On Friday afternoon, TMZ broke the news that Mac Miller—the 26-year-old rapper who was about to embark on a headlining tour next month for his fifth studio album Swimming, which was released last month to largely positive reviews—died of an apparent overdose after years of openly struggling with addiction.
But, you know, why focus on a promising young artist dying at the peak of his career (and the cause of death, which if what’s been speculated turns out to be true, would make Miller yet another victim of our national out-of-control opioid and substance addiction crises) when news outlets and fans can instead blame his ex-girlfriend, Ariana Grande?
In the blog post that broke the story of his death, TMZ—in an endless quest to outpace its infamous shamelessness—wrote:
The statement that Miller “had trouble recently with substance abuse…in the wake of his breakup with Ariana Grande” contains a half truth: Miller did have substance abuse issues, but they existed long before his relationship with Grande.
In 2013, years before the couple began dating, he told Noisey, “Drugs are dangerous, dude. But they’re awesome. Just dangerous. Drugs are not like a new thing. Especially with me, I’ve been doing drugs since I was fifteen.” And he’d been open about his struggles since.
Horrifically, Grande is already being associated—if not outright blamed—for Miller’s death.
In a 2015 Billboard interview, he said, “I’m not completely sober, but I’m way better than I was at that point [when recording his album Faces, released in May 2014]…. I listened to Faces, and it’s a great project because it’s so raw, but every single song is about coke, drugs…I’m not 100 percent clean, but I’m not a piece of shit anymore. I can look in the mirror and be like, “I look OK.”
In “Programs,” a song released around the time of his car accident earlier this year, he alludes to alcohol addiction, lamenting, “Off to see the wizard, lead the picture, me and liquor/Evil mixture, demons clitter/Clean the whiskers, seeking Mr. Fisherman/Back on my shit again.”
Miller’s death is a tragedy. But to our societal discredit, it’s far easier to ignore something so painful, complicated, and indicting as addiction than it is to blame a singular, still-living person, all the easier if she happens to be a woman. (It’s not the first time Grande has been through it, having faced similar harassment after Miller’s aforementioned hit-and-run.)
Horrifically, Grande is already being associated—if not outright blamed—for Miller’s death, not only at the hands of TMZ, but at other outlets like the Daily Mail and HollywoodLife. Then, of course, there’s the viciousness of Miller’s fans on social media (understandably, commenting on her Instagram is currently disabled):
I genuinely don’t understand the human race. It’s been like 30 minutes.
CW: misogyny; racist slurs; general horribleness pic.twitter.com/2Fxd9LaF9T
Miller’s death report on TMZ has since been edited (the screenshots above were taken by me). Now, instead of saying “Miller has had trouble recently with substance abuse…in the wake of his breakup with Ariana Grande,” it reads, “Miller has battled substance abuse issues for years … something that came up again in the wake of his breakup with Ariana Grande.” Better, I suppose, but they still can’t help themselves, adding: “Sources close to Mac tell TMZ, friends of his warned people not to bring up the subject of his relationship with Ariana because it was ‘too touchy.’”
It is safe to say that Miller did not die of a broken heart, mainly because, well, no one ever does. People die from depression, they die from addiction (both things that, true, are not helped by a breakup or any other trauma), but they do not die because their partners leave them and believing that they do only serves to keep people in dangerous and destructive relationships.
It is safe to say that Miller did not die of a broken heart, mainly because, well, no one ever does.
Drug addiction, on the other hand, is real and it’s likely that it’s happening somewhere close to you even if you can’t see it. To honor Miller’s legacy or anyone else whose life has been threatened or consumed by addiction, there are far more productive ways than harassing Ariana Grande online (hard to believe, I know): Educate yourself on substance abuse. Talk to your community. If you have friends who use, let them know that you are a resource once they’re ready for help and until then, encourage them to never use alone. Also, vote. It is our government that creates drug policy and the current administration focuses more on criminalization (something proven to not work) than treatment.
Again, all of this takes slightly more effort than firing off on Twitter that Ariana Grande is somehow to blame for her ex boyfriend’s death. But it’s a hell of a lot better than the alternative: harassing whichever woman is most convenient.
If you or someone you know is suffering from drug addiction and wants help, a directory of helplines can be found here. Look into your local Narcotics Anonymous meetings here.
Source: Read Full Article