Sunday, April 05, 2009

What killed Kurt Cobain? Multicultural Commie Brainwashing

Fifteen years ago today, Kurt Cobain chose to end his life. Obviously, drugs, chiefly heroin, had much to do with it. To say nothing of a rather horrible family background.

But reading through Kurt Cobain's Journals and the biography Heavier Than Heaven by Charles Cross, I can't help but notice that Kurt really absorbed the "multicultural" leftist self-hating indoctrination, and I can't help but think that it was another factor that led to his suicide.

Although one suspects the monitoring of Courtney Love over both Cross' biography and all of the Journals contents (and I wonder how many pages of his Journals where he wrote less than flattering words about her were torn out and didn't get published), Journals is still fascinating and sadly revealing.
(That said, I have really had enough of the utterly unjust accusations of Courtney Love having anything to do with her husband's alleged "murder". There is no credible evidence to support any of that. Let's not forget he was the father of her child. Let's also not forget that she revived him from overdoses at least several documented times, most notably an overdose that was also a suicide attempt on March 3, 1994, a little more than one month before his ultimate successful suicide. One would think if she wanted Kurt gone, she could have just not revived him. One can argue that Courtney Love was (1) a bitch, (2) self-destructive in her own way, (3) no help to Kurt and (4) someone who even made matters worse for him, but that's it.)
It can be said that Kurt Cobain, in spite of not finishing high school, was quite witty. He had an undeveloped knack for word play. In his writings he refers to the MTV network as "Empty TV", loathing its hype while realizing that it was important to getting his music out. In another passage, he observes his fast rising stardom and writes:
I hope I die before I turn into Pete Townshend.
But to find these gems in the Journals, one must go through lots and lots of ignorant leftist hatred, ignorant leftist posing, and perhaps most revealing, self-hatred. In a list of what Kurt liked that included "vinyl" (records), "to swim" and "girls with weird eyes", suddenly there is this:
I like to feel guilty for being a white, American male.
And this sort of leftist indoctrination is abundant throughout the Journals. Before meeting Courtney Love, he wrote this to ex-girlfriend Tobi Vail:
...all Isms feed off one another, but at the top of the food chain is still the white corporate, macho strong ox male....I mean, class ism is determined by sexism because the male decides whether all other isms exists.
"Corporate" and "macho strong ox" are contradictions in terms, but sadly that doesn't dawn on Cobain at all. Given his lack of a complete education with language combined with the Leftist indoctrination in the Olympia, Washington area, perhaps I shouldn't be surprised when he concludes in the same letter that:
Words suck.
This need to fit in with the leftist Olympia crowd was apparently strong. He had left his hometown of Aberdeen, Washington to try to make a go of it as a musician in Olympia. In his biography, Charles Cross observed that:
(Kurt) wanted nothing more than to be thought of as an Olympia sophisticate, not an Aberdeen hick. Class-ism would be a fight he would struggle with his entire life, because no matter how far away he got from Grays Harbor, he felt branded as a hillbilly. Most of the Greeners (Olympia college students) were from big cities--like many privileged college kids, their prejudice toward people from rural communities was in marked contrast to the liberalism they professed toward different races.
Typical phony liberals--not surprising.

And the desire to fit in with the "politically correct" (politically communist) crowd began to bear on Kurt as well. About his time in the Olympia, Washington punk rock scene and his dating Tobi Vail, he wrote:
Everything I do is an overly conscious and neurotic attempt at trying to prove to others that I am at least more intelligent or cool than they think.
And indeed, Kurt began to fabricate much of his past. In an interview with the gay magazine The Advocate, Kurt claimed to have been friends with a gay student at his high school, suffering bullying at the hands of homophobic students. However, his good friends Jesse Reed and Chris "Krist" Novoselic deny any such person ever existed.

Kurt also claimed to have spray painted pro-gay slogans like "GOD IS GAY" and "HOMO SEX RULES" around his hometown of Aberdeen, Washington. However, those who knew him and his one police arrest in the Aberdeen / Montesano area indicate that his vandalism was *nothing* like this, and actually consisted of silly statements like "Ain't got no how watchamacallit".
(In) fact, most of what he wrote was nonsensical. He enraged a neighbor with a boat by painting "Boat Ack" in red letters on the ship's hull; on the other side he lettered "Boat people go home."
Not exactly politically correct. Then again, given the lack of Vietnamese Americans in the area, I think young Kurt was just being a goof.

