Middle name “fuckin” whatcha know about that?
This is in fact, the first confirmation we have ever gotten that Dov might like adults! I say it’s time for celebration! All hail the fuzzy mound! (PS: if you have been under a rock, these mannequins are in the window of one of NYC’s dozens of American Apparel stores, and they have merkins.)
I don’t care what you think about Philip Seymour Hoffman.
He had a voice that spoke to me. When he passed, one of my friends tweeted
Feels like we lost a friend. He was from my hometown & his acting made everyone feel like that. RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman. One of the best.
— Jeremy Burke (@JEREMYBURKE) February 2, 2014
He was right. It did feel like we lost a friend. The man had something so special about him; his work had meaning and stood out against the commercial, green screen, Hollywood void that this generation has become accustomed to. Watching something and unexpectedly discovering that PSH had a role in it would automatically transform my evening from one of entertainment to one of experience. The man clearly had soul, and if he meant so much to me, I cannot imagine what he meant to his family, especially his children, who according to wikipedia were born in 2003, 2006, and 2008. I’m not great at math, but by my calculation, that puts them at a possible range of 5-11. Definitely old enough to use the internet and probably not hardened enough to handle some of the things that people publish on it.
Social relativism aside, I cannot believe some of the things that I have read on the internet concerning the death of this man. While most people were watching the Super Bowl, I was calculating how many films PSH had appeared in that I hadn’t yet seen, planning to cherish each moment. I felt an actual loss, a heaviness, but still nothing compared to the loss that those kids are feeling right now. I read the blogs and the Facebook posts, and I was chilled at some of the callousness that my “friends” portrayed. I took a few detours down the rabbit holes of the blogosphere and read what people were saying. Although many shared mine and Jeremy’s feelings of grief, some just didn’t. Some of you were angry and cruel. I hope this post reaches you. Some of the people posting this heartless nonsense have never battled addiction or known anyone who has. Some have never lost a loved one. Lucky you-ignorance is bliss; enjoy it while you have it. But even those who themselves had struggled with addiction were blasting my newsfeed with hurtful messages about how “weak” he was for losing the battle! You have no soul.
Those of you who are recovering, whatever the circumstances, rich or poor, I commend you, but there are no pedestals to sit on when it comes to addiction. Your AA chips aren’t merit badges that make you better than those who don’t survive the struggle, and even if they were, they couldn’t diminish the suffering that your loved ones endured as you earned them.
I don’t ever publish opinion pieces on my blog, but I refuse not to respond. Philip Seymour Hoffman may or may not have had an “easier” or “harder” time recovering because of his money and fame, but now is not a time to share those opinions. Every single article I have read that has been released by the mainstream press has had the same statement from the family.
“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone. This is a tragic and sudden loss and we ask that you respect our privacy during this time of grieving. Please keep Phil in your thoughts and prayers.”
That said, who do you think you are spreading such hateful messages when the family has openly requested respect during their time of loss? His eleven year old son knows how to use the internet. I don’t know this family, but I’m willing to bet that any eleven, eight, or six year old would be devastated at the loss of a father. That said, I don’t care what you think of heroin. I don’t care what you think of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s films. It’s completely irrelevant. What is wrong with our society that we don’t even consider who could read what we post and how we might affect them with our ignorance? The internet isn’t your diary, it’s public space.
In my adult life, I have both lost a parent and loved an addict. In my 20′s it was nearly impossible to deal with, and I was not under a paparazzi spotlight, nor did any strangers on the internet weigh in on the circumstances surrounding the death and suffering of my loved ones (although I did learn quite a bit about the kindness of strangers and the coldness of “friends.”) I obsessed over relics and memories, but a short google query would not flood my consciousness with a million of them. I cannot fathom the nerve of grown adults who have likely been through periods of grief in their own lives being so heartless to this family who loved the man who lost the battle right out in the open. Actors, like accountants, pharmacists, editors, hairdressers, and airline attendants are people. They deserve to be respected in life and in death.
Congratulations if you’ve survived addiction, but had you not, I hope the community would reach out to your children and your family and offer love and support in their time of grieving for your untimely passing. Congratulations if you’ve never succumbed to addiction in the first place, you are fortunate to not know the depths it brings people to. I’m jealous if you haven’t loved anyone who fit into the aforementioned categories, but also, I am sad that you haven’t learned about the compassion and empathy that loving and losing can lend.
Hopefully when you finally do meet your end, no one discredits your merit or trivializes your pain or that of your families. This one is for genius and for the preservation all of the beautiful memories that shone between the hard parts. RIP Mr. Hoffman.