Friday, May 19, 2017

Chris Cornell, Christ, Corn, and the Jesus Christ Pose

How are William Earl Brown and Eric Roberts doing?

Chris Cornell ~ Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart (2015)

I previously spoke here of Corn, Christ and Osiris. It appears to have come home to roost in this week's celebrity self-death.

Do note that the suicide of May 17th detailed below was followed immediately by the Richard Rojas/Times Square attempted suicide-by-cop incident of May 18, 2017. See here.

Richard Rojas was "swatched" widely by the media, online and on-air, after his deadly deed ended with his own personal "Christ pose."

Across social media, there have been many reactions to the suicide of Chris Cornell. From Zach Bauer's "Corn-ell. 17 (1+7=infinity) Maize, May" to others pointing out "Chris Cornell" = "Christ" + "Corn." You do not need me to repeat all of those. But certainly, the syncs are there.

On May 17, 2017, Chris Cornell was found dead in the bathroom of his room at the MGM Grand in Detroit, Michigan, after performing at a show with Soundgarden at the Fox Theatre. The cause of death was determined to be suicide by hanging. Cornell was 52 years old.

The problem is, no one really knows what run-of-the-mill depression is. You'll think somebody has run-of-the-mill depression, and then the next thing you know, they're hanging from a rope. It's hard to tell the difference. ~ Chris Cornell

When interviewed after Cornell's death, his wife Vicky has questioned whether he would intentionally take his own life. She stated that during a phone conversation, her husband was "slurring his words; he was different. When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him. What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details. I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life."

Chris Cornell (born Christopher John Boyle; July 20, 1964 – May 17, 2017) was known for his role as one of the architects of the 1990s grunge movement. He was an American musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter and rhythm guitarist for Seattle rock band Soundgarden and as lead vocalist and songwriter for the group Audioslave. He was also known for his numerous solo works and soundtrack contributions since 1991, and as founder and frontman for Temple of the Dog, the one-off tribute band dedicated to his late friend Andrew Wood.

L to R: Layne Staley, Alice in Chains (deceased); Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam (living); Kurt Cobain, Nirvana (deceased); Chris Cornell, Soundgarden (deceased).

Please read "Grunge's Copycat Carnage" - a new essay - that gathers much on the deaths and dying in the sub-culture of music and more among Grunge bands.

Jesus Christ Pose

Soundgarden explained that the lyrics for "Jesus Christ Pose" concern the exploitation of religion for personal benefit. The song is a criticism of how public figures use religion (particularly the image of Jesus Christ) to portray themselves as being "better" than others, or as "martyrs". Chris Cornell specifically mentioned Jane's Addiction's frontman Perry Farrell as an influence on the song, explaining, "It became fashionable to be the sort of persecuted-deity guy." In an interview, Cornell explained the term "Jesus Christ Pose":
"You just see it a lot with really beautiful people, or famous people, exploiting that symbol as to imply that they're either a deity or persecuted somehow by their public. So it's pretty much a song that is nonreligious but expressing being irritated by seeing that. It's not that I would ever be offended by what someone would do with that symbol."

Cornell was first married to Susan Silver, the manager of Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. They had a daughter, Lillian Jean, born in June 2000. He and Silver divorced in 2004. In December 2008, Cornell reported via his official website that he had finally won back his collection of 15 guitars after a four-year court battle with Silver.

His second marriage was to Vicky Karayiannis, a Paris-based American publicist of Greek heritage. The couple had a daughter together, Toni, born in September 2004, and a son, Christopher Nicholas, born in December 2005. Cornell converted to the Greek Orthodox Church through her influence.


Cornell received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his song "The Keeper" which appeared in the film Machine Gun Preacher and co-wrote and performed the theme song to the James Bond film Casino Royale (2006), "You Know My Name". The last solo release prior to his death was the charity single "The Promise," written for the ending credits for the film of the same name.

In 2012, Soundgarden's "Live to Rise" from Marvel's The Avengers (Official Video) clearly gives voice to the "Jesus Christ" theme, with some of the following lyrics. "Sun" can be interchanged with "Son."

Like the sun we will live to rise,
Like the sun we will live and die,
And then ignite again,
Like the sun we will live to rise, (Oh yeah)
What if the one thing that I missed,
Was everything I need to pass the test,
And if I fail what happens then,
Can I still count on you as a friend
Were in sync but not alone,
You hold on,
And their gone

Some say that Soundgarden's most famous song is "Black Hole Sun" -- named after Black Sun sculpture in Seattle. The occult symbolism behind Black Sun can be found here.

Casino Royale (2006), "You Know My Name":

Footage of his final concert was posted to YouTube.

Mia Zapata, the powerful singer of the Seattle indie band The Gits was brutally raped and murdered on July 7, 1993.

Zapata’s body was found with her arms out and her legs crossed, and she was placed between two Roman Catholic buildings on either side of the street. Zapata’s body was found, as Unsolved Mysteries noted, "lying face up in an almost Christ-like pose."

If you wish to talk to someone about suicide, call the 


PDXWiz said...

Remembering your book, Copycat Effect, and looking for Kurt Cobain copycats.... Wonder if there will be copycats for Chris Cornell?

There is an epidemic going on in Hamilton County, Ohio, near Cincinnati. This year's wave began when 8-year old Gabriel Taye, who had been bullied and beaten up, hung himself. So far, there have been 7, after 13 last year. Another victim killed himself in a speeding car on the Ronald Reagan Cross County Highway in Montgomery on Monday.

Chris Cornell definitely looks like he's on a cross in the above photo.

And it's personal for me again. My oldest has been having such thoughts, told his girlfriend last week and she told his mom, and she told me. He went to see someone and we have him on medication. But it can't be easy for him. He's 18....

Jame Rae said...

"The meek (bullied) shall inherit the Earth."

-J. Christ

Andrew said...

On a Trans-Atlantic flight a few weeks ago, I opted to listen to the airlines' options for music. It was a pretty damn sad selection, I must say - save for Soundgarden's "Badmotorfinger" album from 1991. I really dug hearing it again after so long and really got into "Rusty Cage" and "Jesus Christ Pose." Cornell's death coincides with the re-release of the 25-year old "Singles" soundtrack, on which he appears. The very moving song, "Seasons," is among the best songs Cornell has ever done, with the melancholy lyric standing out:
"And I'm lost behind
The words I'll never find
And I'm left behind
As seasons roll on by"

PDXWiz said...

A little further research. I remembered an old Three Stooges film where they went from Ithaca NY (home of Cornell University, a nod to Chris Cornell) to Ithaca Greece and met, among others, Hercules (it is a sword and sandal film). At one point in the 1962 film, Curly Joe's sleeping pills were used to defeat a monster.

An early band of Cornell's before Soundgarden was a Seattle cover band called The Shemps, presumably named after one of the members of the Three Stooges (though he wasn't in the above film). For the late singer, according to wiki, he was on Ativan, which is used, among other things, for trouble sleeping.