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Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death: The Height of Selfishness

Supernatural star Jared Padalecki faced push-back after tweeting out "stupid" and "senseless" in response to the actor's drug overdose.

by
Bethany Mandel

Bio

February 3, 2014 - 3:30 pm

Over the weekend, Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his apartment of an apparent drug overdose. Immediately, stars and fans began to express their remorse over the loss of an incredibly talented, Oscar-winning actor. One star, however, bucked the trend. Supernatural star Jared Padalecki tweeted:

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He very quickly deleted the tweet after massive backlash, “clarifying” his stance by saying, “I didnt mean PSH is stupid or that addiction isnt a reality. I simply meant I have a different definition of ‘tragedy’.”

It’s a shame that Padalecki buckled to the outrage police, because he was one of the few prominent voices calling Hoffman’s death what it was. While Hollywood and the media were mourning the loss of an actor, three children — aged 10, 7 and 5 — lost a father yesterday.

Hoffman’s friends and family were alerted to something being amiss yesterday morning when he didn’t arrive as scheduled to pick up his children. During the subsequent investigation by the NYPD it was found that Hoffman had 50 bags of heroin in his possession at the time of his death, with TMZ assuming that the star was planning to go on a long binge.

With all of the adjectives thrown around regarding Hoffman’s death — tragic, sad, and so on — I would suggest a politically incorrect alternative: selfish. Hoffman, despite battling his addiction, and beating it for decades, plunged back into drug use, falling hard off of the wagon. The night before the star was set to spend the day with his young children, he purchased dozens of bags of herion, about to go on a bender that would end up taking his life. It’s no secret that heavy drug use can lead to death and that drug addicts don’t make for great parents. Despite being a father, despite the plans he had made to spend Sunday with his children, Hoffman planned to spend his Saturday night on a binge. While it’s appropriate to mourn the loss of a talented actor and father, it’s also time for Hollywood to stop making martyrs out of the fallen drug addicts in their midst.

Image: Jezebel

Bethany Mandel is a graduate of Rutgers University with a BA in History and Jewish Studies. Previously she worked as a teacher in rural Cambodia, as an online fundraiser at The Heritage Foundation and most recently the Social Media Associate at Commentary Magazine. She is currently a work-at-home mother. She has appeared on CNBC's The Kudlow Report, Huffington Post Live, BBC World's World Have Your Say, and is a regular guest on "Powers to the People" on Talk Radio 1380am WNRR. She was chosen by The Jewish Week as one of its "36 Under 36" in 2013, an annual list of individuals reinventing Jewish life. She lives with her husband Seth Mandel, an assistant editor for Commentary Magazine, in New Jersey.

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Top Rated Comments   
"While it’s appropriate to mourn the loss of a talented actor and father, it’s also time for Hollywood to stop making martyrs out of the fallen drug addicts in their midst"

Exactly! And false leaders I may add.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree. Stupid, selfish, wasteful yeah, but the real tragedy is that three kids lost a father, not that the world lost a talent. Who cares about his talent: Certainly not me. Here's the thing: IF addiction is a disease (and I don't buy that it is) then the cure is abstinence. Ask any person with cancer, Parkinson's, MS or any of the other chronic, deadly diseases what they'd give to have 'abstinence' be the cure...and imagine their answer.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
I understand addiction is a real problem. I have seen a lot of heartache in my family due to drug use and have to agree with the author, insisting the user is blameless in the equation isn't terribly helpful. Much like someone with a disease like COPD or diabetes there are obvious life choices that cause or exacerbate the "illness". Losing weight, quitting smoking, or quitting drugs isn't easy but pretending that it is impossible does exactly what for the "victim" and others like them?

I may be accused of simply not understanding, but though a person may be addicted, taking that next hit IS a choice. I do not pretend that it is not a hard choice, but in this world where so many argue that it is a persons own choice what to do with one's body with controlled substances it is insane to then turn around and pretend use of those isn't a choice.

It is a choice the first time and, though it gets harder to turn away, it is a choice each time. I agree that someone who has a stronger craving for the drug than to be in their children's lives is stupid and senseless. He was complicit in his own destruction. That doesn't mean I don't have pity for him and his family. And it doesn't mean that he shouldn't be mourned. But it DOES mean he shouldn't be martyred.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (42)
All Comments   (42)
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People keep saying "the children lost a father".

