It’s this Prince thing. I don’t understand this public mourning, this sadness over his death. In fact, I find it disturbing in so many ways.
It is one thing to appreciate the artistic talent of a performer, it is quite another thing to be so emotionally involved with the life of an entertainer, so distraught, so moved, so saddened by his death.
Yesterday, April 21, 2016, he died. So did tens of thousands of other Americans, other people whose lives were just as influential, just as meaningful, and far more important to those who knew them than Prince was to anyone who had never met him.
Prince, I am told by media, by friends, was a great musician, and great performer, a great talent and a cultural icon! So because his music could make your head bob back and forth at a stop light, or make your hips, in fact, your whole body, wiggle and writhe in syncopation with a musical rhythm, while your mind disregarded reason and ignored reality, he was an icon?
He didn’t protect you, he didn’t run into burning buildings and save you, he didn’t practice medicine, he wasn’t a healer or a nurse, he was not a teacher, he didn’t spend his life learning how to better yours, he didn’t teach you how to better the lives of others, or even how to better your own life, he offered no remedy for real pain, for lost love, marriage, divorce, disappointment, depression or despair.
I understand that we, all of us, enjoy an occasional break from the humdrum and boredom of life, but to obsess over the death of one whose great value to society was that he helped people escape from reality, ignore work, prayer, spouse, and their children and willingly enter into a fugue state of denial of individualism, of physical spasticity, of outward and often internalized hysteria and idiosyncratic transcendence and idiopathic onanism, well it’s clear to me that Prince’s great accomplishment was the temporary insanity of humans to no lasting benefit or value to them.
Call me a Puritan, call me a Protestant, argue that people need a break from “Reality,” from the boredom of “everyday” life. I’ll simply respond that if your life is thus, change it! Embrace someone, leave your boring workplace or go on strike, feed the hungry or read a really good book, not one on tape, but one read in your own voice, think of the joys of life and overcome the “pains of living,” which really are not existential for 99.99% of all Americans.
Most of all, stop filling your head with trash, filth, obscenity and your heart with melodrama, angst, romance and stop yearning for a world of escapism. Come back to an authentic life where your thoughts are as important as any entertainers, or politician, or guru, and where you and your friends don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on concert tickets to be entertained, and where your legacy given your children is not vinyl, or video, but memories of a family laughing, loving, and praying together.