I got to do some pretty cool assignments through my Masters of Communication. Gone were the days of economics supply and demand models of my undergraduate degree – I seriously thought we were going to make models out of playdough and farm animal toys, like little dioramas – and I was seriously disappointed when I soon found out supply and demand models were just lines on a page and took a lot of brain power for this literary minded student. The Masters of Communication was quite free range – my assignments were very varied and mostly focused on my personal interests. The presentation on Pacific Brands was the most homage I paid to my undergraduate degree. I wrote essays on my organisation’s social media policy, I studied emerging media which included making a blog, I pitched a magazine concept, I presented on journalism and trauma examining the coverage Port Arthur Massacre, I analysed films at the Melbourne International Film Festival and I reviewed some food at a restaurant for a feature article on molecular gastronomy.
The most obscure assignment I did was for Literary Journalism where I studied literary biography. And of course I centred this essay around Kurt Cobain’s biography called
Heavier Than Heaven by Charles R Cross. Until recently I had only ever read Kurt Cobain biographies. I have about seven of them – plus Kurt’s journals and Cobain Unseen featuring his artwork. The other month, Dad posted me an old biography that a library was throwing out.
I became a fan of Kurt and Nirvana through reading Heavier than Heaven in 2002. 10 years after Nevermind. Better late than never. When Nirvana were at their peak, I was a little bit scared of them. My babysitter, Nat, and her friends were all at highschool, kissing posters of Prince, Kurt Cobain and Simon Baker Denny. I was still a staunch Kylie Minogue fan, and a fan of whatever wasn’t too loud or too rude. I wish I was a fan of Nirvana at their peak – it would have been great to be amid that fandom.
Heavier Than Heaven is one of the better biographies I have read. And interviewing Charles Cross by email made me feel really cool. Two degrees or separation, and all that.
I was drawn to Kurt’s vulnerability – to the paradox between his fame and need for privacy. He had an illness, and he had talent. I guess I was drawn to the fact he was troubled, and like many of the men I’ve loved, saw potential that he could be fixed in some way, yet still maintain the elements that made him so beautiful. Even though he was long gone, taken by his own decision.
It was Kurt’s birthday on Wednesday – he would have been 46. I wonder what sort of person he would have been? I wonder if he’d continue to make music? I remembered the essay I wrote, and though it may be wanky to post it here, I am going to do so. A good friend and fellow Kurt Cobain fan encouraged me to do so. Thanks for reading.