Nirvana’s Nevermind, 20 Years Later
Let’s get this straight. Since 1968 or whenever, the most popular rock band in America has been stupid, macho, preening, groupie-fucking, stomp monster cartoons. For one year — one fucking year — the most popular band in America was none of those things. Nirvana were smart, funny, down-to-earth feminists. And they were the most popular band in the world. It was the strangest thing you ever saw, and also the most natural. For a brief moment in pop culture, Nirvana not only struck a blow against all the vacuous bullshit, they made people fall over themselves to agree with them.
I don’t know about people in the UK, or Australia. But to kids in America, Kurt Cobain was one of us. And to kids in El Cajon, he was — divorced parents, white trash, T-shirt and jeans, smartass, in love with vandalism — completely one of us. Sadly, even his suicide was easy to relate to. A friend of ours killed himself in 1992, for a bunch of stupid reasons — because his girlfriend broke up with him, he had huge credit card debt, he didn’t get into the criminal justice program at San Diego State. But ultimately, he killed himself because he couldn’t see a way out of the pain he was in. Life is hard. People suffer. They laugh into the abyss and hopefully don’t get swallowed in the attempt. Life is not a game show. It isn’t deodorant. And it isn’t a victory lap around a fucking shopping mall. It’s hard. Nirvana not only made it okay to admit these things; they made it cool.
People die. I know too many people who have wanted to die, who have tried to kill themselves, who actually succeeded, to judge someone’s suicide. Life is a struggle. There’s a lot of goddamn pain in the world. And the difference between making it through or not making it through — well, a lot of the time it just comes down to luck. For a time in my life, Nirvana sounded like someone winning the battle. Then it sounded like someone losing the battle. When I listen now, I just hear someone struggling to make it. The fact that he didn’t make it, that he ended up taking his own life, doesn’t make that struggle any less real — or any less admirable. We can draw strength from the struggle. We can learn from his mistakes. 
If living was easy, everybody would do it. Regardless, Nirvana existed. Nevermind happened. And it continues to exist as a reminder that we never know what might happen tomorrow. And that in itself is a pretty good reason to stick around.
 Don’t keep guns in the house if you struggle with depression. If you’re someone who needs a great deal of nurturing, it’s probably best to marry someone who can provide you with a great deal of nurturing. Also, drugs are only a temporary solution to a permanent problem — a problem you’ll still have to confront once the drugs wear off (responding to this fact by taking more drugs will only give you additional problems on top of the ones you already had).
Related posts: Nirvana’s Nevermind, 20 Years Ago (the original 1991 review by Everett True)
We Don’t Have To Breed – Nirvana’s Nevermind and masculinity