Krist Novoselic Kurt Cobain, on tour in Europe in 1989. Krist Novoselic is a regular contributor to Reverb. His column on music and politics runs
No worries on the MTV music awards. There were all kinds of shenanigans going on. And I've been drunk and irresponsible myself too many times. That self-destructiveness can lurk in the shadows - lubricated by one substance or another.
I read your column and it brought up a lot of feelings for me and if we do look back, let's not forget the positive. I remember the time later in the 1990's when we crossed paths again at the Showbox. I said it was good to see you, and it was.
Moments after I read your column about Kurt, I read the news about Alexander McQueen and his shocking suicide. On top of that, there was another news report that the authorities found out who stole the "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign from the Auschwitz death camp. I stepped out to get some air and all this came together.
Kurt Cobain and Alexander McQueen were talented and successful individuals. They owned the world. But they obviously didn't see any value in what they had. There was something inside where things seemed futile.
Now imagine the life of those who suffered in the death camps? They were imprisoned starved, tortured, humiliated, raped - their loved ones died in front of their eyes! Yet people struggled to live. In fact, after the camps were liberated, many survivors went on to have productive lives and some are still living!
You can't be rational about suicide. It's hard to reconcile. When someone is murdered, you can get angry at the killer. This happens with suicide, but you're mad at both the victim and the perpetrator! It's the ultimate act of self-destruction.
Alexander McQueen was an excellent artist and craftsman who left us so much. His work promises to have a lasting influence on fashion in the 21st Century. In a way he lives.
They're putting the sign back on Auschwitz that we may never forget the suffering inflicted by an evil ideology - we also remember the triumph of so many individuals who pushed on in the face of the horrible atrocities of the camps. Again, when somebody take their own life, it's hard to make sense of things. It's a cruel paradox - that notorious sign that reads, "Work Sets You Free".
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