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All I will remember about Andy Rooney is what he said about Kurt Cobain's suicide

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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 03:34 PM
Original message
All I will remember about Andy Rooney is what he said about Kurt Cobain's suicide
And I wasn't even a particular fan of Nirvana, but this struck a nerve with me as being profoundly out of touch with reality:


Remarks on Kurt Cobain's suicide


In a 1994 segment, Rooney attracted controversy with his remarks on Kurt Cobain's suicide. He expressed his dismay that the death of Richard Nixon was overshadowed by Cobain's suicide, stating that he had never heard of Cobain nor his band, Nirvana. He went on to say that Cobain's suicide made him angry. "A lot of people would like to have the years left that he threw away," Rooney said. "What's all this nonsense about how terrible life is?" he asked, adding rhetorically to a young woman who had wept at the suicide, "I'd love to relieve the pain you're going through by switching my age for yours." In addition, he asked "What would all these young people be doing if they had real problems like a Depression, World War II or Vietnam?" and commented that "If applied the same brain to his music that he applied to his drug-infested life, it's reasonable to think that his music may not have made much sense either."<18>

On the following Sunday's show, he apologized on the air, saying he should have taken into account Cobain's depression. He also read only critical feedback from listeners without interjecting any commentary of his own.<19><20>

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Rooney#Remarks_on_Kurt_Cobain.27s_suicide
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Poll_Blind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
1. This was kind of Rooney all over: The stereotypical grumpy, out-of-touch oldster.
I think that angle played well both with those who enjoyed lampooning his sometimes very out of touch proclamations but also with those who understood and even sympathized with his viewpoint.

I enjoyed Rooney's commentary a lot when I was a kid, or I should say it was the only part of 60 Minutes which didn't bore me to death when my mother was watching it. As I grew older, the Brezhnev-eyebrowed curmudgeon thing became far less interesting and so I stopped watching.

I think Andy Rooney made some awful proclamations on-air...but also there were some observations of his that I agreed with. And since much of what Rooney did was complaining (let's be honest), there was always a certain draw- if one of his pet peeves was one of your pet peeves, it was nice to see it get an airing on the television.

My 2 cents.

PB
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
31. The bushy-browed curmudgeon aspoect is why I loved him growin up in the 90s.
Edited on Sun Nov-06-11 05:05 PM by Odin2005
I have admired his generation from an early age.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
3. He did apologize, so I forgave him for his earlier uninformed remarks about
Cobain's depression, because he was of character enough to admit his error.
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
4. Everyone is bright as well as shallow, in their own ways.
I'll miss them both.

To not have empathy is a sad thing. God knows why Cobain suffered. Perhaps he had physiological issues, or maybe he just saw ugliness that Rooney couldn't see.
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I always thought Cobain saw the ugliness in life, maybe it just got to him. Yep, I'll
miss them both too! Each had their own merits IMO.
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ChandlerJr Donating Member (554 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
5. What did he say that was wrong and why the need to apologize?
Self medicating on drugs and booze elicits no sympathy.
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. I remember it at the time.
He mainly came across as oblivious to the situation at the time, including the economics and social values that many young people were beginning to recognizing as a fixed game, among other things. These young people were coming out of the Reagan years, and didn't buy the bullshit.
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JI7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Rooney lived through the Depression, WWII
i was a teenager when Cobain died. but i think Rooney lived through tougher times when he was a teen than young people in the 90s.
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. That's not the point.
Edited on Sun Nov-06-11 04:05 PM by Hissyspit
And his condescending, un-informed approach in the comments were what caused the controversy.

People coming out of that generation were rewarded with The Great Prosperity. Cobain's generation were the first of the reversal of that. There was a bigger perspective that Rooney was completely missing in his insulting demand that people take his perspective.
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JI7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. actually i find those attacking Rooney to be uninformed and condescending
and out of touch.
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. I'm not attacking him.
Edited on Sun Nov-06-11 04:09 PM by Hissyspit
It was just a shitty commentary for the reasons I've outlined, among others, and he himself later admitted this.

I remember it well at the time, noting that there were real issues he was addressing, but that he did a lousy job of it. I'm sorry you have no counter arguments.
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JI7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #16
22. i don't think his commentary was shitty, his reasons were good
and informative of the times he grew up in. and he did apologize later when he learned more about the situation.
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firehorse Donating Member (547 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #15
30. me too... if Justin Beiber committed suicide, in the context of a near depression and his death
overshadowed that of say Bill Clinton, it would be kind of weird for anyone older than a teenager.
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #30
36. Clinical depression is not teenage angst. (nt)
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firehorse Donating Member (547 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #36
40. teenager mourning a pop star's suicide is teenaged angst - and depression is not the point
the point is not about whether Cobain's depression was clinical or not.