Hip poser gay-friendliness was matched by hip poser leftist anti-Americanism. After the smashing victory of the first Iraq War, he wrote a letter to Eugene Kelly of the Vaselines, a band he admired, where he complained about the sidewalk sale of:
Desert Storm trading cards, flags, bumper stickers....When I walk down the street, I feel like I'm at a Nuremburg rally.
Given that Saddam attacked Israel, dreamed of another holocaust, and was feeding his dissidents through wood chippers and putting women into "rape rooms", this statement is especially appalling. But such is the indoctrination of the Left.

Kurt's Journals also reveal an obsession with abortion. In his suicide note, he regretted "the self-destructive death rocker" he had become, and his journals show that he had been cultivating a personal culture of death for several years. Beginning in his Olympia years, he would often copy down in his journals and elsewhere (reportedly as graffiti) the slogans "Abort Christ" and "Mandatory Breeding Laws Now". Between dropping his first girlfriend/muse Tracy Marander (with whom, in retrospect, he should have stayed) and meeting Courtney Love, Kurt dated and bedded his share of leftist "riot grrls", Tobi Vail among them, and perhaps these leftist and pro-abortion platitudes were just a way to please and hop into bed with the ladies.

However, from reading his journals, I get the impression that Kurt thought that the "Politically Incorrect" people didn't deserve to live. Only one day it must have dawned upon him that *he* was one of those people who didn't deserve to live as well.

And yet, for all his leftist posing, there was something very Conservative at the heart of Kurt Cobain's music, something that was an angry reaction to the Leftist hippies of the late 1960's. He wrote frequently about how betrayed he felt when his parents divorced, and how he longed for a traditional mom and dad situation. The song "Territorial Pissings", with its opening mockery of the hippie era, was a big signal.

Steven Capozzola, "San Francisco Herald" e-zine columnist, explains in "A Brief Reflection on Kurt Cobain...":
I once had the chance to talk with one of the major figures of the Sixties, one of the main characters profiled in Tom Wolfe's ‘Electric Kool Aid Acid Test.' This fellow had been intimately associated with psychedelia, rock ‘n roll, and the Counterculture. We happened to talk about rock music and began to discuss Kurt Cobain. This famed Sixties fellow sneered at Cobain, calling him “insipid" and “an idiot." I told him how strongly I disagreed, at which point he commented that Cobain's music was “garbage."

What I found most interesting, though, was that the guy didn't have the slightest idea why Cobain had succeeded. This Sixties figure had his money and his house and his Generation X children, but he had no awareness of single-parent homes, mass divorce, children of alcoholics, stabbings in schools, shootings in school, all the things that his Sixties generation had wrought. For me, one glance at Cobain, one listen to him speaking to a reporter, and I felt a kinship. I knew he'd been through the same grief as the rest of us. He was pissed-off. That anger is what scared the hell out of the Sixties fellow.
Moreover, in 1991, when Grateful Dead nostalgia was still sacrosanct, anyone who told interviewers, even in jest, the following:
I want a tie-dyed shirt made with the blood of Jerry Garcia.
is a Conservative Republican at heart, even if he does not know it. Today, some of us would like a tie-dyed shirt made with the blood of Senator Patrick Leahy.

And in spite of his leftist indoctrination and his obvious self-destruction, I must admit the guy did in large part speak for Generation X. I was born just a few months after Kurt, and he summed up how we all felt about life at the time.

It was late 1991 and I had just turned 24 when "Nevermind" hit the airwaves. I had just graduated from the University of California at Berkeley the previous spring, and I was feeling a whole lot of malaise. While I was a full-time student, I felt the same malaise, but I thought that it was just temporary, that I was just serving time, that things were going to be great once I graduated and left the "politically correct" crap. I thought I would work a good job in a glass box in the Financial District, and while I knew I would have to kowtow to some boss or another, and he or she might even be really nasty, I figured at least I would get paid enough for a nice little condo or townhome in the East Bay or Peninsula burbs. And once I had "the career thing" in order, I might even achieve "the relationship thing".

