Monday, February 3, 2014

Beyond Sad

Yesterday I posted a list of things that were making me sad.

Peyton Manning, Bob Dylan,
and Sherlock made me sad yesterday.
My girl Allie Cat commented that she thought Philip Seymour Hoffman's death might make the list.

The fact is, my list was made up of small, unimportant things. Things that in the grand scheme make me realize that I really have very little to be sad about.

Hell, if Bob Dylan wants to go on record as saying he loves Hemis and 'Murica, it doesn't mean he didn't write "Visions of Johanna."

And hey, no matter how terrible a game the Broncos played last night, it was a football game.  Thank God I have the luxury of being sad about the outcome of a football game.

But Philip Seymour Hoffman's death...that's beyond sad.

He was an artist. He was so damn talented. He was far too young and had far too much yet to create.

He was a son, and a father, and a lover, and a friend. By all accounts, he was a great guy. Everyone who knew him personally will carry the pain of his death for a long time - far longer than those of us who are simply fans and admirers, who will relatively quickly file his passing under "what a shame" and move on to the next celebrity misfortune.

He was a drug addict. With everything in the world to live for, he risked it all to quiet the raging beast of addiction. After being clean for more than 20 years, he had started using again. What kind of monster can lay dormant for that long, and still reawaken with enough strength and fury to kill? How do you even fight something that powerful?

In the end, he was alone, shooting up. His world had shrunk to a syringe and a vein in his arm. This man of enormous talent, who appeared 20 feet tall on the movie screens of the world, transforming himself before millions of people into Truman Capote and Lester Bangs and Plutarch Heavensbee, in his final minutes became a lone tortured body that could no longer function with the heroin he pumped into it. A paralyzed heart, a dead brain, with the soul of the artist nowhere to be found among the ruined tissues it left behind. He died alone.

And we all wonder why. Why would he shoot up, knowing his kids were waiting for him? Knowing he had three movies in the can, another almost finished filming, and a TV show that was just about to go into production? He was wealthy, talented, in demand, loved and respected in his work and in his life. And yet he followed the siren song of heroin and believed its lies.

We all fall for lies of one kind or another. Some of them make us work too hard, or chase the wrong dreams, or stay with the wrong people. Some just make us act like fools.

Philip Seymour Hoffman died because heroin whispered it could give him something he couldn't get any other way. He made his living crafting lies, and yet he fell for that one. And it killed him.

And that is beyond sad.


  1. Well said, and so true. Money, movies, career, work, Depression and Addiction care none for those things.

  2. Very well said, indeed.


You're thinking it, you may as well type it. The only comments you'll regret are the ones you don't leave. Also, replies to threads make puppies grow big and strong.