Sometimes I get into the bad habit of thinking I know things without actually knowing them. Such has been the case until recently with the writing of Neal Pollock, who I had unfairly placed in the same stable as Dave "A Silly, Irrelevant Man in a Serious Time" Eggers. Pollock's reflections on Dave Chapelle's breakdown are stunningly eloquent, after a fashion:
Still, this is different than the usual glee felt when, say, Tara Reid's boob flops out of her dress or when Lindsay Lohan goes on some ridiculous slutbag spree. There's a special joy in watching the reaper scythe of fate swoop down on the talentless and sleazy. With Dave Chappelle, it's different. Not only is he uniquely talented, he's also honest about his failings. And it's impossible now not to assume that his parodic portrayals of mentally disturbed loners are so dead accurate because he obviously knows the subject all too well.
Hipsters who made fun of the pope and Terri Schiavo spun no mockery about [Mitch] Hedberg, because his death, unlike those others, actually made them sad. Like them, he was supposed to be a cool, dispassionate observer of life's grand carnival. He died how they'd like to in their dreams, as did Hunter Thompson.

There's something wrong in a culture when it's considered cool to wake up at dusk, do a lot of drugs, and stick a rifle in your mouth while your son is home. When people said, "It's not like you couldn't see it coming," that made me very sad, not because we could have done something to stop Thompson's suicide because, of course, we couldn't have, but because we found it entertaining, or even important. We're making a large mistake if we think that life is art, or even bleakly funny, when it reaches such a place. Because it's not art. It's just darkness.

He is very, very right. There is something deeply and fundamentally wrong with our culture, a necrosis that reaches not just through the awful sexual perversions of the Republican Party but into all of our souls, "even" those of us who are supposed to be above it all. Crazy fucking monkeys, we is.

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