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Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final exam


Most actors are mortifyingly uneducated, having dropped out of high school or, at best, never having completed a college degree. This is why you should ignore whatever moronic pronouncements they make, because they are uneducated and they live in the Hollywood bubble, surrounded by yes-men who never challenge their stupid ideas.

Philip Seymour Hoffman was unusual in that (a.) he actually graduated from college, and (b.) he actually got a degree in acting. By all accounts, he was a good actor, noted for both his stage and screen work. I only saw him in a couple of movies, because the kind of movies he made, I don’t normally see. (“Capote”? Please. I would sooner watch hunters clubbing baby seals on PBS. And that’s saying something, because I despise PBS.)

So Hoffman was educated. He had a partner, a woman with whom he had three children. And yet he was stupid enough to get hooked on heroin not once, but twice.

The dangers of heroin are well-documented, both by the government and by users and their friends and family. Apparently that didn’t matter to Hoffman.

I believe that people  who have dependents have a duty to keep themselves safe, so that they can continue to provide for and to protect their dependents. I have dependents, and therefore I have given up dangerous sports such as auto racing, skydiving, skiing and rock climbing. It is my responsibility to keep myself intact and able to provide for and protect my family.

Engaging  in dangerous pursuits, including drug addiction, is a selfish act that disregards the safety and well-being of one’s family. And if you’ve been an addict once, you’re always an addict. Every day is a test, an act of will not to fall back into old self-destructive habits of addiction, habits which can harm both you and your family. 

The day you die is your final exam. You’re going to die, one way or another. The question is, will you die because you were stupid, or will you die for other reasons that were beyond your control?

Hoffman died because he was stupid. He overdosed on heroin. And in that respect, he failed his final exam.

I would expect that of the typical uneducated, ignorant Hollywood actor. But Hoffman was a surprise. I thought he was smarter than that.

I was wrong.

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