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Love ‘er or Hate ‘er?

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Y’know, I’m starting to be concerned at my own capriciousness. Today I reversed a 6 year old opinion on Courtney Love after reading one comment in today’s New Musical Express (written by a reader, no less!):

“While [my friends] were as good as accusing [Love] of killing [K.Cobain], I always respected the woman who had enough strength of character to get off drugs and stick around to raise the child they made together. It was more than he ever did, and she could just as easily have gone the same way.” – Lucy Chapman

Now, I have always despised Love. I hated the way she shot her mouth off constantly to get media attention. I hated the publicity stunts. I hated the Goddamn records more than anything!

However, you know who else I can’t stand? Yes, Cobain. Well, not him exactly – more the ‘legend’ that has formed around him since he killed himself. That ‘fans’ can be obsessed by a suicide, and record companies can earn millions off an artist’s death makes me sick.

And this was as far as my thinking had taken me (Nirvana and Hole not exactly being my cultural cup-of-tea, except for the definitive ‘In Utero’ naturally, I never had cause to contemplate matters further) until I read Lucy Chapman’s comment.

Yes, Love is to be admired. She and Cobain had a child together, and while Cobian destroys himself with heroin and self-pity, Love pulls herself together and raises their daughter, amongst homocide accusations, death threats, and her own severe drug problems. Whatever you think of Cobain (and I shan’t post my own controversial opinions directly, though I feel they are quite clear already) it is obvious which of the pair is to be admired and held up as a role model.

Courtney, I salute you! Your strength in the face of such such crap should inspire us all to stop wallowing and start living. I still won’t be buying the new record though…

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About Jennie Smith

  • Eric Olsen

    Jennie my pet, you have to use the American Amazon ASINs.

    Interesting thought, and the new CD is supposed to be surprisingly good. Thanks!

  • are you kidding? role model? staying alive isn’t what makes a role model. getting clean and staying clean would put her in ‘respectable’ status, if you ask me. ‘role model’ is leaps and bounds away.

    just me 2 cents…

  • I’m in wait and see mode about Courtney Love. Yes, she has stayed alive. Whoop-de-do! But, has she stayed sober? With drug charges currently pending against her that is far from clear. And, since when does a 39-year-old woman behave like a nine-year-old when a relationship ends? The scuttlebutt from people who know her here in her hometown is that her life is still very disorganized. Her daughter is in the custody of others. She is not on speaking terms with some family members. The feud with Frances’ grandmother continues. So, I’m not gonna praise her as some kind of exemplar of parenthood just because she hasn’t committed suicide, either.

  • Don’t you guys see? She has a ‘severe drug problem’. Just because she isn’t clean yet doesn’t mean that this absolves her from any respect. Who wouldn you like her to be, Julia Roberts?
    She still has many many problems which she obviously has to deal with. The point is that with so much hatred towards her after Cobain’s death she stopped taking heroin (as far as I know – do correct me if I’m wrong), kept her music career (though waste of time if you ask me!) and carried on in the public eye despite the insults and threats. That, to me, is one strong woman, whom we should hope gets better soon, not chastise for her depression and drug addictions.
    Eric – sorry! I could say something further about this but I’ll keep my mouth shut, lol.

  • I don’t see any of Courtney’s behavior as “strong.” I see it as desperate. She’s desperate for attention – and desperately in need of help. Put those two together and you’ve got a pretty dangerous combination. It’s pretty clear from her comments made following the recent arrest, her Stern appearance, etc., that this is not a woman who is clear-headed in anyway. I don’t care if she’s on drugs or not – this is not a person who should be out wandering the streets. Not only is she a danger to herself she’s a danger to others – especially her daughter.

    You act like she’s overcome some great tragedy by staying in the public eye – no, this is what Courtney does, what she has to do. You know the term “attention whore,” don’t you? Ms. Love is the definition of attention whore. The drug use makes her whoring for attention more sad, desperate, and dangerous, but even without drugs, the few times we’ve seen her purportedly clean, she’s still the same old Courtney Love. If she could get clean and stay clean, maybe come to terms with whatever it is she feels she’s lacking in life, then maybe she can deserve some respect. Until then, no. No respect for her from me. She’s sick and needs helps. Until she can seek it out, she gets no respect from me.