But that didn't happen. Opportunities dried up or were otherwise non-existent for new grads in the recession of 1990-1994, and I found myself interviewing for what few jobs there were along side laid off older fellows with years of experience already. Worse still, in those job interviews, I discovered that the "politically correct" crap had burst out of campus and infiltrated into the workplace! Nor were even the crummiest of rentals all that affordable. Eventually, I gave up, came home to Ma and Pa, and became an office temp for a host of Silicon Valley electronics firms. I was stuck in that rut for the next several years, while studying to obtain various professional licenses.

The despair I felt in the 1980's, days of high school and university, was due to not being able to get to the party fast enough. The despair I felt in 1992 was of knowing that:
--The party was over, and that there probably never would be another party like it.
--All those hopes and dreams I had in college were unrealistic and weren't going to come true.
--My education was in large measure a ripoff.
--Life was a LOT more complicated than I thought it was.
--I could trust hardly anything or hardly anybody.

During that malaise period, Kurt and Nirvana wrote songs about angst, alienation, and depression that really hit home for me (plus they had a great beat and you could rock out to them). And for a time, it seemed to an ignorant observer like me that Cobain had triumphed, had turned his inner demons into money, had found a kindred soul in Courtney Love and had a baby. And despite diminished career prospects, perhaps Generation X could have a happy ending after all.

Cobain's success probably allowed other pop-punk bands of his generation to achieve commercial success as well. I remember when those punk kids in Green Day were just high school kids happy to get a gig at The Gilman Street Project in Berkeley and play before 30 people. By 1993, they were appearing on Saturday Night Live. For a time, it seemed anything was possible for Generation X.

And then, 4 days after he did it, while I was in the middle of studying for the upcoming Certified Public Accountant exams, I heard the news that Kurt Cobain -- the media's official Generation X spokesperson, the man who had put our disappointments and frustrations to music, good music that we could rock out to and escape our disappointments, if only for three minutes, the man who seemingly had achieved wild success from humble origins -- had blown his brains out.

To paraphrase that Edwin Arlington Robinson "Richard Cory" poem:

"And on I worked, and went to school by night, and couldn't get any pussy, and cursed my lack of bread, and Kurt Cobain, one rainy spring night, went home and put a shotgun to his head."

Meanwhile, Spencer Elden, the naked baby on the cover of Nevermind, is now 17 going on 18:

And Tracy Marander, Kurt's first love (and the woman he should have stayed with if he had had any sense), is now 44 years old, married, and a mother of two:
After having lived with Cobain for three years in Olympia, Wash., Marander still has artwork potentially worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Her collection consists of four paintings and an oil pastel, all made when Cobain was in his early 20s, before the world knew the word "grunge." One painting depicts a white skeletal figure with knees upraised--a self-portrait with a touch of tortured German expressionism. "Kurt always thought he was too skinny," she says. Other subjects include fetuses, a homeless man and even Charles Manson. "He didn't paint happy-looking flowery stuff."

A married stay-at-home mom....Marander says she'd consider unloading one or two pieces to put a down payment on a house or send her two children to college. The rest she'd like to save for their inheritance. "Some guy harassed me for two weeks to sell him something," she says.
Here are four photos of her, two from when she was with Kurt 20 odd years ago, and two recent ones:

Life goes on, and those of us who don't kill ourselves get older.


shokaku said...

You can tell a Bellarmine grad when he is paraphrasing "Richard Cory".

Curmudgeon said...

Yah, some things just stick in the craw from one's formative years I guess. heh.

alex said...

i like your channel on youtube....
you have weird nirvana stuff.....

Matt E. said...

I am being a doofus and can only seem to find yahoo im to contact you. How can I get ahold of you? I have a question.
--Matt E.

alejandro said...

Really interesting article. Had been searching something like this for some time. Thanks.

Jerry said...

I say this as a person who has never been a big fan of Kurt's music, but one who has been very interested in the influence of the band on American youth culture: not quite sir.

