February 7, 2014

"If it'd been the sacrifice of Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber, that we are invited to anticipate daily..."

"... we could delight in the Faustian justice of the righteous dispatch of a fast-living, sequin-spattered denizen of eMpTyV. We are tacitly instructed to await their demise with necrophilic sanctimony. When the end comes, they screech on Fox and TMZ, it will be deserved. The Mail provokes indignation, luridly baiting us with the sidebar that scrolls from the headline down to hell."

So goes the roiling prose of Russell Brand, who's feeling no sense of narrative completion from the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Brand, himself a recovering drug addict, wants to leverage the occasion of the Hoffman death into an argument for changing the drug laws.


But let's talk about the notion that the media are "tacitly instruct[ing]" us to wait for the death of Miley Cyrus/Justin Bieber "with necrophilic sanctimony." Is Fox screeching that if they die they deserve it? Is tacit screeching even possible? I see there are 4 completely different movies that have been titled "Silent Scream," so there must be some resonance in this paradoxical notion. And yet there's no film called "Tacit Screech." Perhaps Russell Brand could consider writing a script for one.

Include plenty of "necrophilic sanctimony" — which must be some combination of fascination with death/dead bodies and phony attitude of holiness. Do you get the feeling the media are telling you — without really telling you — that you should feel pretentiously saintly and simultaneously salivate over the soon-to-be-dead bodies of Cyrus and Bieber?

46 comments:

Laslo Spatula said...

The "necrophilic sanctimony" would seem to be that we still need -- on a primal level -- human sacrifices, just like the Mayans. Lindsay Lohan: in the volcano you shall go, so that society may feel pure. I like the idea of throwing celebrities into volcanoes, I think about it quite a bit.

Laslo Spatula said...

When we throw the celebrities into the chosen volcano they must be stripped of all their worldly accoutrements, which basically means we would like to see them naked, too.

traditionalguy said...

You have to like a phrase creator like Russell Brand. He is working a high wire of writing without a net. Consider the output in one brief article:
Sequin spattered denizens

The sidebar that scrolls from the headline down to hell

tacitly instructing us ...with necrophilic sanctity

the mandatory post

EDH said...

Somebody, please, take away Brand's thesaurus. He's addicted.

traditionalguy said...

that was...the mandatory posthumous scramble for salacious garnish

the voice is the unrelenting echo of the unfulfillable void.

Just keep watching and Brand will fall off that high wire into the unfulfillable void.

Laslo Spatula said...

The act of volcano-tossing would be the 'consummation of necrophilic sanctimony.' It is a marriage between celebrity and volcano, to be remade as one. Volcano says "Who's your daddy?"

Nonapod said...

There's a certain charm in Brand's Frankensteining of words together, making incongruous phrases in a clumsy attempt to appear erudite.

Laslo Spatula said...

It doesn't even have to be a real volcano: it could be built and rolled out onto the 50 yard line during Super Bowl half-time.

Tank said...

Mostly what I hear on Fox about these kinds of stories is sadness and concern for the individuals. The left (including President Zero) has a bizarre conception of what goes on there.

It's part of the left's MO. You're either on the bus, or off the bus. If you're not with them 100%, you're off.

I've really been impressed with the work Kelly has done since moving to the 9 PM slot. She's way better than Hannity (who, mostly, I could not watch, even though he seems like a nice guy).

Laslo Spatula said...

Celebrity status would now be dependent on where one was ranked on the volcano list. Expect some jockeying for position from the Kardashians.

Laslo Spatula said...

Celebrity to-do list:

1. Drunk and/or drugged in public.
2. Sex tape.
3. Volcano.

Will Cate said...

I think Mr. Brand is pretty obnoxious, whether he's on drugs or not.

Michael K said...

Who are these people ?

No, don't tell me. I don't want to know.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Laslo, we can't go polluting the planet that way. And then there's the carbon footprint to think about.

William said...

