Over the past few days I've been deluged with links to the various stories regarding Alex not seeking prompt medical treatment due to a lack of health insurance. I thought about it last night and decided that I wasn't going to comment on it any more – and that was before Lefsetz sent out his latest email.
I find this entire matter to be maddening on a lot of levels – recognizing of course that I fanned the sparks a bit by trying to rebut Lefsetz's skewed portrayal of Alex as a down-on-his-luck, washed-up rocker rather than an intelligent man who made his own decisions. I have some regrets about weighing in the way I did in the heat of the moment. But I was (and remain) dismayed by the skewed portrayal of Alex and Big Star that's been perpetuated for the past thirty years.
What makes this an even more emotionally charged issue for me is that over the past few years prior to this I've witnessed friends and family members refuse to accept personal responsibility for their own health and experience dire consequences as a result, even death. Some of these people actually have / did have superb health insurance and still won't / didn't go to doctors. Some don't / didn't have health insurance yet have plenty of money to spend on things that they deem more important. I've got a lot of strong opinions on the matter that have to do with spiritual issues, personal economic and health priorities, and political philosophy (individual vs, government responsibility). If we sat down to talk, you and I might agree or disagree. I just feel that it would be tasteless to have any further discussion at the present time – especially in a public forum or the the media – as to how all relates to Alex's passing.
Alex is no longer with us. We should be thankful for the time we shared with him and for the musical legacy he left behind, a permanent part of the history of music that we – and generations to follow – can experience. Like one of my friends who knew Alex better than I wrote to me "No matter what, we all loved him, didn't we?"
I'll be back at some point when I feel inspired to write about the music. In the meantime, continued prayers for Alex's family and the folks at Ardent.