Why suicide is not the answer, and why Kurt Cobain was a coward in the end

This post is about two subjects. (1) How suicide is not the answer to the struggles in life, and (2) why I consider Kurt Cobain a coward in the end. I think I’ll start with talking about Cobain first.

Let’s ignore the conspiracy theories still surrounding Kobain’s death and go with the official ruling that he committed suicide. To my understanding, he had a drug addiction problem, and began to hate the fact that the world loved him and his music. He believed that his music was being stripped of personal and emotional value and became seen as a new pop, and was in danger of being dumbed down, commercialized, and made too mainstream. But did he try to protect the integrity of his art? No. He shot himself instead. Yep. Rather than protect the artistic value of his music, he took the coward’s way out and killed himself. Worse, he might as well have sent a message that the best way out is to blow your brains out. And while that gets promoted, bands like Megadeth with their message of hanging tough in the face of adversity and despair get falsely accused of making suicide songs and get their videos banned from MTV.

To make matters worse, the guy was very well-off and had a nice family, including a wife and young daughter. So it seems to me like he had no reason to kill himself, just that he let himself get consumed by drug addiction and was too cowardly to overcome it and protect the integrity of his art.

Which leads us to the subject of suicide in general. I don’t know what happens after death, but that’s not important. What I do know is that suicide is a sign that you can’t deal with the problems you face because you are too weak to deal with them, but rather than be strong, hang tough, and tackle adversity head on, you choose the coward’s way out. This is especially bad in the case of youth suicide, because in the case of young people, they have so much potential and so many years left to live and fulfill that potential, but snuff it out from this world because they’re too weak to actually deal with their problems which, if we’re very honest here, pale in comparison to whatever they’ll have to deal with after they’re teenagers.

It’s their choice by all means, but I personally would discourage suicide. Because even if there is life after death, killing yourself won’t solve anything in life.


5 responses to “Why suicide is not the answer, and why Kurt Cobain was a coward in the end

  1. Wow! I’ll respect the fact that you’re speaking sincerely and from the heart; but we’re not on the same page at all.

    I wish you would take some time to pay some compassionate attention to actual flesh and blood people who have to deal, day after day, with the deadly condition of suicidality. After you do, you may understand why I took away one word from your post — and that word was ‘dumb’. It’s a word that might have spurred me to write a scathing response to you; but, instead, I grabbled my iPhone and picked out Nirvana’s “Dumb”. As I listened I considered, as I always do when I hear a Nirvana track, what a tremendous contribution Cobain has made to the culture of our society. I can’t be angry with him, as you are, I can only feel gratitude.

    Cobain, of course, was one in a million. His creative talent was as remarkable as it was rare. We would have been interested in an artist of his stature no matter what the circumstances of his personal life were. His talent is rare; but his suffering is all too common. When you make ill considered comments about him being a ‘coward’ you point the finger at tens of thousands of folks with mental illness who have to generate enormous courage every morning just to get through to the end of the day.

    Cobain was young, rich, famous, talented, he had a family that loved him. You can’t understand why anyone in that situation would want to end his life. I wish you would take the trouble to TRY to understand. Mental illness afflicts its victims interior life and can make life hell no matter what things look like from the outside. You say “suicide doesn’t solve anything”. You don’t understand at all. People don’t take their own lives because they’re attempting to “solve” anything — they’re simply manifesting the ultimate symptom of a deadly disease.

    If you really want to eradicate suicide, you need to start by learning about mental illness. An educated public is a supportive public — and, if you change your mind about this, you can be part of the solution instead of being part of the problem.



    P.S. In case you haven’t guessed, I too suffer from mental illness. Let me assure you that I’ve I’ve gotten a lot more benefit from “Lithium” than I ever did from lithium!

    • Clearly you have the wrong idea when you say that in criticizing Cobain I am automatically criticizing people with mental illness. I’m not. I’m just pointing the finger at Cobain, and not tens and thousands of people. It’s that simple. Like when I call someone from a certain group of people out for something they did, I’m not badmouthing an entire group of people, just that one guy. Or like when I call one teenager stupid, I’m not badmouting all teenagers, just that one guy. Jeez. I just disagree with the idea that by criticizing one guy I’m criticizing an entire group of people he happens to fall under. It makes no sense whatsoever.

  2. Junkie coward plain and simple. Every interview of him I have seen is selfish, self centered and always me why is always me. I think the guy needed a good ass beating.. Knock that self pity right out of him,. I have seen hardship,heartache and trials that would make you run home to Mommy above poster. Cobain was a selfish asshole coward who gave a shit about no one but himself period.. . The above poster is a delusional idiot

    • Besides the selfish part of that description (I’m not saying he’s not selfish, but let’s face it who isn’t, and is selfish really that bad?), but I agree, he did need some perspective.

  3. Pingback: Wooden Birdhouses, In Somewhere Near the End, and Vera – This, That, and Vera

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