I've never been an addict, but I've had the pleasure of living in intimate contact with one. The addict's position is that if society were perfect--and, more importantly if, you yourself were more tolerant and forgiving of their small foibles then they would no longer have their need for drugs. In other words, it's all your fault.

Laslo Spatula said...

@ Tyrone Slothrop:

The volcano doesn't actually erupt: the celebrities are just thrown down to the roiling lava. I'm not sure how much gas escapes a celebrity consumed in lava, but I think the environment can handle it.

Please don't take my volcano from me. It is what I have.

William said...

My own position is that we don't need saner drug laws. Rather we need saner drug addicts.

Laslo Spatula said...

For all of Brand's elaborate word pretzels keep in mind that he named his memoir 'My Booky Wook'. Pre-thesaurus, I assume. And available through the Althouse Amazon portal.

Illuninati said...

" We are tacitly instructed to await their demise with necrophilic sanctimony. When the end comes, they screech on Fox and TMZ, it will be deserved."

Russell Brand has vivid delusions.

mrs. e said...

"My own position is that we don't need saner drug laws. Rather we need saner drug addicts."

Yeah, well, good luck with that.

khesanh0802 said...

What a load of crap. I'd much rather have read Hunter Thomson's take on all this. He was a lot more fun.

surfed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
surfed said...

"I'll take "Celebrities for $100, Alex."

"The first actor to ever appear on stage portraying a character."

"Who was Thespis?"

Wash, rinse and repeat through the centuries and millennia. It says more about us than it does about them.

furious_a said...

Other than paying less for the heroin that killed him, I fail to see how liberalizing the drug laws would have helped Mr. Hoffman.

May he finally be at peace.

Clyde said...

What did Katy Perry ever see in that wanker?

Robert Cook said...

"I've never been an addict, but I've had the pleasure of living in intimate contact with one. The addict's position is that if society were perfect--and, more importantly if, you yourself were more tolerant and forgiving of their small foibles then they would no longer have their need for drugs. In other words, it's all your fault."

This is the plaint of the unrecovered, self-pitying, self-deluding addict; recovering addicts who are not faking learn they cannot blame their addiction on the world around them. (I, also, have never been an addict--or even much of a casual user of substances intended to "derange the senses," being mostly a tee-totaler--but I am very close to someone in recovery now.)

Seeing Red said...

He's English. They know how to turn a phrase.

rcocean said...

"He's English. They know how to turn a phrase."

What unreadable drek.

Problem: Famous Junkie dies of overdose. Solution: Legalize heroin so even more people can die of overdose.

Laslo Spatula said...

Hoffman did not die of an overdose of heroin: he died of an underdose of love.

I am hugging the world right now.

Seeing Red said...

I wasn't talking about drugs. I was talking about English verbal skills.

FullMoon said...

William said...

I've never been an addict, but I've had the pleasure of living in intimate contact with one. The addict's position is that if society were perfect--and, more importantly if, you yourself were more tolerant and forgiving of their small foibles then they would no longer have their need for drugs. In other words, it's all your fault.
Maybe it really was your fault. How is she doing without you?

Robert Cook said...

"What did Katy Perry ever see in that wanker?"

What makes you see in him a wanker?

Trashhauler said...

"The troubling message behind Philip Seymour Hoffman's death, which we all feel without articulating, is that it was unnecessary and we know that something could be done."

No, the troubling message is that addiction can kill you, even if you've known about your condition for 24 years. And, if it can happen to a rich, successful person surrounded by people who admire him, it can happen to anyone.

Smilin' Jack said...

Bieber is a cipher, but Cyrus actually has some talent. I hope she makes it.

And to the volcano-tossers: human sacrifices have to be virgins. Fail.

Trashhauler said...

Legal status is only one part of why addicts are miserable. They are mostly miserable because they are lonely and they are lonely because they drive people away. An addict is no fun to be around because everything is about them and their addiction. They create havoc in other people's lives and blame their terrible behavior on anything but themselves. When it comes to their addiction, they are totally self-absorbed and selfish.

