Death in the Grunge

Social Commentary

Death in the Grunge

Illustration: Cleon Dsouza


ears before Chester Bennington, in 1903, the world looked up to scientist Marie Curie, who had just received a Nobel prize for her research in radiation theory. In a cruel twist of fate, the exposure to her own discovery led to leukaemia, and her subsequent death in 1934. Two days ago, Bennington, the front man of Linkin Park, committed suicide. Much like Marie Curie, he set out with noble intentions. As an artist, he alleviated the pain of an entire generation, with foreboding lyrics that even now resonate in the heart of every angsty teenager. Unfortunately, just like Curie, he ended up succumbing to the very plague he sang about.

Bennington’s death is a harsh reminder that everybody is fighting a battle you know nothing about. In his case, the battle was out there in the open. Chester spoke about the sexual abuse he faced as a child; he was frank about his addiction to alcohol and a number of other substances. His lyrics – “crawling in my skin… these wounds they will not heal” – could serve as material for any suicide helpline’s trigger list. The signs were out there for everyone to see, for everyone to sing along with.