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Home > People

Money in junk

11 February 2005

Oftentimes in tabloid hell, certain adjectives stick to certain celebs. Jeffrey Archer and Jonathan Aitken for example, are always 'disgraced'. Then you have 'sick' Sutcliffe, 'wacko' Jacko and 'committed royal beard' Parker-Bowles. And now there is crack-baby poster-boy, Pete Doherty, who is now officially tarred. He is 'troubled'. And in a certain sense, the tabloids have absolutely nailed it. If the nightmare of drug addiction is anything, it is certainly deeply troubling. And Pete Doherty - in and out of rehab like a well-oiled simile - is in the thick of it. He really is terribly troubled.

Sadly, the worst thing about any kind of serious addiction is how incredibly boring it is for the uninvolved. For those in the midst too, no doubt, boredom certainly comes into it. But fuck them. It's the innocent outsider who must receive our pity.

Thankfully the outsider is usually - by his or her very nature - outside the whole sordid process. Usually - normally, our breakfast tables aren't polluted by squalid tales of crack-fiend males, high on pipes, wrestling naked and carving their initials into each other's bodies. Normally we are spared the squalid stories of smack-hungry reprobates breaking into their friends' flats or cracking open their friends' faces for monkey-money. But not with Doherty. Doherty's doubtless tragic but still deathly dull decline is on full view, stuffed daily into our collective face like a wayward cousin's unsavoury polaroids. But of course, Pete Doherty is not your average common or garden junkie. Far from it. Pete Doherty, dead or alive, but preferably alive for a couple more years and then dead, is money in the bank. Don't think for a moment that Alan McGee and plenty of others haven't already got piles of cash invested in post-shambles memorabilia.

Doherty will be spinning money long after he's gone.

But anyway, for the moment he's hanging on. This week he got out of jail and went back into rehab. But this time, thank heavens, he means it. This time it's for Kate Moss, an advertising prop described without a hint of irony by Tony Parsons as 'a gift to the planet'.

On a sincere note, we do wish Pete Doherty all the very best. He is a very talented musician and songwriter and he's got a very sweet face. Plus, he's only young, for God's sake. And just because he's got an addictive personality doesn't mean he deserves to be sliced up by sharks.

We knew him when he was in Smack Honey. Nice kid. Bit of a bore.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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