1.) While fairly well written and somewhat "detailed", anyone who has done more than a nights worth of investigating can easily point out at least 10 significant errors in your research....The "god is gay" denial (being one) has been discussed over and over by bikini kill's kathleen hanna (as early as 1993...hanna is known coining smells like teen spirit) who was with kurt the night he wrote it on the side of a puppet teen pregnancy center (which was actually I right wing setup to confront teens considering abortion with the idea of burning in hell for enternity)....SO MANY other misinformed statements on this blog (zero evidence pointing to courtney?? I believe it was suicide, but you cant be serious "el duce") that while you have an interesting viewpoint and I actually agree with a large chunk, the poor research job and use of junk data unfortunately shapes your opinion on fantasy....would love to see your approach used with facts as its unique and refreshing.

2.) You are taking his interview material far too literally sir. Continued research wouldve shown you that with the exception of handful of interviews, Kurt PURPOSELY made up stories about his youth, influence, and the meaning of his songs as a way of protesting his celebrity and the repeated attempts by critcs to decipher the meaning of his songs. Dave Grohl has explained the Kurt decided early on to "give them what they wanted" because he could care less about interpretation (he was interested in the music first) and he is quoted as saying "pumping bullshit into their recorders meant I wouldn't have to wait as long to get back to watching the tube"....again, you are taking his quotes FAR to seriously.

You should consider rewriting this and keep a log of how your opinions changed or stayed the same once you used quality research. Would be very interesting!

Keep it up and take care!

Curmudgeon said...

Hello Jerry, and I am flattered someone is still finding this post over a year after I made it. However, to address your comments:

1) I am well aware that Kurt began making leftist comments and platitudes--AFTER falling in with Kathleen Hanna and Tobi Vail. The key word there is "after". Back in his Aberdeen days, he was NOT some flaming radical, despite his attempts to pretend he was. He clearly took these poses in order to fit in with the Olympia/Seattle Leftist poser scene. So where exactly are we conflicting?

1a)You cannot take the drunken misstatements of Eldon "El Duce" Hoke as anything more than his attempts at getting another 15 minutes of fame. And this comes from someone who was a fan of "The Mentors" since 1985. Songs like "Golden Showers" ("Listen, Little Girl! / It's getting near the hour--") and "Sleep Bandits" are hilariously sickening, or is that sickeningly hilarious.

2) My point still stands. That Kurt felt he *had* to make up stories about his past and influence is telling. Why *did* he feel that he had to "give them (the critics) what they wanted"? Answer that question and I think you will see what I am getting at.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely.

Anonymous said...

The premise that multicultural 'commie brain washing', or 'leftist thinking' was the undoing of Cobain is well founded. His story is a microcosmic example of what is now happening to the nation. Once people shirk belief in God, personal responsibility and devalue the nuclear family in support of a nanny state and cradle to grave dependence on government, then they are placing the shotgun in the mouth of all founding American ideals. One day, there will be fiery riots in the streets, as anyone who still has personal financial resources will have fled to ExPat tax havens, and then who will the angry protesters have to blame? If you vote democrat, if you are a liberal, you will get exactly what you deserve in the end- NOTHING. You can not forcibly take from those who work and earn, just because you outnumber them in the vote. The tensions in the U.S. today resemble those of the pre-civil war era, and I am frightened of the things to come. Liberals- be ashamed. You are thieves. You are parasites. You are morally depraved, wicked liars. You are covetous. The TRUTH ALWAYS prevails. The very shit platter you think you are serving up for the conservatives is the very one that will be splattering in your face when it hits the fan and you are forced to to lay in the sewer trenches you are building with all of your crap, unjust, unconstitutional policies.

Anonymous said...

You Americans and you're silly game of liberals vs republicans.... The world is laughing as you destroy yourselves.

Anonymous said...

OP, I appreciate your post. While I may not agree with a lot of your thoughts, I found your writing to be captivating, and your viewpoints interesting, thus, I continued to read. Thank you for sharing. I appreciate thoughtful individuals such as yourself, as I enjoy considering all aspects of everything. Unfortunately, I end up a fence sitter much of the time, because of my knack of seeing both sides of most everything.

Cynthia, however, is clearly a completely insane person. Poor thing.