Driving Solo: A Reflection on Today's Icons Essay

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The focus today on America's modern icons can be ridiculous. Our icons are no longer people who have done anything touchable. Florence Nightingale saved our country from future disease. Harriet Tubman helped to free slaves. Francis Scott Key wrote our beloved national anthem. Now, in the 21st century, we have Britney Spears, sexpot. We're proud to say that we are the home of the raunchy Christina Aguilera. And Kurt Cobain. We can't forget Kurt, can we? At the mere mention of any of these names, curiosity and conversation run rampant. Why is it that Americans can be so engrossed with a person who is all publicity and no substance? We don't know half of the traits of these people, yet they are the loves of our lives. I recently read an…show more content…
There are thousands of sites proclaiming Cobain a genius; a messiah; a gentle, tortured soul. Out of those thousands, I found few sites questioning Cobain's motives. One of those sites wanted to know why we are still enthralled with him if he hated fame so greatly. This man not only spewed his hatred of the public eye at every chance, he killed himself to get away from it. Why do we see this as strength, something to be respected? I suppose most die-hard Kurt fans choose to ignore the negative. But we need to face it. Kurt Cobain was a terrible father, a drug addict, and a narcissist. In 2002, the private journals of Cobain were published to the entire population. Here is all the insight needed to understand the true Cobain. For many of his fans, I'm sure this book was hard to take. Some say they weren't his journals at all because of the inconsistencies they revealed. Here was a man who, to his fans, professed his disdain of celebrity, yet bragged of his prominence in his private journals. Maybe they just couldn't accept that their own idol was so completely different from his public persona. He told the media that he hated his fame. He hated his money. Yet a large amount of his journal entries were written on paper from five-star hotels. In one entry, Cobain boasts: "I'll be able to sell my untalented, very un-genius ass for years based on my cult status...it feels good" (281). Do we actually believe that this man hated his fame?

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