I recently picked up and read "And I Don't Want to Live This Life: A Mother's Story of Her Daughter's Murder", which is the story of Nancy Spungen from her mother's perspective. If you don't know who Nancy is, she is the Nancy part of "Sid and Nancy", with Sid being Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols. I also watched a documentary called Who Killed Nancy, which put a different angle on the whole affair. Having seen the movie Sid and Nancy several times over the years, and knowing it was a lot of fiction based on real events, it kind of surprised me that it took me this long to get around to reading the book and seeing the movie. So while their relationship was portrayed in various ways over the years, it is mostly looked upon as a romantic and tragic thing, like Romeo and Juliet. There seemed to be certain parts there, but also not so much, but i'll get to that.
First off is how different the perspectives are, and how they looked at things. Her mom related stories of her troubled birth, undiagnosed until late teens paranoid schizophrenia, how the doctors just gave her drugs to make her "less trouble", and high intelligence. While the movie and documentaries, mostly interviews just portrayed her as loud, obnoxious and 'crazy'. Seems they didn't see or know her underlying issues, and why she was that way. Sid meanwhile is mostly viewed as misunderstood, but his friends tend to gloss over things they even say, like when he killed a cat in front of his roommate, just "because". Nancy's mom also talks about how she told her that he hurt her a lot, but that's not the "real him". I have to admit i haven't really read a biography of Sid yet, but reading about Nancy really put a lot into perspective that i hadn't known before. Side note, it also makes me think more when i see rowdy kids in public, instead of thinking "why don't they do something", i now wonder if there is a lot i don't know, like does the child have serious issues and the parents can't really do anything. Sometimes there is nothing you can do, especially if the person is seeing demon sharks wanting to eat them. Thankfully we have better (although not perfect) psychiatric care now, and some meds that can help some of the time.
Anyway, the book got me thinking a lot about my friend J. who Nancy really reminded me of, with some similar life experiences, drug troubles, and almost constant talk about wanting to die and expecting to die young. The similarities made it hard to read at times, reminding me of her, but also seeing how nothing i could have really done would have helped or changed anything. So again she is on my mind a lot lately. Not sure why i felt the need to mention that part, but there you go.
I guess out of all of these, i'd recommend reading her mom's book the most, it's the deepest with the most sincere point of view. The movie Sid and Nancy is a decent movie, but not really attached to reality of who the people were or what happened, although interesting to read things in the book that happen in the movie, although from a different perspective (calls home, their visit home, nancy describing things to her mom, etc). The documentary that i mentioned though, raises the question that Sid may have not killed Nancy, and one of the arguments was that she had a couple thousand dollars that would be reason. The police seemed to ask her mom about this though, and informed them that Nancy called her not long before asking for money, while the movie just keeps asking why cops didn't look into that. Seems like they didn't read her book, which they probably should have, or talked to her, which she probably wouldn't have done anyway.
The point of all this? Not sure really, other than it seems people always assume that everyone is or should be like them. If they aren't, then they are worthy of derision and mocking, without even trying to understand other points of view or life experiences. Just tired of people who have never been out of their little comfort zone insulting people who do or believe different things, but then get offended when people call them on it.
I'd also like to point out, i've never done illegal drugs, and it's a frigging miracle somehow. I mean, everyone seemed to think i did, teachers, parents, etc, an ex even thought i was a dealer before she knew me better (although that was more "how does he afford the car and house?" thing). Basically i was and still am in the groups they always say do them, (emotional troubles and things like that), had what the groups show as examples of doing them (I mean, look at this list, that's also sings of what i went through and severe depression, /sigh), and have been offered them. Don't know how many people i've told this to, if anyone, but here goes. Once when J. was visiting me, we drove into the cities to go to Barnes and Nobles, and she said she had to see someone quick. Turns out she had me drive to her and her boyfriends dealer and bought heroin. We did go to look at books, and when we got back she kept getting me to use some with her. I didn't, even though i could really never say no to her, and would do anything for her (this includes driving hours to get her in the middle of a blizzard where cars are constantly going off the roads), but i didn't do that. I know this doesn't mean much to anyone else, but i take pride in that, that i didn't. Not sure what kept me from doing them (don't really drink much, once every few months if that, and never to puking, more a social drinker, and don't smoke, although that could be allergies, very allergic to that), and i guess if i could bottle it, i'd make a mint. Probably a good part of it is having awesome parents who were (are still) very patient and loving to me, even with all i went through and did.
Eh, that got off track pretty quickly, sorry about that.