You wouldn’t be the first to think that I’m behind the times. I admit that I don’t know many of the actors nominated for Oscars, Emmys, or Golden Globes and I know even fewer of the “artists” nominated for Grammys. I know little about Philip Seymour Hoffman. Yeah, I know he played Truman Capote and did an excellent job for which he received an Oscar. I’ve even heard him called a “genius.” But, not being a fan, I knew little else about him when the news came reporting his demise in a New York City apartment. Since then I’ve found out that he had a stable and long-lasting relationship with a woman and together, they had three children. I also learned that he seemed to be a decent fellow who treated people with whom he dealt in a pleasant manor.
But this isn’t about Philip Seymour Hoffman. It’s about us.
I’ll go out on a limb and venture that PSH was not the only addict to overdose on heroin the day it was reported. But he was a talented, larger than life entertainer, not some back alley junkie. My question? What’s the difference? Hoffman left three young children whose lasting image of their father may well be of him sprawled out on a cold floor with a needle hanging out of his arm.
So, why, why, why do we glamorize these people, offering them up as poor misunderstood souls who left their adoring public, not to mention their children, far too soon? Why are they victims? The media say that the authorities are on the trail of four individuals who may have been those who supplied PSH with his lethal dose. So? Did they force him into taking them?
I’ve heard it said that recreational drugs are God’s way of saying, “You’re making too much money.” Perhaps that’s so. But I wish someone could explain to me the thought process of one who is about to push the needle into the vein that first time. What is the rationale that says, “Go ahead… do it.?”
Genius? I don’t think so.