Rooney and those of a certain age never heard of Cobain. Maybe if someone told him Cobain was that year's version of Elvis, he could have wrapped his head around the fact that Cobain's death had an impact on people's emotional state.

Rooney is a guy who lived through deeper things than the death of a pop star. He lived through the mass mourning of JFK's death, The Great Depression, and the kind of magnitude and impression that wars like Vietnam and WWII leave on a person. In comparison it makes the death of a pop star seem trivial even if he was a cultural rock god like Cobain. Like I said, if someone like Justin Beiber died today, millions of little girls would be hysterical.

Ask a combat veteran serving in Iraq if they could have a lot of sympathy for the hypothetical mass grieving all the little girls would get.
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Chorophyll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #40
53. You know what, though?
Edited on Sun Nov-06-11 07:17 PM by Chorophyll
It's possible to be old and out-of-touch with pop culture and still feel a trifle sad over a young person's suicide. People who grew up during the Depression and World War II also had their idols. Girls swooned over Frank Sinatra in the 40s. If he had died young, there would have been a huge outpouring of grief.

It's entirely possible to divide one's attention between Big Issues and personal issues. We all do it every day.

Edited to add: I'm around the same age as Cobain, and I mourned his death. I graduated college during a stock market crash and couldn't find a job. I lived through economic decline in the 70s too. My parents were struggling then. I lived through the recession of the late 80s and early 90s. I lived through the Gulf War. I've lived through John Lennon's murder, 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, and God knows what else will happen in my lifetime. I mourned Cobain's death anyway. There is no "generation" that lives in a perfect world. As to the OP, Rooney said a schmucky thing. Then he apologized. All is well.
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #30
50. You're not really comparing Beiber to Cobain, are you?
Cause...really.
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cyglet Donating Member (256 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. Yet
we were apathetic about it all. OWS is the culmination of that, and why it's not just a 20 year old's protest.

Clinton didn't exactly help us, either...
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. +1, n/t
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. Not saying it was not open to criticism, but Rooney's
Edited on Sun Nov-06-11 04:16 PM by Hissyspit
commentary at the time was not it. And he admitted it later after hearing the feedback and perspectives of many young people at the the time. I'm actually a Baby Boomer, not Generation X, and remember my response to the commentary at the time as basically rolling my eyes.

I would take Andy Rooney over Larry King any day.
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cyglet Donating Member (256 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. Something underlying
needs to be addressed. Some people would just rather avoid it.

OTOH most people relapse and can't ever quit being an addict.
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #5
25. Why not?
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provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #5
43. Kurt Cobain did neither of those.
So I guess you just take a broad slander of rock stars in general and apply it to all of them.

Cobain dies because he was a severely depressed manic-depressive who wasn't on the right prescription medication.
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GodlessBiker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
7. Rooney's schtick was cute early on, but it got tiresome pretty fast.
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JI7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
8. i actually have no problem with what Andy Rooney said, he gave a good explanation
Edited on Sun Nov-06-11 03:57 PM by JI7
and you can see where he is coming from. you have to consider the times he lived through.

and he did apologize when he found out more of the situation.

a lot of people on here have said worse about people who have died.

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begin_within Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
9. Frankly, I agree with most of his points.
Taking a swipe at his music was tactless and unnecessary, but the rest of it makes sense to me and doesn't seem out of touch with reality, in my opinion.
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #9
28. I hope no one who depends on you for emotional support ever suffers from a mental illness. nt
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begin_within Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #28
32. But they could have gotten help, silly!
People like Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse shouldn't have just "depended on someone for emotional support," they needed professional help and/or rehab. There's no reason for anyone to suffer the fate they did, especially when they had the means to afford the best care in those areas! You're being incredibly nave if you think just friends or relatives can treat mental illness.
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. Expecting someone who is suffering from mental illness to think clearly enough to
realize they need professional help is not always realistic. People sometimes need supportive help and guidance in their lives; just having the money is not enough.
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 05:36 PM
Response to Reply #32
37. People surrounded by that kind of attitude tend to have a harder time doing something about it. (nt)
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Iggo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
10. Oh.
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DonCoquixote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 04:09 PM
Response to Original message
18. Kurt died because
a) he had a mental illness that was never treated, not even when he got the money, because this nation is ass backwards when it comes to mental illness.

and, last, but far from least

b) He attracted a bunch of parasites that were all too happy to ride the gravy train, but not willing to do jack to help him out: Courtney Love was too busy being herself, and Dave Grohl was too busy eating the corpse of Niorvana and vomiting out the Foo Fighters.
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cyglet Donating Member (256 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #18
26. Grohl
isn't like that (Courtney was poison). But you can't expect Nirvana bandmates to be psychiatrists.

