Of this week's celebrity breakups, the saddest is the one between Courtney Love and her own daughter (now sealed with a restraining order). But what makes Courtney Love irresistible as a celebrity might make her intolerable as a mom.
The just-issued restraining order prohibits Love from having any contact with her daughter, Frances Bean Cobain. And after Frances chose to live with her grandmother rather than her mom, Perez Hilton says Love ranted about her on Facebook, writing,
i dont care really i hate to spund cold but any kid of mine who pulls this shit has lost her position and friends in nyc they will pretend to like her, but ill go teach at bard before she gets in,she was deceptive she lied and shes lying to herself, she sits on her facebook adding yet more books and films and frankly the whole thing disgusts my daihgter is not always honest and ive alliwed her to visit with these assholes i support to the tune of houses horses and monthly annuities and cars, well the good news is now that frances is clearly deluded that she can buy her grandmaother a "small house in la" id love to see how that works.
And, even more confusingly,
have fun on your covers of the tabs, thats what your wonder bread side likes, you couldve asked for emanicaption youc ouldve gone to simons rock, but you have to get involved with that terrifying not to me, to you witch who keeps britney spars in jail?
It's not clear who the "witch who keeps britney spars in jail" represents in Love's cosmology, but the reference to Frances's "wonder bread side" suggests that maybe the child of this oft-drugged-out rock chick craves a little squareness. Love disputes Perez's account of her Facebook activities, writing last night,
you lying queen youve just lied and defamed me and my child for the last time i fucking HATE YOU you fat ass piece of bully shit PART of that... was from a personal letter and PART of that YOU made up, and thats ILLEGAL.
But still up on her page is a comment that captures the spirit if not the substance of the longer rant: "shes clueless and in some wierd isolation tank about what that nasty crews gone and done, they have appealed to proetct PROPERTY not her, granny wants a check thats all." And this wouldn't be the first time Frances has apparently wanted out — in September she tweeted, "someone adopt me please." And back in April, she wrote two tweets possibly directed at Love: "I love you... but your fucking crazy and irresponsible!" and "damn it I'm on my own.." From everything Frances has said publicly — which is not much — and everything Love has said — which is a lot — the picture that emerges is one of a daughter who wants to live a normal life, and a mother who basically can't.
The British fashion magazine Dazed & Confused will feature Love on its cover in January, and while the accompanying story (not online) fawns all over Hole's upcoming album (the infelicitiously named Nobody's Daughter, out in early 2010), it also depicts Love as pretty lacking in self-awareness. The story opens with Frances trying to make burritos in a kitchen her mom has stained purple by dyeing clothes. And Love tells writer Karley Sciortino,
My Twitter was a failed social experiment. People have misinterpreted it as a fame thing, but I really don't understand that stuff. I don't have any concept of the celebrity part of my life. When I see myself on TV, I'm like, ‘Why am I on the news? I didn't make a record.' [...] I see that 45,000 people are following me on Twitter, and I don't think twice about it. I just don't care.
When Sciortino suggests that Love "realises that these kooky antics are all part of the reason why the world is so infatuated with her," Love responds,
I disagree completely. I think people like my music and that's it. I don't make a very good celebrity, and nor do I want to. If I was a good celebrity I'd be really enigmatic and contrived. I think I make a really decent rock musician, and I'm good with crowds, but that's it. Look... some people can step outside themselves and view themselves how others do. I just can't.
This last seems like a strikingly accurate self-assessment. Maybe Love is a fame-whore, incoherently Tweeting and Facebooking so that people pay attention to her. But her public statements are so logorrheic, imprudent, and unedited (one charitable fan writes, "she's pretty much always 'typed' this 'way' I think it is because her brilliant thoughts move faster than her fingers") that it's clear she either doesn't understand how she comes off, doesn't give a shit, or, most likely, both. Love isn't a bad celebrity, as she claims — she's a fascinating one, taking the now-popular art form of the overshare to heights unmatched by the far less interesting pseudo-celebs (Speidi et al) who have tried it. But it's probably a lot less fascinating if you're her kid.
Lots of Nirvana fans still hate Courtney Love, but if you (like me) maintain a certain fangirlish affection for both Cobain's widow and his child, it's hard to know how to feel. On the one hand, Love's sheer sloppy weirdness is appealing, and since her last stint in rehab it has sometimes impossible to hope that she and her daughter could make a happy if slightly bizarre life together. On the other, there's Frances Bean, who retains an eerie physical resemblance to her father but seems to have her head screwed on straighter than either of her parents. Frances once told Harper's Bazaar, "if you're a big Nirvana fan, a big Hole fan, then I understand why you would want to get to know me, but I'm not my parents. People need to wait until I've done something valid with my life." She also said, "we've moved so much, and my life has been so inconsistent." The latter is a pretty big understatement. No matter what it means for her mom, the girl has earned some Wonder Bread.
Courtney Love Bashes Frances Bean On Facebook [Perez Hilton]
Frances Bean Cobain Wants To Live With Grandmother [People]
Courtney Love Cobain [Facebook]
Frances Bean Cobain Has Steered Clear Of Her Parents' Spotlight [MTV]
Dazed & Confused January Issue [Official Site]
Court to Courtney: Stay Away From Frances [TMZ]