Courtney Love: American Tragedy

Whenever one Courtney Love is your topic of choice, there are a innumerable amounts of directions you can go in. She’s made a career out of being a complete train wreck, mostly. When all is said and done, a feminist warrior with ambition bigger than the universe will mostly be remembered for her uncanny ability to make a complete and utter fool of herself.

Last month was no exception, as Ms. Love posted accusations that former Nirvana drummer/ Foo Fighters frontman/”nicest guy in rock” Dave Grohl put the moves on Frances Bean Cobain, her own daughter.

See the ugly details here.

Her daughter took to the airwaves of the internet and basically told everyone that Courtney Love is one crazy bitch.

I could stay up all night judging a mother who takes rumors, ahem, lies about her daughter’s sexual exploits and brings them to the internet, but I won’t. Instead, I’d like to write a eulogy to Courtney Love, and the talent she seems to have lost.

I grew up in the afterglow of grunge, spending my formative years listening to the likes of Nirvana and Hole, before moving on to the superior bands that influenced them. See: Black Flag, Sonic Youth, The Pixies, Public Image LTD, The Stooges, etc. etc.

As much as I’ve moved on from the former bands and still love the latter, I still have a soft spot in my heart for Hole’s first two albums. Courtney Love might not have been a legitimate riot girl, but she was able to fake it enough so that she distilled the appeal of bands like Bratmobile and Bikini Kill into a palpable product.

Hole’s magnum opus, Live Through This, still feels relevant even now. With the imagery of disfigured baby dolls in the liner notes, the lyrical references to bullimia, domestic abuse, pornography, and self-image issues, it still seems like a perfect cocktail of the loud feminism of riot girl, awww-shucks pop, grunge, and the mania of a woman who was either smart, self-assured and strong or just plain nuts.

More likely than not, all of the above.

Whatever the case was, she was pissed, she had a knack for melody, and the lyrics transcend gender, reaching a universal appeal that we’d all be better to stand behind. If Nirvana’s Nevermind was a slickly packaged representation of a vibrant American underground to that point, Live Through This was the same thing for the riot girrrls.

It should be viewed as a larger musical acheivement than it is….

….probably because the only thing Love has acheived since its release is finding new and exciting ways to embarass herself. She could have been an icon for well-oiled, aggressive, pro-feminist rock, which is clearly what someone with transparent ambition strives for.

Instead, she’s become a cautionary tale for anyone who comes out with guns blazing in star-fucking glory.

So, rest in peace, Courtney Love’s talent.

Long live the mania.

Author: Affluent White Male

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