    I’m gonna take the money I saved for her cd and use it to buy the new Probot. That’ll show ‘er!

  • Kev

    Sorry but she needs to grow up. As for sticking around and finishing what she and Kurt started, that’s BS. She’ll be needing some of that trust fund money eventually what with the attorney bills and the drugs and lifestyle etc so raising Francis is all part of the plan. I have always thought that she and Kurt were both total and complete losers. Personally and musically neither had anything to offer. Too bad for Francis.

  • Eric Olsen

    As discussed here, my feelings about Courtney are decidedly mixed. I think is an interesting actress and I like some of her music very much (haven’t heard the new one yet), and I like elements of her personality, but she is also, to put it in medical terms, obviously fucked up, and needs to make up her mind about how she wants to live the rest of her life. If she wants to be a real parent, she has to make a commitment to clean herself up, be there on an ongoing basis, and accept responsibility. At almost 40, I fear it’s now or never.

  • I don’t see why people think she should have retired from the public eye just because of personal problems – without wanting to come across as the femminist that I am most definately not, aren’t you all just trying to impose the kind of decorum that the moral majority feel is correct for women? If a male rock star behaved in this way (many do, and much worse) he’d be a ‘rock ‘n roll God’. Not so for a woman though eh? She should be at home mourning her dead husband, not partying and having fun, right? Wrong. She does what she wants and bucks the trend despite comments like the above from way more prominent sources. In interviews she comes across as an extremely intelligent woman who is making a huge amount of money from your ‘disgust’ which gets her onto front pages around the globe. Given her houses, Hole album sales and interviewers desperately salivating over her next night out I doubt she’ll be down the dole office any time soon.

  • First, Jennie, you think we are ‘hating on,’ Courtney Love. We aren’t. No one here has wished bad things on her. (A Blogcritic, Shark, recently wished me dead. That is hating someone.)

    Second, being in the public eye and financially successful do not necessarily mean one is well or personally successful.

    Third, I am a feminist and I don’t buy your latest argument at all. Being feisty is not enough. A woman — or man — needs to be competent, at the very least, to impress me.

  • “without wanting to come across as the femminist that I am most definately not”

    Okay, please indulge me.

    What is your definition of a feminist? What do you think that means? I’m curious.

  • Beats me, too, Vic. Is saying one is a feminist supposed to be equivalent to admitting molesting children or something?

  • Yes I often get this response to saying I’m not a femminst. Disagreement isn’t an attack girls: I don’t have any beef with femminists – and I don’t have any desire to get into an argument about it since it’s nothing to do with my post or comment – I’m simply not one and I said this to show I wasn’t putting across any grand agenda when putting Love’s actions in the context of female rock history.

  • I’m just wondering because I find that most chicks who really want to distance themselves from being a “feminist” has no clue what one really is. They seem to think that it has something to do with not shaving, hating men, and not wearing bras.

    Once again, for those of you in the bleachers…

    I wax (all the way, if you get my drift), I love to love up men, and I have an excellent collection of very sexy and lacy French lingerie. Something about wearing something terribly sexy under my “amour” makes me feel that much more empowered as a woman.

    So I am still curious, what DO you think a feminist is?

  • Dan

    I’m with you Jennie, I’m kinda tired of this expectation for everyone in the public eye to aspire to role model status. How bland. I say party on Courtney.

    I’ve always wondered if something I heard once was true: Was Courtney once involved in a fist fight backstage at a “stop violence against women” benefit concert?

  • ‘They say’ that Courtney was a regular hell raiser when she was here in Portland. I think that particular assault allegedly occurred either here or in Seattle. The Crocodile Cafe comes to mind.

    The giveaway in Courtney’s more recent comments is that she doesn’t grasp that most people do not stuff themselves with Oxycontin. She thinks her behavior is normal.

  • Jonathan

    I’m getting very annoyed by Kurt Cobain’s ‘legend’ status.
    Everytime I flip the TV on Star or Muchmoremusic (Kind’ve like canadian versions of E! and MTV/VH1) I hear about fucking Cobain and how he changed music. I sort of like some of his music but he doesn’t seem so damn great. Nirvana’s stuff wasn’t too incredibly brilliant, and his lyrics weren’t super stellar. I Hate how these music critics praise him as perfectly capturing the hearts and souls of a jaded generation.
    It’s the same damn shit; angsty teenagers. For all eternity there will always be teenagers who are depressed and want to kill themselves.

