Poignantly, the red cover of Kurt Cobain's Mead spiral notebook says, "If you read, you'll judge." The statement contains at least one worthy, though perhaps unintended, truth. To wit, reading is not the path to nonjudgementalism. It places one on the road of evidence, which goes straight to the land of informed opinion.
Judging from the greatness of his music and the juvenilia of his diaries, the late singer understood a great deal about rock, but almost nothing about the world into which his music flowed. Musically, he and Nirvana surpassed every punk band since The Clash. Personally, he was about as developed as the typical fifteen-year-old Hermann Hesse reader.
Can you imagine the books he might have produced? "Seven Habits of a Highly Suicidal Drug Addict," "Men Are From Mars, That's Why They Suck," and "Grunging Toward Gomorrah: In 30 Days or Less!"
David Skinner is an assistant managing editor at The Weekly Standard.
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