Monday, May 24, 2010

Gag me.

I adore this quote. I really do, courtesy of Levine Breaking News:

"My schedule is such that I don't get very much time to eat. But I certainly don't have an eating problem.

A little MDMA [Ecstasy] once in a while never killed anybody, but I really don't do drugs. I don't touch cocaine anymore.

I don't smoke. Well, maybe a single cigarette - with whisky - while I'm working, because it just frees my mind a little bit.

But I care about my voice. The thrill of my voice being healthy on stage is really special.

I take care of myself."

Let's deconstruct that for a second, okay?

Not getting very much time to eat = no eating problem.

Not doing drugs = taking Ecstasy once in a while.

Not smoking = a cigarette with whisky, while on the job.

All of this = freeing your mind + taking care of yourself.

Just two days later, I read this story one on MSN's homepage:

"...she never touches cocaine and that her habit of collapsing may be related to the tests for lupus she's undergoing.

...she also admits to taking prescription medication -- and the occasional hit of ecstasy -- to keep her "tortured" thoughts at bay."


"habit" of collapsing = medical tests

Prescription meds + occasional ecstasy hit = good mental health

The winner of this month's "I want to be Amy Winehouse" award is Lady Gaga.

For God's sake, is this what makes icons these days? Is this what we admire in our "artists?"

Let me admit right here, right now that I have no idea who Lady Gaga is. None. I haven't heard a note of her music - on purpose anyway - nor have I seen her perform, nor have I heard so much as one word of an interview she's given. So yes, maybe that makes this post extremely snotty and judgmental. Maybe it's condescending and ill-informed. I grant you all of that may be true.

So grant me this: she's hardly an admirable person. Nor does she particularly need to be. No one has to hit a certain IQ minimum to get a record contract. No one takes an ethics test in order to become a pop sensation. She doesn't need to be sober, or drug-free, or healthy to gain fame and build an enormous fan base.

I don't expect my favorite performers or musicians or artists to be perfect. But it helps if they seem somewhat centered and solid, at least in terms of their art.

Even that doesn't really work, though, does it? The list of artists who are - sometimes - fatally flawed, is long and eclectic. They've had trouble with alcohol and drug abuse, sex scandals or various other addictions.

It just seems to me - and this is only one theory - that years ago, before a celebrity could start to succumb to the temptations of money and fame, they had to be living a life of money and fame. How is it that these days, the first thing - okay, the second thing - we hear about some celebrities are the demons they're battling? Really? You're there already?

Ugh. It's feels almost like the faster you fall, the bigger you are. And if you spend years atop the mountain, enjoying your fame and building on your success without the drama, the rehab, the arrests, the custody battles, the acting out, the jail terms, the accusations, or the cheating, you're never going to get the money and publicity of the quasi-talented celebrities who command the headlines daily.

But you probably sleep at night. You probably know how to have real relationship with people who aren't part of your entourage. And you'll probably still be working and doing what you love long after these other 'stars' burn out.

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