Kurt Cobain died on this day in 1994. Pretty much everything that can be written about the man, has been. I was (and still am) a Nirvana fan and it was the first time that the term suicide really meant something to me. I was 14 years old when the word came down about Cobain and it was shocking. What I couldn’t figure out was why someone at the top of the world would kill themselves. It didn’t make sense to me.
It still doesn’t.
Personally, I don’t think Nirvana is as great as everyone has made them out to be. Sure, they had some great music and played some incredible shows, but every time this anniversary comes around I ask myself “would Nirvana/Kurt Cobain be as massive today if Kurt hadn’t killed himself?”.
And the answer to that, every time, is “of course not”.
Through suicide, Kurt Cobain obtained some kind of mythical martyr status. For a while, it made suicide seem “cool”. And that really pisses me off in hindsight. There’s nothing cool, courageous or artistic about taking a 12 gauge shotgun and blowing your brains out for someone to find and someone to clean up. There’s nothing martyr-like selfishly taking your own life and leaving your daughter to be raised by Courtney Love (and let’s not even discuss the Courtney did it thing. Save if for Alex Jones).
It wasn’t until I lost a few friends and a family member to suicide that I really realized how selfish and gutless it is to pull the trigger on yourself. And whether you want to believe it or not, there is help out there. All you have to do is ask. Shoot, talk to a stranger. There’s always another way out that’s far cooler, braver, tougher and more bad ass.
Maybe it’s not cool or acceptable to talk about suicide as a total dick move, but that’s how I see it. I’m sorry.
This past fall I took in the Nirvana exhibit at Seattle’s EMP museum. It was very clear throughout that trip through Nirvana’s history what a talented, kind, shy, warm and uniquely funny guy Cobain was. Too bad he took the sh*ttiest way out.
So today, instead of celebrating death, celebrate life. Here’s one of my favorite Nirvana tracks that always makes me feel alive. Go out and live your life and have a good weekend.