Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Finn Comes At The End

Last year, I speculated about Cory Monteith.  I wondered what kind of career a 30-year-old man playing an 18-year-old high school student could or would have.

I did not expect to be writing a remembrance about him the following year. 

Yes, it is a tragedy whenever someone so young dies, and the fact that he could not overcome his demons makes it sadder still.

However, a part of me finds it difficult to sympathize or mourn Monteith.  He died by his own hand.  There is no nice way of dressing up Monteith's death: in a way, he chose to die because despite the efforts of his family, friends, and co-workers, he would or could not give up the drugs that killed him.

Addiction is a terrible thing; of that there is no doubt.  Monteith had been an addict for more than half his life, starting at age 13.  I don't know if Glee had anything to do with his death.  Should he have remained anonymous in Canada, should he have remained as a working-class stiff, I think the end result would have been pretty much the same.  Monteith was an addict, and it is highly likely that he would have remained one.

Still, I am of two minds on Cory Monteith.  I never wish anyone ill, and no matter the circumstances to see someone so young die of something so preventable is sad.  However, as I said I can't muster much if any sympathy for him. 

He knew what he was doing.  He knew that these drugs were stronger than he was, and no amount of rehab would work if one keeps hanging around in the same places and with the same people who get you into drugs.  You can't go to a whorehouse and not expect to find venereal diseases.

He made approximately $40 to $45 thousand per episode.  In one week he earned more than I do in approximately three YEARS.   He had a girlfriend, fans, notoriety.  He had a career that could have been building.

Not be look down on myself, but for someone who does struggle to make ends meet, who has been exhausting himself staying up into the wee hours of the morning to do graduate school work WHILE maintaining a 40 hour workweek, feeling sad for someone like Cory Monteith, addiction or no addiction, is rather difficult.

At the time of his death, we can accept one of two ideas.  Idea One is that despite his wealth, career, and girl, the drugs were simply too powerful for him to resist.  Idea Two is that despite his wealth, career, and girl, he just didn't care and sought self-indulgence.

There is a third possibility: that none of what he had (or what he got via the heroin and alcohol) was enough to fill whatever emptiness within him.  Any personal issues from his life are no excuse for entering drugs to deal with them. 

I feel some sadness for Cory Monteith.  He didn't have to die.  Neither do all those nameless people who die due to various drugs, people who didn't earn what Monteith did, or had the abilities that Monteith did, or the name recognition (however small) that Monteith did. 

Fame and fortune truly aren't everything.  The New International Version of the Bible says is Proverbs 15:16, "Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil."  Cory Monteith had great wealth (especially compared to others, including other addicts).  He also had great turmoil, turmoil that led him to escape through drugs, to which he became dependent/addicted, and turmoil which ultimately asked for his life in exchange for that final fix.  A price, sadly, that he was willing to pay.

I claim neither great wisdom or humility.  I only offer my own reflections: that Cory Monteith did not have to die.  I imagine that eventually he will be perhaps a footnote, another sad case of a star with an addiction that took him out long before 'his time'.  Fans will remember, but move on.  Those who have never heard or cared about Finn Hudson, Glee, or Cory Monteith will not care one bit about some druggie in Hollywood who made thousands of dollars to sing and dance and then dropped dead. 

For myself, I feel it all such a waste, such a sad waste.

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