Thursday, January 12, 2006

I expect everyone's absolutely sick of this whole Frey thing by now

but my friend Seth Mnookin has
a very sensible piece up at Slate about the whole mess, in which he reflects on the culture and motives that drive addicts to exaggerate or fabricate past offences:

Based on all the evidence, it seems Frey's weird, macho fear of seeing himself as a "victim" led him to fabricate a life that was painful and extreme enough so as to explain the sadness and despair he felt. Instead of a crack-binging street fighter, ostracized by both his peers and society, the Smoking Gun investigation indicates Frey was more likely a lonely, confused boy who may or may not have needed ear surgery as a child and felt distant from his parents and alienated from his peers. He drank too much, did some drugs, got nailed for a couple of DUIs and ended up, at age 23, in one of the country's most prestigious drug-and-alcohol treatment centers. When Frey writes that, after one of his fictitious arrests, he hated himself, saw no future, and wanted to die, I believe him. I grew up in a well-off suburban household with loving parents and no clear traumas in my past. I was popular enough in high school, I joined the newspaper and acted in plays, and I got into a good college. I was also miserably, sometimes almost suicidally, depressed, and, from the age of 15, I was taking drugs and drinking almost every day. Frey must have felt that his real, very scary, and very lonely feelings would have seemed weak if it was only preceded by standard-issue suburban teenage angst.

And here's Seth's essay on life after heroin, which is also well worth reading.

1 comment:

  1. didn't know where else to contact you or leave this so excuse the irrelvance of it to your post. anywho, here goes: a friend forwarded this (an excerpt from a longer piece condemning something or other in a patronizing but without offeirng any recourse or solution kind of way-- it's british)to me a few days ago. had me in fits of laughter, stitches, rolling in the isles, slapping my knees, uncontrollable mirth. rueful laughter though since it hints at a deplorable state of music taste/consumption with todays underachieving youth and the underprivileged generality.

    prepare to laugh:

    "Tangled in my mind with this is the news, reported in a recent edition of the Economist, that classical music is being used to disperse vagrants from public places. On the face of it, this is very funny. We are told that classical music is so 'painful to teenage ears' that it can clear intimidating, beer-swilling crowds of youths in an instant. Staff at Co-op stores, for example, have a remote control that 'can turn the music on if there's a situation developing and they need to disperse people'. Tyneside Metro reports similar success, especially if the music is either 'sung by Pavarotti or written by Mozart'. For your better-educated vandal, atonal music has been found to do the trick: the union bar at Leicester University was emptied in an instant by some computer-generated sounds. And apparently we can expect to hear more of this kind of deterrent on the London Underground, which has taken up the scheme. If you want more Mozart in your life, start loitering."