philip seymour hoffman heroin
Brynner died from cancer. Hoffman from addiction. Both are considered diseases by all the major medical associations in the world. Yet only addiction carries a stigma and moral condemnation by a large swath of the public.
I was on drugs back then: coke, booze, Xanax, anything I could get my hands on, really. It was 2002, and while Philip Seymour Hoffman's Hollywood career was skyrocketing, mine was a flameout from a jet engine careening backward down the wrong runway.
Last Sunday delivered a swinging pendulum of emotions. On one extreme was Seattle's stirring Super Bowl trouncing of Denver. In addition to what I'm told was good defense, it turns out that one of the Seahawks' not-so-secret weapons was yoga and meditation. Coach Pete Carroll had wondered what effect building an organization that "really cared about each and every individual" would have on his team's chances. Question answered. On the darker side of the ledger was Philip Seymour Hoffman's tragic death. He captured the public imagination both in life, where he found the full humanity of every character he played, and in his death, which crystallized the growing sense that something is very wrong in a culture rife with addiction. Indeed, from 1999 to 2012, drug overdoses skyrocketed 102 percent, and became the leading cause of injury or death. There's no easy fix, but connecting with the empathy to be found in Hoffman's on-screen legacy is a start.