Commentary by Zachar Laskewicz
2 June 2016


Worn out by exhausting creativity, a Prince dies…
…while a pampered Queen just goes on living…

The British obsession with its monarchy found an absurdly ironic expression recently. A couple of weeks ago (on April 26th), an immensely wealthy, powerful and pampered woman  - the insufferably pleasant and self-effacing Queen Elizabeth - turned ninety. It was painful to watch a nation’s ecstatic adulation and surprise that someone brought up in such an unimaginably advantaged environment should reach such an age. This is largely because in truth it is entirely unsurprising.   A woman who has had everything taken care of for her; surrounded by servants ensuring nothing unpleasant could ever happen to this divinified figure, the uptmost care is taken to ensure her medical well-being. Perhaps if she had had the decency to spare the world her insufferable longevity, it would be far more surprising and something to truly celebrate.

This absurd obsession with a nation’s figurehead will always remain incomprehensible to me: mega-celebrity status combined with opulent wealth and power for what credentials or talents exactly?  Being born into a German royal lineage which conveniently changed its name to something pleasantly English sounding?  For acting constantly pleasant and self-effacing?  For speaking graciously and like a person who’s had an exclusive education? For not interfering with the political world she remains the absurd figurehead for despite being unable to influence it in any real way?  For remaining faithful to a job which is frankly not very difficult to perform but is still sufficient to provide anyone’s life with a reason to go on living?  Any or all of these reasons don’t seem commensurate with the amount of money spent on celebrating this modest figure who merely acts as a living symbol for a nationhead which has a history of raping the world for its riches, deliberately causing wars to undermine countries that won’t allow it import, propogate and sell dangerous products and worse of all using propaganda scandalously to kill of generations of its own young.

It seems ironic that a sensually deviant “Prince” should die too young on a day that the life of an immensely wealthy woman would rather unsurprisingly just go on living.  Prince, who literally worked his butt off to break boundaries and change a musical culture, died tragically and alone.  This seemed to me absurdity of axiomatic proportions.  Although I found out today his death was due to a Fentanyl overdose, if he really took this incredibly strong pain killer to hold back the pain brought on by the weight of his creativity, then he literally worked himself to death. I know I’ve been there : closer than most people would expect.  Fentanyl patches were prescribed to me to cope with an imagined chronic pain problem that had more to do with teetering on an incredibly low self-esteem, a self-constructed ontology that had everything to do with the my creativyt and the doctorate I was writing but was entirely unsupported by an environment which remained largely indifferent to what I had to say.  In my case, the eventual plummeting down into some kind of reality was sudden, painful and inevitable but luckily I survived.  Prince didn’t and I’m left with a feeling of revulsion for people who adore unquestionably and celebrate to megalithic proportions the unsurprising continuation of a pampered life when someone who actually achieved so much in his far too short life ended up dead.  The Prince is dead; so let’s stop the incessant chatter about the Queen who just goes on living…








May 2008 Nachtschimmen Music-Theatre-Language Nightshades, Ghent (Belgium)
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Last modified:
May 30, 2013