They only get well if they can be honest about themselves. Which is tough when so many are willing to make excuses for them.

Edward Lunny said...

Quite frankly Mr. Brandt, bugger off. Neither you nor Mr. Hoffman, neither the beiber, lohan, or cyrus deliberately poison yourselves as a result of Fox or TMZ. You all do, or have done , your headlong dive into death by your own free will, incredibly stupid though it is. You choose to pickle yourself so as to avoid reality and all of its nasty quirks. Neither Fox, nor TMZ, or those of us who have achieved maturity find joy in the end results of your asinine self indulgement . What you should do is a bit of self evaluation. You should ask yourselves why it is that you would, willingly, visit the horror of your addictions, the terrible lack of consideration you have for your family, those you abandon and leave behind. You should consider the horrific hurt you do, through your own volition, to your loved ones when you check yourself out of life. As I said, bugger off you ignorant twit.

Sam L. said...

If heroin were legal, he'd have been dead sooner. Biiiiiiiiig help, that.

Blue@9 said...

His prose is pretty interesting-- it definitely reveals a good imaginative reach, but it's weighed down with a relentless barrage of adjectives and adverbs. Not atypical--the guy's a Brit, right?

He's a sharp guy though, and it's true that the public reaction would be very different if Bieber had been found dead with a needle in his arm.

It may not be fair, but an artist's value as a human being is inextricably linked to his art. Or at the least it gets muddled by some. How does Roman Polanski get a pass? Woody Allen? Those two would be in a very different position if they were, say, porn producers. Hoffman dies and it's a terrible tragedy; if Bieber or Lindsay Lohan had died, many would say it was deserved.

James said...

Spare me from prose stylists.

Geneo said...

Robert cook and Trashhauler have it right. Addicts that are recovering do not blame their problems on other people or situations. IMHO --If they are still blaming others or the situation they are decidedly not in recovery. And this: Alcoholics and Addicts are lonely because they drive others away, not because the others are away.:-)

Geneo said...

Robert cook and Trashhauler have it right. Addicts that are recovering do not blame their problems on other people or situations. IMHO --If they are still blaming others or the situation they are decidedly not in recovery. And this: Alcoholics and Addicts are lonely because they drive others away, not because the others are away.:-)

rcocean said...

If you think this is good prose, you need to read more.

Just sayin'

David said...

There must be an acronym for that.

Did Not Read Unreadable.

DNRU.

Revenant said...

Problem: Famous Junkie dies of overdose. Solution: Legalize heroin so even more people can die of overdose.

It is pretty silly to think that legal heroin would lead to more overdoses. The reason accidental overdoses happen is that the users have no way of knowing what the potency of the heroin is. They're buying black-market drugs created by an unknown party and cut by another unknown party with unknown substances.

Metaphorically speaking, it is like having to wait until you've finished that 12-ounce bottle of beer before finding out if it is 0%, 5%, or 100% alcohol by volume.

You find a good supplier and get used to beer that averages 3 to 8 percent. Then you're finishing off that third beer while watching football and suddenly realize you just drank 36 ounces of grain alcohol. And off to the hospital you go, provide someone's around to take you.

On a related note, in most states anyone who helped an OD'd user acquire or use the drugs is criminally liable. So the aforementioned "someone" who might be "around" is only going to drive you to the hospital if he doesn't mind getting raped in prison by way of thanks.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Problem: Famous Junkie dies of overdose. Solution: Legalize heroin so even more people can die of overdose.

There may be an up side in your proposal.

Trashhauler said...

"It is pretty silly to think that legal heroin would lead to more overdoses."

Heh. There doesn't seem to be any shortage of alcoholics on account of it all being legal and such. And they are nonetheless addicted, regardless of the strength of their favorite tipple.