the feast.

Some animals eat their young. It is an anomaly--an act at once instinctive and contrary to nature. When will we learn to love the mother, the father, the artist in his creation? To see the longing and the despair as evidenced in his art and know it as sacred, as the holy progeny of his most profound murmurings.When will we know that we should sweep him up in our love, and not treat him like a vending machine that dispenses indiscriminately the sweets that will placate our own desperate desire?

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