Update: As the son of an alcoholic and one who had alcohol issues in the early to mid ’90s, I have an abhorrence for people who flirt with, invite and/or embrace destruction with alcohol. This was the basis of yesterday’s reaction to the ridiculous demise of Nicole John, the 17 year-old daughter of daughter of U.S. ambassador to Thailand Eric John.
Yes, it’s extremely “sad” when a 17 year-old girl kills herself through drug and alcohol abuse. I understand, rather, that saying “how sad” is the socially acceptable way of responding to such a thing. I for one find such stories (which do appear with some irregularity) infuriating. And I feel it would be far healthier all around if people were to agree that it’s a stupid and appalling waste to end your life at so young an age, however accidental, and to say so without reservation. Because it wasn’t “accidental” at all. She bought it.
I read Christina Boyle and Rich Schapiro‘s N.Y. Daily News account (dated 8.28) of Nicole’s blog statements, and I’m confident that it wasn’t made up. (The authors are staffers — they wouldn’t jeopardize their livelihoods by fabricating a blog of a deceased person.) She clearly had issues or at least serious concerns; she was clearly already on the road to drug-and-alcohol ruin. She had an ugly disease, and the disease ate her. So in this light her death shouldn’t be lamented, I feel, as much as condemned. It’s a cautionary tale.
It’s a sensitive issue for many, however, and I realized after an hour or so that I’d put too much of an edge on my initial statements. I could see from the responses that the thread was going downhill pretty quickly and not for the better. So even though I don’t think I felt or said “the wrong thing,” it seemed wiser to just drop it and move on.
Previous post: I could only roll my eyes as I read about the ridiculous demise of Nicole John, the 17 year-old daughter of daughter of U.S. ambassador to Thailand Eric John.
90 minutes before she fell 22 stories to her death, she posted a Facebook message saying she was totally bombed — “Losing track of the rounds…all a blur now.” 90 minutes later she took her shoes off and “stepped onto the ledge of a tony 25th-floor apartment on W. 34th Street,” a N.Y. Daily News story reports, and lost her balance and fell.
There’s a self-preservation instinct that even the dumbest alcoholics have when faced with obvious risks and threats. Even drunks with exceptionally low IQs know their motor skills are impaired, and that things like driving and tightrope-walking and using bows-and-arrows to shoot apples off the top of friends’ heads are stunningly stupid things to do when they’re wasted. What can you say about a party girl who couldn’t quite figure this out?