Unfortunately, you can't really help a mentally ill person unless they're a danger to themselves or others.
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HipChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
19. Until I experienced Depression...I would have agreed with Rooney
It's an illness, do not underestimate the depths you can sink to..
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. So many people are so ill informed about depression, they think you just have
Edited on Sun Nov-06-11 05:10 PM by RKP5637
to tough it up. It sounds so damn ignorant. I recall so well my father, a well education man, saying decades ago that people in mental institutions and with problems were just fakes, they didn't want to work and didn't want to make a life for themselves. Sadly, decades ago many had that attitude, but it's better these days, yet mental issues today still have a stigma attached.


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HipChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #23
35. The stigma in minority communities is even worst...

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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #35
44. Amazing, all these years, and it still goes on. n/t
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cyglet Donating Member (256 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #19
24. Nope
I guess similar to addiction, you can be functional and non functional...
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DBoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
27. of course people mourned Cobain more than Nixon
Kurt Cobain, through his depressed fog, actually had some empathy for those around him, and did not build a career out of corruption and violence.

One was a depressed, alcoholic/drug-addicted though talented musician, the other one enabled Pinochet to murder thousands, dragged the Vietnam War out for another 5 years, and left a permanent scar on this country.

Which one do you think *I* missed?
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
29. Wow, that was tasteless on his part.
Edited on Sun Nov-06-11 05:03 PM by Odin2005
One of the most talented and innovative rock musicians of all time kills himself and he bitches that it overshadowed the death of one of the most evil Americans of the 20th Century?
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #29
33. +1, n/t
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cwydro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
38. I'll remember his great commentary on life. nt
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TheCowsCameHome Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 06:07 PM
Response to Original message
39. R.I.P., Mr. Rooney
You will be missed.
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RetroLounge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
41. That's ALL you will remember?
:rofl:

RL
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cwydro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #41
45. I know, right?
DU never fails to amuse.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #41
57. and his eyebrows. They are probably stick up out of the ground at his grave.
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firehorse Donating Member (547 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 06:24 PM
Response to Original message
42. As a perfectly imperfect human, I hope I'm not judged soley by one thing I say when I die.
It must be great to be perfect human being. Though I've never met one yet. Most the human beings I know say quite a lot of things that piss people off every now and then. Some of the ones that piss the most people off are really funny too. I hope when they die they are remembered for their humor at least as much as the one thing that pissed someone off.

Maybe we all should aspire to be mute and as quiet as someone in a coma.
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #42
47. You know, I think of some of the things I've said and done over the years and
Edited on Sun Nov-06-11 06:58 PM by RKP5637
sometimes it haunts me, like WTF was I thinking when I said or did something. I admire him for having corrected what he said. So many people say and do things over the years and they can't tolerate feedback or criticism.
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Union Scribe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 06:56 PM
Response to Original message
46. Me too.
It's my only memory of Rooney, and a reminder that words can leave a very lasting impression, for good or ill.
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 06:59 PM
Response to Original message
48. One aspect of what he said is true...

more people should have been celebrating Nixon's death.
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cwydro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 06:59 PM
Response to Original message
49. Smells like teen spirit. nt
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Raine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 07:06 PM
Response to Original message
51. That was bad but I wouldn't want to be judged by the worst thing I said.
A person's whole life shouldn't come down to something like that otherwise no one would be forgiven just because they were once insensitive or rude. It's best to look at a person's life overall ... would you want to be judged always for the worst thing you said?
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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 07:09 PM
Response to Original message
52. Those remarks really rubbed me the wrong way at the time. too
That was 94, wow! Makes me realize how old I am.
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rugger1869 Donating Member (71 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 07:52 PM
Response to Original message
54. It's bad form to speak ill of the dead.
That goes for you and Rooney.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 08:02 PM
Response to Original message
55. At least Rooney corrected his misjudgement.
Also, Cobain's death was tragic. Nixon had lived a long life. The lesson is never judge what you do not know or shoes you have never walked in.
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InvisibleTouch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 08:13 PM
Response to Original message
56. I tend to agree, actually.
It's a waste when someone of presumed talent (I'm totally unfamiliar with Cobain's music, but I can think of others who died too young in the midst of their careers) drugs and boozes themselves to death, and it's sad, but it's a choice they made. Nobody forced them to take up addictive substances. It might have been done out of the ignorance of the dangers, or by being caught up in a heady lifestyle, but none the less they made the conscious choice themselves. While I personally believe they certainly have the right to make that choice (it is *their* life, after all), I also have to agree that there are solipsistic/self-indulgent/emo type problems, and then there are real-world physical-hardship survival problems - and those with the latter seldom have time to wallow in the former. It sounds like that's what he was saying.

It's not classy to take cheap shots at the music that he'd self-admittedly never even heard, but other than that I'd have to kinda agree with him.
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