As we reach the two-year anniversary of the suicide of Kurt Cobain, Nirvana fans around the world will continue to wonder why success failed to satisfy the singer/songwriter.
Shadowed by Cobain's drug addiction is the history of a young man who was never prepared for success. So many Americans have failed to recognize the hereditary and geographical background Cobain faced. Problems so intense, they created a man destined to commit suicide.
Cobain was raised in Aberdeen, Wash., a small industrialized town on the outskirts of Seattle. Cobain called his hometown a "place of redneck biases and low intelligence."
An April 1991 issue of Aberdeen's The Daily World featured an article chronicling the relatively high death rate in the region, including the suicide rate.
According to the article, the town's suicide rate was something like 27 people per 100,000, twice the national rate.
The town is also known for high rates of alcohol and drug abuse, high incidence of unemployment and domestic violence, and an average household income of less than $23,000.
I believe that society often looks over the possibility that Cobain's suicide was genetically influenced.
Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, labeled the hereditary influence theory the "Cobain curse."
Suicidal tendencies in the Cobain family date back to July of 1979, when Kurt's uncle, Burle Cobain, inflicted a gunshot to his abdomen. A second of Cobain's uncles took his life five years later by a gunshot to his head.
Rumors are also circulating that other relatives and ancestors of Cobain have committed suicide.
Whether genetically influenced or not, Cobain's family led him to misery.
Described as having a happy childhood, Cobain's outgoing personality was extremely demolished by his parent's divorce.
The eight-year-old spent most of his Aberdeen days shuffling between homes, spending a number of nights underneath a bridge.
There are rumors that the singer/guitarist suffered physical abuse and exposure to drug abuse during this time.
Chris Mundy of Rolling Stone reported one incident in which family values were an obvious problem.
"After finding out that her husband had cheated on her, Wendy (Kurt's mother) pointed a gun at his head and threatened to kill him. Both children watched as she attempted unsuccessfully to load the weapon.
"Finally, in frustration, she marched into the night and threw all the firearms from the house into the Wishkah River.
"The next day, after paying [the] kids to fish them out, Kurt sold the guns for money to buy his first amplifier."
Marrying Love, who Cobain accused of using heroin while pregnant with his baby, he failed to escape the family dilemmas that dominated his life.
Cobain's personal struggle began to be reflected in his music and he just hated that worse than anything.
The artist's lyrical struggles have even been coined a possible answer to Cobain's suicide.
His suicide note cried with support of this theory. "I have tried everything… to appreciate it and I do… But it's not enough… I still can't get out the frustration, the guilt and the empathy I have for everybody. The worst crime I can think of would be to put people off by faking it."
We will never know or be able to truly predict what was going on in Cobain's mind when he raised a gun to his head.
What is important is that the millions of people Cobain influenced in his 27 years understand the complexity of suicide.
Kurt Cobain is a legend in my eyes and I will never stop listening to the music he has created.
I feel that Cobain's story is not finished, and that he will continue to have an effect on society. Cobain was destined for suicide.
His geographical and family background were enough to force any teen into a state of depression — a suicidal depression.
Corey Moss is a freshman in journalism mass communication from Urbandale. He is a Currents writer for the Iowa State Daily.