Sunday, 13 April 2008

RIP Mark Speight

This is so sad. I'm getting all teary-eyed over a kids' TV presenter that I hadn't thought of in years before this whole chain of events began. It was sad enough when his girlfriend died (I am ready to snap at anyone who starts apportioning "blame" because there were drugs involved), but we as a country have watched him fall apart in little article-sized snapshots. He blamed himself, as you would if you'd been taking drugs with your partner and she died. Sometimes you see people unravel due to grief, but he didn't even do that - he just broke. It's taken a while for him to hit the ground, but he's been dead for months. Staying with his dead girlfriend's mother, quitting his job, making noises about a charity concert, and then they find a body. Of course they did. It's not been officially confirmed as his, but dead man he is nevertheless.

Like everyone else who keeps up with the news, I've seen probably thousands of photos of smiling people who are dead now. It's so common that I don't tend to think about it. There's the occasional one that just won't budge out of my mind, like Holly and Jessica, Peter Woodhams, Nick Berg. And with dead celebrities, we've seen so many pictures of them grinning away that even if we were admired them the picture is no trigger. I've been upset at the death of many a celebrity, because I'm a big softy, but the photos don't make me cry. For some reason, this one is different. I can't look at it because I burst into tears. And I don't know why. It's not just tears, it's a real wrench on my gut. Poor, crazy dumbass. Poor, crazy, talented dumbass with such an ordinary story. Girlfriend dies of an overdose and he loses it. There's no trace of celebrity in this story - she wasn't a druggie, it was stupid middle-class cocaine dabbling. I know a hundred people who would do that and think nothing of it. I know a hundred men who would fall apart exactly like he did in these circumstances. There's nothing special about this story. It's just a very human death.


Anonymous said...

I don't like MTV, because most of hip-hop-urban music has become exploitation and the vulgarization of the vernacular of black life by a concentrated number of corporations who sell the themes of materialism.


Jen said...

Oh, fuck off. This is not the damn time. Fucking behave yourself.