Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Of Wealth, Death, And Other Tragedies Of Our Time

by L DeSilva-Johnson (writer), Brooklyn, NY, January 22, 2008


With rehab a catch phrase and the penal system playing round robin with the rich, we can lose sight of the slow, sad loss of the young soul so often crying for solace amongst the flashbulbs.

The New York Times City Blog this afternoon opened as follows:

"The actor Heath Ledger was found dead this afternoon in an apartment in Manhattan, according to the New York City police. Signs pointed to a suicide or an accidental overdose, police sources said. Mr. Ledger was 28."

It struck me how much is laid visible simply in our reactions to such an event: people are divided on the tragic nature of a single death when there is so much widescale atrocity. blog comments from readers in New York and beyond exhibited, in turns, sincerity, inanity ("we would expect this of britney but not you, heath"), and anger, ("with all the deaths out their the outrage at this is disgusting and trivial").

But all of those statements are documents of this age, as is the death of an over-exposed young man with sensitivity to the human condition, as the best actors must necessarily be to some extent -- but -- would we expect this of Britney? surely no. suicide (if that is this case, which for some reason I sense) is not for the weak of heart, but for the sad of heart, and the sad of soul. the death of any person who takes within their blood and days the disease of our time and either feeds off of or, in this case, feeds its coffers will become sick inside themselves.

The most sensitive cases (basquiat much? what do you know of mozart, ps? of freud or proust or countless others?) are those that slowly kill or desensitize themselves to the horrors of what surrounds them, of what humans allow themselves to become to themselves and their neighbors both near and global. In response to the comment that read, "heath ledger is dead because he did drugs, kids, he's dead because he's a MORON" I offer the list of names above and many many more, who are the minds and souls behind the most respected, significant, and heart-achingly beautiful creations man has offered to history, the large portion of whom fell victim now and again to the mind-numbing offerings of their day and/or of ours. drug culture is glamourized and misunderstood, readily available and spun into a million versions of its daily relationship with the lives of millions who seek solace in a world that frightens and saddens them.

Better to want to ignore the evils in this world or to be so numb as to no longer realize them, and simply go about our days participating in them? rehab is not the cure for what ails our society. if we continue pretending it will fix either the individual or the disease of soul-sickness we will continue notching on the great headboard in the sky countless meaningless deaths like this one, which all together spell the human tragedy, great in its horror and encompassing the atrocities that more directly spell themselves out in the countries where poverty, not wealth, kills the young.

About the Writer

L DeSilva-Johnson is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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