Fifteen thousand copies of the New York Times were printed before they caught the inclusion of this article and had to stop the presses.
NIXON OUTLIVES COBAIN
Sales of black Flannel Skyrocket
By Robert deGrimston
Special to the New York Times
SEATTLE, April 23–The title of Spring Martyr 1994 goes to grunge idol Kurt Cobain, who died April 8 in what was apparently a suicide. Cobain’s closest contender, former president Richard Nixon, died yesterday, losing the race to the pearly gates by a full two weeks. While the singer chose the sensational exit method of blowing his head off, Nixon slipped away quietly after suffering a stroke.
Nixon was vilified by the press and its believers for his role in the Watergate scandal of 1974, but in recent years had garnered grudging support from peers, pundits, and couch potatoes alike for his diplomatic efforts at home and abroad. His passing was marked by pat eulogies from President Clinton, former president Ronald Reagan, and other wrinkled white men in positions of power. Bill Moyers, speaking last night on CNN, called the politician’s uninspired mode of passing “typically inappropriate for the media age… He was never truly comfortable with the demands of a televised world, and now he has left that world.”
The demise of the Nirvana singer was considerably more of-the-moment, right down to the tape-recorded last respects of his wife, tentatively ex-junkie Courtney “Hole” Love. An homogenous cross-section of America’s “fourteenth generation” listened in awe to the lifelike reproduction of her voice as they sat shiva for their unshaven hero. Some were hysterical; others were too stunned to move, idly wiping away tears with a sleeve or a dredlock.
But for some, the tragedy may have a silver lining. "It doesn’t have to end here," one executive at MTV told reporters. “What we now have is a whole new marketing opportunity based on nostalgia and reflection, in the form of tribute albums, memorial concerts, retrospective videos, documentaries, commemorative reissues, and so on. This isn’t just about music–to a lot of those kids out there, Cobain was like another Jesus, only this time we own the rights.”
Though apparently a suicide, Cobain’s death is being investigated by the National Security Council. A spokesperson for the NSC cited possible involvement of one or more political/religious groups, including the Holy Alamo Christian Church, the Process Church of the Final Judgement, the Church of the subGenius, the Church of Raism, the Parents’ Music Resource Committee, and a small but potent splinter group of David Koresh’s followers, the Branch Branch Davidians. No arrests have been made.
Nixon’s body will lie in state at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in London. Said a representative of the museum, “His body is very well preserved. When the legal issues are worked out, we hope to install it as a permanent part of our collection. The savings in terms of materials and artistic labor would be stupendous.” The unaltered body of Cobain will be preserved in glass, Lenin-style, and will appear as a side attraction in this summer’s Lollapalooza tour. Pilgrims will be asked to make a donation of one week’s allowance to view the body.