Cult of Personality: The Glamor of the Downward Spiral

alice-in-chains-dirtLast week, I noticed an uptick in people listening to Alice In Chains and it occurred right along with my own renewed interest in the band, and Charlie Sheen’s supposed meltdown. I saw a common theme between these and talked about it in the Cult of Personality and the price that must be paid. The American public loves to see the Nobody “make it big,” but we love it even more when we get to watch them implode in front of our very eyes. Not long after, I see this:

“Mike Starr, the former bassist of Alice In Chains, was found dead in his Salt Lake City home Wednesday. Starr was 44 years old. With a history of substance abuse, Starr was featured on the third season of Celebrity Rehab.

Mike Starr, who is best known for his work with Alice In Chains on the album Dirt, tried to use his former rock star status as a get out of jail free card when he was arrested in February 2011 for felony possession of a controlled substance. According to the police report last month, Starr said, “Hey officer, have you heard of Alice in Chains? I used to be the bass [sic] guitarist for them.”

Starr, who had a history of substance abuse, left Alice In Chains shortly after the release of “Dirt” in 1992. Songs like “Down In A Hole” and “Sickman” have underlying tones of depression. “Dirt” is Alice In Chains highest selling album to date.” (Read more.)

Sometimes it almost seems like there really is a collective unconscious. Coincidence, surely. But this only furthers the thesis that, even if twitter and the net don’t represent some embryonic stage of our collective consciousness, it at least allows us to catch trends in the blink of an eye. Do we want to guess at why Dirt was their highest selling album? Or spin a wild conjecture about the ever-increasing level of depression in our culture? No, of course that’d be overstepping things. And anyway, the next episode of Celebrity Rehab is on, so sssh…

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  • WhiteRose

    Mad genius……unfortunately if they have nobody in their lives to keep them in check i.e. their managers, publicists etc. etc. the downward spiral can happen.

  • WhiteRose

    Mad genius……unfortunately if they have nobody in their lives to keep them in check i.e. their managers, publicists etc. etc. the downward spiral can happen.

  • deredder

    This is really strange because earlier in the week I found myself listening to AIC completely on a whim (haven’t dug out cds for about 10 years) and only this morning became aware of Starr’s death. Was just considering the collective unconscious myself when I stumbled upon this article. Oh well as RAW (mimicking skeptics) would say, “it’s only a coincidence, it’s only a coincidence, it’s only…”

    • http://twitter.com/agent139 James Curcio

      yeah, i wasn’t being facetious when i said that it seemed like a sudden massive uptick- i had four or five friends who all started listening to dirt compulsively after years of not listening to it – we all realized this about the same time, and then i saw a ton of mentions of it on twitter, then the announcement of the bassists death. i don’t necessarily make anything of “synchronicities” like this it’s just odd.

  • deredder

    This is really strange because earlier in the week I found myself listening to AIC completely on a whim (haven’t dug out cds for about 10 years) and only this morning became aware of Starr’s death. Was just considering the collective unconscious myself when I stumbled upon this article. Oh well as RAW (mimicking skeptics) would say, “it’s only a coincidence, it’s only a coincidence, it’s only…”

  • http://seastreesstarsandweeds.tumblr.com SinisterDivine

    Why should a person, an adult, need someone else to keep them in check?

  • http://twitter.com/agent139 James Curcio
  • http://twitter.com/agent139 James Curcio

    yeah, i wasn’t being facetious when i said that it seemed like a sudden massive uptick- i had four or five friends who all started listening to dirt compulsively after years of not listening to it – we all realized this about the same time, and then i saw a ton of mentions of it on twitter, then the announcement of the bassists death. i don’t necessarily make anything of “synchronicities” like this it’s just odd.

  • Jhgjhg

    I think Ben Rowe’s thesis on Set and Horus, the man who conquers and the man who dies has some insight to this phenomenon.

  • Jhgjhg

    I think Ben Rowe’s thesis on Set and Horus, the man who conquers and the man who dies has some insight to this phenomenon.