Monday, March 14, 2011

Cult of Personality: The Glamor of the Downward Spiral

Posted by James Curcio on March 12, 2011
alice-in-chains-dirtLast week, I noticed an uptick in people listening to Alice In Chains and it occurred right along with my own renewed interest in the band, and Charlie Sheen’s supposed meltdown. I saw a common theme between these and talked about it in the Cult of Personality and the price that must be paid. The American public loves to see the Nobody “make it big,” but we love it even more when we get to watch them implode in front of our very eyes. Not long after, I see this:
“Mike Starr, the former bassist of Alice In Chains, was found dead in his Salt Lake City home Wednesday. Starr was 44 years old. With a history of substance abuse, Starr was featured on the third season of Celebrity Rehab.
Mike Starr, who is best known for his work with Alice In Chains on the album Dirt, tried to use his former rock star status as a get out of jail free card when he was arrested in February 2011 for felony possession of a controlled substance. According to the police report last month, Starr said, “Hey officer, have you heard of Alice in Chains? I used to be the bass [sic] guitarist for them.”
Starr, who had a history of substance abuse, left Alice In Chains shortly after the release of “Dirt” in 1992. Songs like “Down In A Hole” and “Sickman” have underlying tones of depression. “Dirt” is Alice In Chains highest selling album to date.” (Read more.)
Sometimes it almost seems like there really is a collective unconscious. Coincidence, surely. But this only furthers the thesis that, even if twitter and the net don’t represent some embryonic stage of our collective consciousness, it at least allows us to catch trends in the blink of an eye. Do we want to guess at why Dirt was their highest selling album? Or spin a wild conjecture about the ever-increasing level of depression in our culture? No, of course that’d be overstepping things. And anyway, the next episode of Celebrity Rehab is on, so sssh…

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