1991 was a terrible year for me, the worst ever. So many bad things happened in the world, too. The Gulf War. William Kennedy Smith rape trial. Anita Hill hearings. The Rodney King beating. Soon after my own brush with violence that same year, I drove through my quiet Albuquerque neighborhood, only to pass William Kennedy Smith in his car. Just because you survive one brutal act, doesn't mean life magically gets better. Some of us tumble over the edge indefinitely. I briefly went on anti-depressants to get through 1991 and part of 1992.
Today I woke up to news that Rodney King had died. I remembered him, that semi-sort of Jesus figure, representing those who just couldn't catch a break, i.e. almost everyone. He was supposed to have been this hero for the civil rights movement, but his long trail of lawlessness kind of killed that dream over the years. It became a sign of the times. Heroes crumble, shoot themselves in the head at the peak of glory, take steroids, and screw the intern. This seemed real to me back then, but it makes me sad now that he had this spotlight.
No angel or devil -- and RK seemed to float somewhere in between -- should have to endure what he did when those deranged cops beat the crap out of him. Sadly, his passing marks one more notch for the substance-related celeb deaths, and I wonder if the notoriety killed him faster. Maybe just the opposite. My dormant idealism wants him to have lived many more years, with a resolute victory over his demons and more Rumi-esque questions for humanity. Why do we treat each other and ourselves so poorly? Can't we all just not lose our sh*t?
This brings me to my latest obsession: Cat Marnell, a former beauty staffer for xoJane.com. I knew nothing about her until today's Page Six. Drug-addled and open about it? A brilliant writer? Can't keep it together and released from her steady job? Had to learn more. I scoured her blogs--indeed a brilliant girl. Indeed tormented and an addict. It's evident in the increasing incoherence (alliteration, moi?) in her video how-tos (the smoky eye is the best). When someone this messed up loses her 9 to 5 job, it's the kiss of death.
I need a manicure.