Every Courtney I've had the misfortune of meeting has been burdened with symptoms similar to Courtney Love's. Even a guy I knew named Courtney turned out to be an unruly bitch. This could be a terribly bad string of luck, or there just might be some sort of connotation in a name, despite what Romeo thinks. If roses were named Courtney, I'd bet they wouldn't smell so sweet.
Most people have a love-hate relationship with archetypal characters that rely, succeed and even bank royally on self-centered, persuasive, manipulating tactics. No one wants to cower under their authority, but we all secretly envy their powers.
Why? Because they get whatever the fuck they want.
It's a short list of celebrities who can sing, act and date sweltering hot men who happen to be geniuses. But is there anyone else who has mastered the living philosophy of daily indulgences of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll?
None other than the infamous Courtney Love.
Her whole life is an antinomy of how we think life should be. She challenges and modifies the preconceived notion that if you're good, you will be rewarded. She is the baddest of them all, and it's at the very least intriguing how she manages to still attain her coveted desires.
Her new album, America's Sweetheart, couldn't contain a better paradox.
With the album's first song, "Mono," Love gets (where else?) straight up in our faces. That jaded and raspy voice asks, "Did you miss me?" Most are thinking, Was she ever gone? I swear I've seen this bitch on the news every six months since Celebrity Skin came out. My immediate answer to her question is, "Yes! I missed you, Courtney. Thank god you're back."
Thanks, Ms. Love, for coming back from your painkiller-induced sleep to remind the music scene that there was a day when iconic posters of pretty 18-year-old girls from Canada weren't considered punk just because Mac sells eyeliner in black. Tough chicks used to sing about their hard-knock lives, not about crushes on skater boys.
Indeed, Love has led a tough life. Through orphanages, stripping, rehab, self-destruction, court case after court case, Kurt's death (not to mention the accusations that she drove him there), we should commend America's bitchheart for not cowing to criticism and staying in the mosh pit for another song.
As Elizabeth Wurtzel writes in her book, Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women, "The bitch as a role model, as icon, and idea, has moments of style and occasions of substance-it at times looks just like the latest mask, a movie.... But quite often it reveals itself to be about genuine anger, disturbance, fear, resentment and rage."
A hint of such anger is audible in the "The Plague" as Love threatens, "I will fuck you up, I will feel no guilt."
Apparently, in her own struggle to survive with traces of dignity, Love hasn't felt the soft flesh of the bodies beneath her calloused feet. But that's not the point.The point is that while some live life in fear that someone might disagree with what they've got to say, Love freely opens her loud, brash mouth and vomits out all that she thinks.