Putting the “fun” back into Fun Social Nihilism, Billy Idol (and whoever his ghostwriter is) has “penned” his autobiography Dancing With Myself. The standard of “fun” broached by the bleached-blond heroin-crack vet rockstar certainly raises the bar around these wordpressian parts – let’s say the short Englishman did a lot, a lot, a staggering amount of drugs, enough drugs to fill several Olympic pools yearly, from the broke day he fashioned himself a leading figure of “punk” until the last days of rehab-and-botox that allowed him to remain on stage and breathing upright. Oh, and the personification of rockstar faux-rebellion did a whole lot of fucking. Hell, yeah! Before, during, and after the AIDS epidemic, while high, while zombie-stoned, smacked out, and later on while who-knows how sober. This is the poster boy of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll, to the max and beyond, with a “Rebel Yell, more, more, more!” – but did you know that he was not this gross exaggeration of last-stage hedonism, but the new Heidegger, the new Sartre, the new Marx, the new Che?
Never be in thrall to anyone but your own wants and desires, because only you can make yourself happy. Fly your own flag, and be true to it. Your soul is the true captain.
Rock ‘ roll! Idol saw himself as “forging a new sensibility”:
My fear was of mediocrity, of being just another cog in the relentless system that would eventually grind our spirits to dust. I refused to be a prisoner in a gilded cage from which there was no escape, like Patrick McGoohan’s Number Six in The Prisoner. I was determined to overcome my limitations, to stare my mediocrity in the face, to step up and dare to fail big, to go for the gold, live on the edge of uncertainty.
Our new Nietzsche, our avatar of complete hedonistic nihilism, Chrysalis platinum recording star William I – or was rock always just a test-run for modern totalitarian corporate advertising?
How many chips of H, mounds of blow, destroyed Chateau Marmont suites and destroyed studio mixing boards would that take, William I. , to emulate your call of existential rebellion? In his defense of the rockstar-as-political-demigod treatise, William I. did a lot, a lot of fucking – more than any autobiographer south of Wilt Chamberlain, at least by his telling.
He might have loved and hated his parents, England, the world, but he followed his drug-crazed muse to heights of celebrity excess that killed off suburbs of fellow has-been rockstars and rockstar wannabes. He’s doings multiple show engagements at Vegas this year, fueled by not-revealed armadas of shrinks, plastic surgery, tanning salons, mobile rehab counselors. As with all tell-all autobiographers of this post celeb epoch, he’s here to dispense life wisdom, safely out of his youthful ways of death-courting hedonism, a wide “punk” telling us all, telling “all.”
Should this aged corporate “punk” be the avatar of fun social nihilism? While giving him the props for living out the dreams of flesh for fantasy, there’s still a ways to go before the world should follow William I. in refusing to be a “cog in the system.”
First, the amount of drugs needed to follow in those Doc Martens footsteps is beyond physical limits. Rockstars are junkies gone wild, not a recipe for life-long happiness. William I.’s confidential medical files must be a U-Haul load, at least, having provided Beverly Hills doctors decades of mountainous Oppenheimer funds.
Second, the amount of fucking alluded to by William I. must have occluded his potential for the rewards of intimate partnership – who can say if rockstar demigods made out the best compared to the monogamous nobody? Let’s give him the benefit of the (countless) score – still, where’s the line between satyriasis and satiety? Only a celeb rockstar can have made out with so many of the world’s finest sweet young things – so where does that leave the not-so-well-positioned?