  • Ms.Tek: I think that, very simply, femminism is one who advocates equal rights/treatment for women. However, I also feel that being a femminist indicates you personally, actively seek to change laws and attitudes to the above end. I do not, and I do not believe femmism is an effective movement in my country (UK) any more as we already have strict equality laws regarding every aspect of the law. There is, simply, nothing left to be changed apart from the personal attitudes of a tiny minority which, as far as I can see, are only amused by ‘active femminists’ (if you’ll excuse the generalistion). Generation X will change this as they become middle aged and sexism will have disappeared in the UK. In the meantime, as an active member of Amnesty International I campaign for anyone, male or female, who has been judged on their gender, colour or religion. Therefore I do not count myself as a femminist – I do not campaign in my country, and I do not differentiate between men and women when I find cause to campaign as part of Amnesty – while I certainly have no problem with the premise of femminism in any way. Equality for everyone will suit me just fine!
    Sorry this had to turn into a femminism debate everyone – I was simply posting my respect for a true rock and roller!

  • Okay Jennie, please correct me if I am wrong but when you apply for a job in the UK, can they or can they not ask your marital status?

    I am not well versed in UK law as that I don’t live there enough to know, nor can I legally work there. I can only go from my own experiences there- I’ll reserve my judgment as to if feminists are needed in the whole of the UK. I remember having an interesting conversation with a bunch of girls in the toilet in a pub in Windsor after I choked a guy for grabbing my breast after I had already told him to back off for grabbing my ass.

    Another interesting thing to note- every-time I have had an incident in a pub or club in my travels to the UK, Ireland and Holland, it has always been an English male putting his hands on my body (one time being grabbed and attempted to be dragged away when I was talking to my Irish friends, all male, all very big!). I’ve never had a Scot do it, nor an Irishman- rude words, yes… but never touch. I inquired about this as that here in the US, I can count on one hand in the 11 years I have been going out that a man has touched me in a bar or pub. Each time this has happend in the US, if I didn’t punch the guy or almost break his arm, then a male in the immediate vicinity did go after him. After the last time, my friend that I visit in London will not let me go to the toilet alone anymore because I have way too manny “incidents”. I am just curious as to your thoughts on this as that I have spoken about is with Scots, Irish, and English girls, (forget the Dutch… a lot of them seem think that the people who come from the UK and US cannot control themselves) and was especially shocked at what I heard from the girls in Windsor as to what is considered okay for guys to do in the pub! I am perfectly willing to accept that this may be a cultural differance between here and the US.

    I will say as for the incident in Windsor, after this having happend too many times already, I did tell the gentleman in question before I left my handprints on his throat that I was American and not to touch me again because that is NOT okay, esp. since I had never seen him before in my life. He decided to push the issue when I turned to continue walking to the toilet by grabing my breast. I grabbed his throat and shoved him against the bar. What I noted was the fact that his eyes got big and that he didn’t make any attempt to block my lunge. This told me that this was a man who was not used to a woman going after him or saying “no”.

    I have been trainned in hand to hand combat so I must admit that given the oppertunity I will use it. I don’t believe in hurting people without due warning however.

    After people saw what I had done, THEN the bouncer came up. Where the hell was he before?

    I guess what I am asking is that in the daily interactions of men and women in the UK, specifically England, are respectful of each other in daily life in the same way that they are in the office?

  • Oh… and just to be fair and not seem like I am “picking”.

    I did have one bad thing happen in Scotland this past summer.

    I was standing in front of a pub with my best friend when one of the guys in the pub window asked my friend “Oi, is she your bitch?” My friend made him apoligize.

    The times I have been in Ireland? I had a guy ask me to show him my breast. That didn’t offend me though… he just asked nicely and I told him nicely no. And he said “well, it was worth a shot”, so I bought him a drink for being honest and then my mates asked him to join us because he seemed like an alright fellow.

