dealing with it gracelessly

8 March 2010, 6:51 am

I’m not among those hit worst: those who have to clean up the metaphorical and physical mess, those who loved him, those with a hole in their lives where a friend use to be. Everybody who has to be wondering, now, if they had only done some little thing differently, if the story might have ended differently.

Compared to those people, I have no right to complain.

But I do, because I still lost things important to me. I can’t ever listen to any of Linkous’s work the same way again, from 12 Jealous Roses through Good Morning Spider and Dark Night of the Soul. They join Chesnutt’s Is the Actor Happy?, Cobain’s In Utero, Gilbert’s Thud, Smith’s Either/Or, Wallace’s A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, and far too many others to name, on the sad list of poisoned works.

I can’t appreciate them for what they used to be; now they carry a dark payload, now they’re full of questions, lines that might be clues. And the biggest, worst questions: what does it mean that so much of the art that speaks to me so deeply is made by people who end themselves? Who among the artists whose work I love, the people I love, friends, people I exchange casually pleasantries with at rock shows or on the Internet would I really not be all that surprised to hear news like this about?

How much should I worry that a strange, small switch inside me might one day get flipped to “broken”?

So, fuck you, Mark Linkous. Many of my friends are nicer than I am; they hope you rest in peace. I can’t agree. I hope you rest uneasily, for now. I hope you find peace only later.

2 comments on “dealing with it gracelessly”

  1. 2fs

    I used to agree with you (generally). I used to think that people who killed themselves must be the most selfish bastards on earth, given the pain they’re willing to inflict on the people who care the most for them.

    But the problem is, when people are suffering that much, either they’re simply blinded from pain to all of that, or they simply do not see it that way at all. The first case (and I mean literal pain here) is fairly self-explanatory (and I feel that I cannot judge, never having been in such extreme physical pain). As for the second situation, I’m talking about the fact that clinically depressed people often genuinely feel that the world, certainly including everyone close to them, would be better off, less in pain, with them not in it. They’re horribly, terribly wrong, of course - but I think it’s not correct to blame someone’s crippled brain chemistry for misfiring so…any more than it would be to blame someone’s broken leg for their inability to run.

  2. villain

    wow, I completely failed to communicate. this is not about the selfishness of Linkous’ choice, it’s about the selfishness of my response

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