While the world is still raw from the news of Scott Weiland's death, the mother of his children cautioned fans from treating him like another tragic rock star hero.
In an open letter in Rolling Stone that is the literary equivalent of ripping off a Band-Aid, Mary Forsberg Weiland claimed that though the world lost the Stone Temple Pilots singer on 3 December, in a metaphorical sense at least, the Weiland she knew 'died' years ago.
He was survived by Noah, 15, and Lucy, 13, for whom he was reportedly a largely absent and well, pretty shitty father.
Though she doesn't want to "downplay Scott's amazing talent," Forsberg Weiland felt compelled to separate the man from the myth.
We have this tendency posthumously to romanticize addiction and illness. We quite happily brush under the carpet the mess of life, acting as though the art somehow justifies it.
And Forsberg Weiland is here to tell us it doesn't. And pretending otherwise is just not right.
Protecting and otherwise glorifying "what belongs in a hospital" in the name of art does no one any favours. It's something that as society we must take responsibility for.
For so long, Forsberg Weiland kept the pain to herself for the sake of her children. Now she has taken the opposite view and gone public about the struggle her family faced over the years.
"I knew they would one day see and feel everything that I'd been trying to shield them from, and that they'd eventually be brave enough to say, 'That mess was our father. We loved him, but a deep-rooted mix of love and disappointment made up the majority of our relationship with him,'" she wrote.
Weiland the musician was great. Weiland the father was a disaster, and that's the true tragedy. His family is angry and sad about the loss, understandably, and hopes we learn from his death and don't treat him like another Kurt Cobain.
"Let's choose to make this the first time we don't glorify this tragedy with talk of rock and roll and the demons that, by the way, don't have to come with it. Skip the depressing T-shirt with 1967-2015 on it - use the money to take a kid to a ballgame or out for ice cream."
While I wholeheartedly agree, I don't think the details of his personal life - or that of any other celebrity or public figure for that matter - are any of my business. The only thing that is for public consumption is the music he created - the art, not the artist....
Image Source: WikiCommons
It's really quite astonishing what passes as acceptable in the year 2015. You'd think, the recent cover of 18 year-old Kylie Jenner for Interview magazine, wheelchair-bound wearing a corset, would not be one of those things.
But it was, and for some reason none of the many bodies milling around on that photo shoot saw anything amiss with the image it was trying to capture.
Were it a conscious attempt to make disability look sexy, featuring a disabled model, that would have been another story. But the fact that it used a wheelchair as a prop for an able-bodied reality star went beyond the pale.
“It’s blatant sexualization of physical limitation, which is ironic because in the real world if you have any physical limitations or have a disability, that seems to automatically forfeit your right to sexuality,” said Erin Tatum, a 24-year-old writer with cerebral palsy.
But instead of simply adding to the noise on social media, Tatum, did something far more effective, to get her point across.
She tracked down her own shiny corset, and made her own sexy cover - juxtaposed with Jenner's... See, Kylie, this is what disability really looks like.
As mockups go, it spoke volumes.
Instead of getting angry, Tatum got even. And she had fun along the way.
“I saw it and I just started laughing with my mom,” Tatum said. “Like oh, what, it’s cool to be disabled now? That’s how the idea of a photo shoot started. I could pull off that outfit so much better than her.”
Wheelchairs are not fun props that can be played with. What Jenner and Interview did in the name of fashion was not edgy or subversive. It was just plain ignorant.
Kudos to Tatum for taking on the cover with intelligence and grace.
As for Interview magazine, it "wasn't their intention" to offend anyone. Facepalm.
Image Source: Erin Tatum Tumblr
Hey parents, which concerns you more - sex in movies or violence in movies?
A US study by the Classification and Rating Administration (Cara) found that an overwhelming majority (80%) of respondents were more worried about sex than violence (64%) in films.
Cara polls parents regularly to make sure its rating system still reflects social standards of the time.
Of course none of us is happy with graphic sex or violence, but if these stats reflect where our society is at, then stop the ride 'cause this mama wants off.
Of prime concern to parents was nudity in films: full male (72%) and full female (70%), while only 59% were opposed to depiction of "horror" violence.
The fact that parents were more worried about drug use - hard drugs (70%), marijuana (59%) - than violence in itself is scary.
Also of great concern is the F-word, which saw Michael Moore’s latest documentary, Where to Invade Next, slapped with an R-rating. It's an unfortunate distinction, in my books, because Moore's films should be mandatory viewing for Americans.
It's telling that nudity - which is entirely natural - is perceived as more of a threat to young minds than hard-core violence.
Nice to know our priorities are in the right place. Sigh.