SUICIDE ISN’T A STYLE – THE KURT COBAIN SHIRTS
A couple of days ago I was minding my own business on twitter, looking at pictures of puppies and Zack Merrick when someone retweeted a tweet that pissed me off more than the end of Gone Girl.
That tweet happened to be by a young girl proclaiming her happiness in her new shirt arriving- a seemingly normal tweet for a young girl to be writing. However, the shirt wasn’t band merch or a cute top from Forever 21, it was a shirt that had Kurt Cobain’s suicide note printed onto it.
Almost twenty one years ago the Nirvana front man ended his life at the age of 27. He left behind the legacy of one of the most influential rock bands of all time and bought with his death one of the biggest tragedies in the music industry, becoming a fellow member of the infamous ’27 Club.’
Being a fan of Nirvana and being exposed to social media sites such as Tumblr, I’ve seen Kurt’s suicide note circulate on the internet over the years. I’ve always been against the glorification of the tragedy of his death, which stemmed from the lack of enthusiasm he had towards his job, and the conflict between the innocence he saw in his daughter and the miserable person he felt he was becoming.
One thing that’s always annoyed me with bands like Nirvana and musicians like Cobain, is the way they seem to become a brand in society. On a daily basis you will pass an infinite amount of kids in any city, wearing Nirvana shirts, with, most of the time, little ‘spirit’ towards the music of the band they’re showcasing in their style. From New Look to H&M and even Primark, Nirvana have become a statement tee, targeted for some reason at teenage girls. (Not to say that there aren’t young female Nirvana fans, see me as an example.)
What I’m trying to get at, is that it’s tolerable for actual fans of a band to exist in a society where that band becomes a brand. What I won’t tolerate is a suicide note, associated with a person’s death, becoming the next big trend. I found the bottles of alcohol left in memory for Amy Winehouse disturbing and didn’t think it could get worse, but apparently this trashy memoriam exists.
Following the tweet by the girl who was wearing the shirt, this tweet was also returned onto my timeline.
The tweet, along with a large majority of the replies, restored my faith in society given the amount of tweets which showed opinions as appalled as my own.
Sadly, I’ve too often seen the romanticising of suicide and tragedy plastered over the internet. I’ve learnt to block the triggers on sites such as twitter and tumblr but for me, and many others, this offensive ‘tribute’ is a step to far!
If you’re having suicidal thoughts, or have been affected by the tragedy of suicide in any way there are services available for you
UK Samaritans 0845 790 9090
US National Suicide Prevention helpline 1-800-273-TALK(8255)
AUS Suicide Prevention Australia Lifeline 13 11 14