  • Firstly: Yes, they can ask but it is always made clear that you are under no obligation to answer in the question. In my experience, it is very rare to be asked at all.
    Secondly: I am very sorry that your experiences in the UK have been bad. Idiots like the ones you’ve had the misfortune to meet certainly do exist, however, we have equal numbers of their female counterparts. There was a phenomenon in the UK in the 90’s where it was made widely acceptable for women to behave in a physically aggressive way, and it’s now the standard for a woman in the UK to be freely physical with the men around her (the media coined the term ‘Ladettes’ for this type of woman). Basically , if you’d have grabbed his balls, this would have been considered acceptable had a bit of bantering occured beforehand (christ, this is a very technical way to describe a night out!). For him to pursue the matter was unacceptable – in my experience once you make it clear you are not ‘up for it’ then you are left alone. To summarise this – physical aggression in pubs and clubs is typical in the UK, but it’s both from men and women, and largely only consenting.
    Thirdly: Yes, women are generally treated with great respect in this country (largely due to Thatcher – the only good thing she did!) in all situations. I have NEVER suffered discrimination because of my gender and I am an attractive, young, outgoing female. Naturally I have had comments in the street from men about my breasts or whatever, but I give as good as I get and it’s all considered in good humour. Sexism isn’t really taken too seriously in the UK because there quite clearly isn’t any. A woman here is free to achieve whatever she wants, as our most prominent Prime Minister ever proved 20 years ago. In fact, there are so many incentives to give women equality in the workplace that even women are criticising the government for discriminating against men!
    I hope that next time you come here, you get a better representation of our guys than the ones you’ve previously encountered.

  • Thanks for explaining your perspective, Jennie. One of my blog friends has an excellent blog that considers issues having to do with gender, among other things. I encourage you to check out Feministe when you find time.

  • Thanks Jennie…

    And no worries. I love the UK. Scotland is actually my second home. I have my own “room” there with my things and clothes (saves on packing).

    Also, my best friend is an Enlishman who lives in London. I like it there, we just don’t go to pubs at night anymore =(.

  • Remark

    How disgusting that a man (Courtney had a sex change, there is viable proof) claimed to be married to this icon, after they (the COG cult) murdered him in 1990. Geffen (and his boyfriend Pitt, who was snogging Love too) helped “it” steal Cobain’s songs and record them with her group. It is a mockery of talent and goodness. Courtney Love, your life is in ruins and soon you will be dead. As will everyone involved in the sacrafice of Kurt Cobain.

    This is not Kurt Cobain’s child, he had no children! Frances Bean belongs to Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt (yes, they knew each other long before they married). She is idenical to her parents, and strangly, ever whore Hollywood has ever produced. She is hideous.
    Kurt had unearthly crystal colored eyes, that demon’s eyes are grey just like it’s real father, Brad.
    Kurt Cobain was murdered in 1990, later Courtney Love (whose real mother is actually “Wendy” who falsly claims to be Cobain’s mother) was paid-off to pretend to be married and have a child, all so that the Hollywood 3 could share in the reported 6 billion Nirvana has thus far grossed. Geffen was delighted by all of this, helping Courtney with her transgendering (She was once a male). The hundreds (no doubt thousands) that were and are involved in this horrid Sacrafice are paying-with their lives! Oh, how they shall pay for those crimes.
    We love you Kurt.

    Kurt Cobain was murdered in 1990, later Courtney Love (whose real mother is actually “Wendy” who falsly claims to be Cobain’s mother) was paid-off to pretend to be married and have a child, all so that the Hollywood 3 could share in the reported 6 billion Nirvana has thus far grossed. Geffen was delighted by all of this, helping Courtney with her transgendering (She was once a male). The hundreds (no doubt thousands) that were and are involved in this horrid Sacrafice are paying-with their lives! Oh, how they shall pay for those crimes.
    We love you Kurt.
    It is just another Cult admission of guilt, a silly one at that (there is no G-d, and no jesus, but those are the cults false idols).
    Just a hyme, a crust of bread thrown on the trail of murderers…

  • She’s a total space cadet (but not as much as our friend in the comment above), but I really like her music and I find her smart and interesting in a hippie dippy kind of way. I once read some interview with her where she kept mis-using “Rosicrucian” as her adjective for everything — I mean, that’s just great and hilarious. She literally used the word, a reference that would make Dennis Miller cringe, at least 4 or 5 times. What other celebrity would do that? Courtney’s one of a kind, America’s stripper turned Gen X princess turned drug addict turned suffering mom.

    Ms. Tek was kind of a bad-ass.

    That is all.