Three years ago today. Still valid.
Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death this week (2nd February) has elicited two types of responses from my Facebook timeline. The one, that Hoffman’s death is a tragedy, an all too brutal and glaring reminder of the power of addiction (he was sober for over 20 years and relapsed only last year). The other response: that the media attention given to Hoffman’s death is outrageous and inappropriate given that he was a privileged junkie who died from a self-inflicted indulgence. The last is a response that is pervasive in society at large and is based on a stigmatisation of addiction and addicts that is frightening. But what is more frightening is the message about vulnerability that underlies this stigma.
In my response I will not be tackling Hoffman’s life, addiction or death. Firstly, I am not a fan of the cult of celebrity because however long we’ve spent with Mr Hoffman…
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