Friday, October 21, 2016

The Man On Top of the World: Q&A #4

* Spoiler Alert *

Does Izzy ever go to rehab? Or something? Hell, does Jon? Therapy?

- Tanezia McAdams 

I guess this question was already answered in Q&A #3 as far as therapy goes. But as for rehab, no.

If The Man on Top of the World took place in modern-day times, they would have absolutely went to rehab! But being that it takes place in the 70's, it wouldn't be the most honest and true to the era if these guys didn't revel in the drug culture that was synonymous with their rock and roll lifestyle. It's crazy to us today, but back then, this was a time when not even coke was considered a bad drug. It wasn't a big deal how much they did drugs and why and how - they just did it, and did it a lot.

This may be debatable (or so I hope), but because of this lax attitude, neither Jon nor Izzy saw themselves as addicts, nor did anybody else around them think so. It wasn't as if they were the only ones who consumed a lot of drugs and booze, so those who did it with them didn't think they or them had problems either. Jon used drugs and booze as a coping mechanism in times when he had nowhere to turn to for emotional sanctuary. They were his refuge, his answer, to his problem. Izzy relies on drugs and booze in a similar way too. They were both walking that very fine line between just being rock and rollers who do what rock and rollers do, and being two men who really need help and should stop, for obvious reasons. But neither of them wanted to quit drinking or doping, not even after all that they went through, and not even with the near-fatal overdoses and the tragic deaths.

Now, that's not to say that nobody in the 1970's went to rehab, that nobody saw themselves as addicts, or that family and friends didn't intervene back in the day. And it's also not to say that everybody was this way back then. This book not only had to be true to the time period with how mostly normalized this all was, but the characters had to be true to themselves too. Jon and Izzy are flawed, always have, and will never be perfect. As much as they want to try and be better, they just aren't there yet in that Bowie/Iggy phase where it's "clean up time" and they journey sobriety together. Maybe in or for another story, but in this one, they wouldn't have been true to themselves if they randomly decided to get clean when it was never established that it was what they wanted to do. But who knows...maybe there will be that "clean up time" story for Jonathan and Izzy...only time will tell! 

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