Thursday, March 30, 2006

Kurt Cobain didn't die for commercialism

Donna Gaines wrote an article in Rolling Stone called "Kurt Cobain didn't die for you". I never read the article, but I’m borrowing its title for this, because this is making me angry.

A Kurt Cobain action figure

NECA, the Nations Entertainment Collectables Association is going to be releasing an action figure of Cobain dressed in the same clothes he wore for the "Smells like Teen Spirit" video. He even is standing on a piece of the same gym floor! One wonders why they didn’t go all the way and have it also have a realistic gunshot wound to the head. You can’t tell me this isn't any more of an act of disrespect than that is!

Cobain didn’t want to be the idol of his generation. He didn't want to be looked to as a god. HE DIDN’T WANT TO BE WORSHIPED! All this action figure is doing is putting him on the level of a deity. Let me explain:

One of the first Commandments (I think it's the Second) forbids the worship and creation of false idols or "graven things". I know this hasn’t stopped Catholicism, but its still a commandment. Regardless of that, the worship of false idols continues, both in religion and pop culture. Catholics have crosses around their necks, and crucifixes on their walls. In their churches there are statues of Mary, Joseph, Saints, and even Jesus on the cross. You can’t tell me these aren’t images of idols. People light candles in front of the statue of The Virgin Mary, or burry statues of Saint Christopher or do other things like that, as an act of praying and veneration. But that’s a different topic.

In pop culture we do the same thing. To many people music is a religion. Virtuoso guitarists are brought to the level of deities. In the 60s graffiti claiming "Clapton Is God" was written everywhere in London. Wayne and Garth bow down to Aerosmith and Alice Cooper proclaiming "We're not worthy". Rock stars are religious figures.

So now this brings us to the Cobain action figure. Now that there is a tangible, transportable image of him, what’s to stop people from worshiping him? What’s to stop him from being a God? What’s to stop him from being everything he never wanted to be?

'Saint Kurt' will be placed atop shrines dedicated to him by every teenager who thinks that he's not understood by the world. Anyone claiming rebellion will want to be like him. They'll want to be a rock star, and then, they'll want to die for our sins. In the first book of Garth Ennis' Preacher the character of, I believe his name was "Ass-Face", is revealed to have a grotesquely maimed face due to him trying to be like Kurt Cobain. He shot himself in the head...and lived. And now he's disfigured as a penalty for that. I think that by introducing this figure you’re going to have the same thing. The ancient religious mysteries will be attributed to Saint Kurt and people will go through sacraments to be more like be a god like him.

Right now, as Kurt Cobain is rolling around in his grave, Courtney Love is licking her fingers for all the money she's making off of this. Cobain definitely didn’t die for that.

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