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for March 4, 2003

Verse, Chorus, Verse
by Stiffy Biceptz

The other day I watched a documentary called "The Secret Life of Kurt Cobain". It was fairly interesting, and divulged insights from his now-public diaries. The show ran through his whole life and its violent end. Watching it made me revisit several questions: How could anyone kill themselves? How could anyone, if so determined to kill themselves to escape pain, execute themselves in such a horribly painful manner? I mean he knew how to use drugs, why not just overdose quietly and fade away? Since he was determined to be such a great parent, why then rob your daughter of her only father? I plan to never search for the answers.
Other great questions arose in my mind. Why did Kurt Cobain and his creative vehicle Nirvana have such a gigantic impact on the music world? And why does his legacy still have impact, nine years since his death and eleven since "Nevermind" exploded on the pop scene? After staring at the TV a few moments, the answer seemed to crystallize in my mind better than it had ever before. Here's my explanation.
Most people are three parts confusion, one part clarity. We recognize clarity when we see it, but have difficulty finding it, within ourselves or in our surroundings, without someone pointing it out to us. We stumble along in our lives guessing, struggling, and grinding our way towards the future, unknown and uncertain. Every once and awhile an artist of some stripe comes along and says, look here, or listen here. We are moved to clarity by the artwork, and for a brief moment we "see", and we understand a little something about ourselves or the world we hadn't before. We nod our heads and quietly say, "Ah". Most artists themselves are perhaps only two parts confusion and two parts clarity, but they find a way to stimulate our mostly dormant clarity part.
Kurt Cobain was all clarity. And being all clarity, he was essentially a different species. His vision, his ability to see where we could never was extraordinary. Hence, his music, his persona, his presence was simply that much more powerful, and in turn had that much greater effect on those of us looking. If typical clarity was a faint light at the end of a long dark tunnel, his clarity was a brilliant light shining in your face. He could stimulate the clarity within each of us far greater than most. This is reflected by the cult of personality that rose up to adore him that thrives to this day. Yet still, he was all too human, and his body was his weakness. Perhaps to be so strong in spirit one must pay in flesh. And certainly vice versa.
Kurt's music, lyrics and spirit live on, with as much intensity and clarity as they had a decade ago. As with all great visionaries, time will only make his impact grow.

©2003 Stiffy Biceptz

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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