Thursday, February 6, 2014

Maybe it’s Me, But Life is Way More Serious than Death

LeVar Burton just became one of the latest celebrities to apologize for something that he genuinely meant.  Here’s the backstory:  Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead from an apparent heroin overdose over the weekend.  I was shocked when I heard the news.  He is was such a great actor.  His talent will definitely be missed.  I was also shocked that he was so young.  He and I were kids around the same time.  When I thought he was about 55, I was being generous, so imagine my shock when I learned that he was only 46.  And he was truly a gifted actor because I never fingered him to be a druggie!

Obviously when news hit Hollywood, everyone was just as shocked, and LeVar Burton was clearly one of them.  He tweeted, “Damn, #PSH was SO talented! However, if Y’all should find me dead with a needle in my arm, in my underwear… please put my pants on!”  I have a sick humor, therefore I thought that was hilarious.  Not funny ha ha, but funny like ‘yeah me too’.  I mean who doesn’t take a shower and every now and then says to herself, “I hope I don’t slip in this bath, hit my head and die, and then I’m found by some stranger with all my groceries opened to the public.”

Well, I guess some of LeVar Burton’s fans, sorry twitter followers thought that it was way too soon.  I feel weird calling him LeVar because I don’t really know him like that.  And Mr. Burton seems so stiff.  Maybe I’ll call him Kunta Kinte.  Okay, maybe not!  I guess I could research how many followers he had prior to the comment and how many he currently has, but at this point who cares?  First of all, many of these people have not seen him since Roots.  He is also famous for Reading Rainbow and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but that’s it.  I don’t get these fans.  They insist on knowing everything about these celebrities.  They think they know them, but as soon as these beloved celebrities say anything off, they are thrown to the curb.  I hope this is not how these fans treat their real live friends and family.   

When people started calling LeVar Burton insensitive and whatnot, he replied with this “Not cool is shooting up when you got kids…”  Arm…..I’m going to have to go with LeVar Burton on this one.  I totally agree.  This 46 year old in the prime of his life had three young kids.  What the hell is he doing engaging in something so irresponsible and life-threatening?  ‘Fans’ berated LeVar Burton for not understanding addiction.  Come on!  This man presented Reading Rainbow for nearly a quarter of a century.  He is very intelligent.  He gets it.  How can Philip Seymour Hoffman NOT get addiction?  That’s what I want to know.  First off, if I’m going to say he has a sickness then I’m going to say that everyone else has a sickness too.  If I’m going to cut him some slack on his addiction, then I’ll have to do the same for everyone.  It was quite preventable.  Yeah!!  Just don’t try it.  It’s quite simple.  If I see my friends getting their fingers cut off when they chop them with a butcher knife, do you think I’m going to try it too and hope that it doesn’t happen to me?  Of course alcoholism is a sickness, of course drug addiction is a sickness.  So are sex addiction and food addiction.  But the point is, if I know that there is a possibility that I might be addicted to heroin if I try it, then maybe I’ll just NOT try it.  Then maybe I won’t get addicted.  And maybe I won’t have to choose between getting high on a Sunday afternoon or hanging out with my children for the next 20 years.

Ultimately, LeVar Burton tweeted this:  “I apologize for being insensitive regarding the death of PSH. No excuses, it was wrong! May he rest in Peace!”  How else is Philip Seymour Hoffman going to rest?  He forfeited his right to ever move again.  If Philip Seymour Hoffman didn’t care about his own life when he was alive, why are people insisting that LeVar Burton care about it when he is dead?  And like I said, Hoffman was one of my favorite actors to watch because I always enjoy watching someone lose himself in a character.  That is what great acting is about to me.  Transforming yourself so thoroughly that you become that person 100%.

Hoffman is dead now, and nothing can change that.  But here’s where my sympathies lie:  for his girlfriend who has to raise these kids without their father; for his children who have to live without a father and the knowledge of how he died; for the rest of his family and friends who will forever mourn his death; and as much as I found that joke funny, I am sorry that Hoffman had so many demons that he never found the strength to quit heroin once and for all.  But here’s what I’m not sorry for - never ever refusing to see the humor in anything, because perspectively speaking, who says that there is nothing funny about death?


  1. Feel really bad for the kids. I'm also tired of these celebrities making comments one day and apologizing the next. If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

  2. MAYNE, this is so funny yet so true. And it is not like Hoffman is even gonna know what Mr. Burton twitted.....