The Seduction of Self Destruction

Something was going on at the end of the last century. There seemed to be a certain mood, a downward trend. When I first wrote about it, the title ‘Heroin Chic’ sprung to mind: self destruction was in vogue.

As a more mature adult, the line between normal teenage angst and a social mood doesn’t seem so clear. But I’ll follow my thinking a little because it helped things make sense.

There is something strangely and perversely seductive about self-destruction. Maybe it’s that it shows us just how fragile and precious life is. Maybe it’s the excitement of tightrope walking that precarious line.

Self destruction wasn’t necessarily promoted in the late 1990s but it was certainly articulated.

It was part of the sound, part of an image.

It was ever present in the cult like status of Kurt Cobain; unmistakable in the black and violent song lyrics; strangely bound up with a whole new wave of wasted models.

Radiohead got it spot on:

I don’t care if it hurts
I want to have control
I want a perfect body
I want a perfect soul
I want you to notice
When I’m not around
You’re so fucking special
I wish I was special

But I’m a creep
I’m a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here

Radiohead ‘Creep’

Now don’t get me wrong: there’s no blame or excuses or bad example allegations going on here. It’s just interesting how much it fits. How much it summed up exactly what I was thinking.

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