Did they?

As best I can tell, they lost a "sperm donor". I hope the kids have a father-figure in their lives. It sounds like their "parents" were divorced. Hopefully mom has married a good man to be a role model to the children.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
They never had a real father. It happened to many of us whose daddy's love was alcohol, gambling , whores, drugs, money, etc.
Y

If a father reflects the fatherhood of God he has better chances to be remembered as a good father.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Saying "poor Philip Seymour Hoffman" and leaving it at that, is writing the obituary for responsibility. 50 bags of heroin is $500-$1000 (at least). That means he damn well was planning on using it around his kids. That means he was going to be driving them all down to the Tastee-Freeze, stoned off his arse. What would you say if your ex showed up at your door w/ 50 quarts of vodka for their "week with the kids"? Would there be all this sympathy if it was Tim Tebow, and the drug was 50 cases of beer?

To say "poor PSH" is to say "goodbye" to personal responsibility and restraint. Everyone's a victim now; even those who victimize others. Wanna bet his 3 kids already knew there was something wrong with Pops? Wanna bet he was never there the way a real father should have been? Taking 50 bags of heroin along to spend some time with the kids is just this-- BS. That was HIS choice. His choice to not go to rehab. His choice to take his kids on the ride from Hell. I know addition is no joke, but if we don't hold users responsible for their own behavior, then when do we draw the line? The psychopath with the f'd-up childhood? We should shed a tear, and "not judge" Dahlmer? There's a guy with faulty wiring. Maybe he had no choice too. Maybe everyone doesn't. Why not?
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, I'd like to know just how much longer Hollywood will be ignored in the 'war on drugs'. I mean, really, when was the last time you heard of one of their cocaine-fueled parties getting raided by the DEA? How many dealers-to-the-stars get tossed in any prison let alone do Federal time? Long overdue.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Never having taken drugs, it's difficult to understand how someone who knows the consequences, chooses to ignore reality. It's difficult for me to understand the alcoholism which runs rampant in my family, each new generation succumbing to binge drinking and losing everything from cars to homes to jobs to dignity. My lack of understanding does not, however, mean that I no longer love them, dismiss their talents or the sweet things they do when they are sober. I do feel sadness at their choices. Addictions have a commonality as well as individuality. What addictions do not do is take away our humanity. Al-Anon has a brochure entitled "Just For Today" which lists things families and friends of alcoholics try to do one day at a time. One of the tenets is "I won't try to improve or regulate anybody but myself." So very difficult when you see those you love wrecking their lives. But you can't pick up the pieces for anyone but yourself. Each person in this life makes his own choices. Selfish or not, that's just the way it is.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
In my hometown a pretty young girl died of a heroin overdose, about a year ago. Almost 50 people have died since in that county, and when I was growing up there, heroin was unheard of there.

I am a recovering addict in some areas, active addict in others. It's brutal. I get drug addiction. The craving turns you into a selfish p***k. For some, they die in the midst of it.

Heroin, though -- never touched it. But I'm also remembering "I nevers" have a way of haunting you.

So much loss ... so much pain ... so much craving ...
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
I keep waiting for someone to explain why heroin has gotten so cheap in the last few years.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
In a word...Taliban.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe he just decided to check out,,, shuffle off this mortal coil.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Article says he left behind three kids.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Isn't that usually selfish?
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hmmm. "Usually"? For years I've been trying to think of a case where it is NOT selfish, and failing to do so.

Obviously, I"m not talking about the "Marine throws himself on a grenade to save his buddies" kind of suicide. I don't call that kind of thing suicide, though the result is the same.


29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Taking an action that you know will result in your death --- in order to save many others --- is self-sacrifice, not suicide. It's not even in the same moral universe as a junkie giving himself the final shot.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
"While it’s appropriate to mourn the loss of a talented actor and father, it’s also time for Hollywood to stop making martyrs out of the fallen drug addicts in their midst"

Exactly! And false leaders I may add.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Heroin is much less addictive than tobacco. Therefor it should take less will power to stop using it especially as it can kill you quick time.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
your statement is total BS
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I would suggest a politically incorrect alternative: selfish. "


You can't say that.

It's not allowed.

It's true, of course, but as with suicide (the intentional kind), you aren't allowed to say it.


Selfish.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
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