Every once in a while during the rare times when I have a break from school, I find myself scrolling through social media like Tumblr and Twitter. Most of the posts I see on social media are harmless, and tend to lean on the lighter and more playful side of life. However, occasionally I stumble upon what I'm about to talk about, especially scattered all over Tumblr. And I want to explain why it shouldn't be.
These posts I come across that get under my skin are pictures and gifs of people like Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. For a little background, Sid Vicious was a fairly average bass player for an iconic band called the Sex Pistols. He was hired mostly because he had the right look for a punk band. His girlfriend was Nancy Spungen, a young woman expelled from college who turned Vicious on to heavy drugs. Their relationship came to a screeching halt when Vicious stabbed her to death in a drug-induced outburst, and then died himself by overdosing not long after.
Anyway, these posts I see way too often will have users making comments such as, "Love me like Sid loved Nancy." Lots of these posts also mention other musicians who died due to things like drug overdose and suicide, such as Jim Morrison, John Bonham, and Kurt Cobain. People sometimes romanticize their deaths, even if they were painful and harrowing.
The thing is, self-destruction is not romantic. Speaking from experience, I know that this should never be viewed as "cool" and "edgy." When I see young girls online who firmly believe that self-destruction is something that can be glamorous, it makes me feel discouraged. It seems like common sense to most people that, for example, Sid Vicious couldn't have loved Nancy Spungen if he was capable of killing her. Still, I can understand why these girls want these artists' demises to be romanticized. It makes the tragedies seem less somber and more exciting.
John Lennon once said in an interview with Playboy, "Sid Vicious died for what? So that we might rock?" Of course musicians like Amy Winehouse and Bon Scott made fantastic music, but they also died in depressing, reckless, and lonely ways. Nobody should look at those stories and think, "That's what I want to be. I want to live a life just like they did." I also believe their deaths should not be in vain, and instead of romanticizing their downfalls, people should use them as inspiration to make the world a more positive place with less destruction. It's better to take advantage of opportunities and create new ones, as opposed to letting your life fall apart.
Neil Young once sang, "It's better to burn out than to fade away." I disagree, and so should you.