“He will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the dimly burning flame. He will encourage the fainthearted, those tempted to despair.” Isaiah 42:3
Rumors and conjectures are still floating around about the suicide of Chester Bennington from Lincoln Park last month and Chris Cornell from Soundgarden a couple of months ago. One thing about it, we will never know what actually led then to such desperate ends.
We can blame it on the fame and pace they were living and I am sure it had its part in their final decision to end it all, but I have had friends that did the same thing who were not celebrities.
Matter of fact, one of my best friends, Rick Garcia, who was my production mgr for Manhattan Transfer and Chicago, after many late night conversations of how artists, who seemed to have it all, could fall into such depression… Rick hung himself a few years ago. He was not into drugs, had nice home in LA paid for, etc, etc. We had a phone conversation a week before his death, he was excited to go on tour with Lindsey Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac. Again, no one saw it coming, even those closest to him.
I guess the only thing that we can conclude, is that they had lost hope which can happen to anyone, celebrity or not. I suppose a celebrity can reach that stage faster than the average Joe because they have been to the end of the “rainbow” and didn’t find any gold there. We (the average Joe) like to live under the illusion that things will always get better.
Life can change in a minute, and unless you have a solid foundation under you, hope can be a fleeting emotion. Fame, it seems, is a rather flimsy foundation.
Credit goes to Jeff Goins, best-selling author The Art of Work and Real Artists Don’t Starve for the following piece:
Our culture celebrates celebrities to a fault. We place such a high priority on being famous that any other social status is unacceptable. But what does it mean — to be a celebrity — and is it worth the cost?
The search for meaning – We all want to be “epic” and don’t know why. Want to be important, to be needed. We look at celebrities — famous people — and we envy them: their money, possessions, and prestige. We want their lives. But why? What do celebrities seem to have that others do not? An audience. People who love them. So when we want the lives of actors and rock stars and millionaires, what are we really saying? That we wished someone loved us.
The tragedy – It goes without saying that this is tragic. Because not everyone can be a celebrity, and not everyone should. But we all should have someone to love us. Success isn’t fame. And fame is hardly ever success. Success is about more than superficial standings or the number of Twitter followers you have. Follow the latest celebrities, if you don’t believe me. See what “success” has done for them. Their stories are rife with pain and suffering and heartache. Abuse and addiction, divorce and failed relationships.
And this is what we want? Really? Why not redefine “celebrity”? If we’re envious of the lives celebrities seem to have, why not reconsider what we think it means to be famous? To earn attention? What about starting small with stardom? Here’s an idea: Try being famous first in your own home before heading to Hollywood. Why not live a life worthy of praise from your friends and family before you try to appease critics? Well, then. You might actually have something to make the celebrities envious. You might be rich, indeed.