Sunday, May 7, 2006

Another Thing I Find More Interesting Than Neil Young's New Record (II)
If you're anything like me, you probably saw the picture of Pete Doherty injecting a seemingly unconscious female with heroin and thought, 'That's some crazy shit. Pete's really outdone himself this time. There's no way he does anything more messed up than that.'

Well, if you're anything like me, you can take that back right about... now.

Blood paintings. And not just any old blood paintings... blood paintings to prove his innocence. His former manager explains:

"He was very careful, he used a new needle. Pete has become very good at using the syringe, either scratching it on to the paper or spraying an area. It creates an effect a little like a Ralph Steadman cartoon."

Well, I guess so long as he's careful about it... I mean, who are we to deny talent?

Anyway. I've changed my mind about Pete Doherty. I've come to think that there's no way he dies. I mean, let's say he overdoses tomorrow or gets in a car accident or drowns or whatever. Well, then he's just another idiotic/tragic rock star. And there's just no way he goes out like that. Because Pete Doherty is operating on a whole other level now.

(By the way, please don't be that guy who e-mails me to point out that blood painting isn't that weird because, you know, who are we to judge the personal nature of one's art? We're talking about blood painting. Blood. Painting. Painting with the blood of yourself and others. We're not talking about oil or acrylic or pastel or watercolour. We're talking about blood. Human plasma and cells. Blood. Generally speaking, normal people don't do this.)

Let's put it this way: if you heard tomorrow that Pete Doherty had eaten a puppy on stage, would you really be that surprised? What if you heard he was launching a career as a porn star? Or running for parliament? Or that he had been arrested for plotting to kill Dick Cheney? Would any of these things be the least bit shocking?

Actually, I think that last one might come close. If I heard Pete Doherty had pledged his allegiance to al-Qaeda, that would genuinely surprise me. But, then again, as I think about it, I can totally see that happening. I mean, I imagine even al-Qaeda has its standards and would likely reject his application, but that probably wouldn't stop Doherty from trying.

So why on earth would Pete Doherty go out like just another rock star?

See, I'm convinced he knows exactly what he's doing. I mean, I don't think he's generally coherent enough to drive, but I think he has a great amount of self awareness. He's a showman. (On the same note, I just read an interview with Robin Williams in which he says the one thing he wishes people realized is that he's completely in control. He knows what he's doing. All the seemingly random, stream of consciousness rambling and spur of the moment slapstick... there's improvisation there, but he's thought about it all. Same thing here.)

So there's no way Doherty isn't aware of how this is supposed to end. But there's also no way a guy who produces paintings drawn in his blood and the blood of others to beat a criminal charge is the least bit interested in how this is supposed to end.

He probably had his chance right after he left the Libertines. He could have recorded Fuck Forever (his All Apologies), shot himself full of a little too much heroin and called it a day. We all would have accepted this and dutifully added his demise to the official list of Important Moments In Rock N Roll history.

But now? He's upped the ante too high.

And that is why he almost definitely lives to be at least 97. Just to mess with us. In fact, sometime around 2037 I bet he releases an incendiary and controversial record denouncing Jeb Bush III and his illegal war on Norway*. And I bet he debuts it before an intimate audience in the cafeteria of the just opened Pete Doherty Institute of Art in London, England.

*Guesting on lead guitar: Keith Richards.

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