I’ve been insanely busy this past week. It’s amazing how you suddenly start working 40 hours a week, and those few hours you have between getting home and going to bed (trying to make sure you get enough rest to make it through the following day without passing out at your computer…it almost happened last Wednesday.) become fleeting, and extremely precious. Before, it just took will-power to make sure I got things done, now it actually takes skill. Carrying on in this demented, self-absorbed la-la land of trying to make money, get rest, and still have fun, it’s like being in a daze of busyness. Things get seen more as if from out of the corner of your eye than full-on. There are a few things, though, that can rise right up out of your news feed and give you a nice, sobering slap in the face.
GACKT collapsing mid-song and falling off the stage into the arms of crazed fangirls is one of those things.
Friday was the final show in GACKT’s European debut tour. And from what I hear, even after the intense closure to the second-to-last show in Munich, he pulled another GACKT and got up on the stage in Bochum and rocked them just as hard. In fact, in his blog he stated that because he got, shall we say, KO’d in Munich, he rocked harder in Bochum.
Honestly, although this kind of news is painful to hear, I’m not surprised. And after the fact, I don’t think anyone is, really. When the first rumors went around about a European tour this summer, I don’t think I was the only one who thought it wouldn’t happen because “it’s not physically possible”. Between voice-acting projects, the huge process of being part of Nemuri Kyoshirou, releasing EVER, moving to Avex, organizing and touring YFCz around Japan, and everything else that goes with being one of the biggest celebrities in Japan, how could it look like a possibility? Now that I’m thinking about it logically, I’m shaking my head. What was he thinking? How was this, in any way, shape, or form, a good time for him to debut internationally?
There were already reports from the Japan shows of GACKT passing out after the lives. He even went to the hospital at least two or three times in as many weeks. And not to mention, we all know the stories. He discusses openly (psycho is probably proud of it) the fact that he has been known to collapse after shows, and even to be hospitalized with serious conditions such as pneumonia after extended tours. This is different. This is 3 hospitalizations in as many weeks. At the London on the 16th, GACKT was noted to be ‘unsteady on his feet’ at times. But this is different. This is collapsing mid-song and falling off the stage into the crowd of flesh-eating zombies.
I wasn’t at the Munich live when, during the encore, GACKT collapsed and fell off the stage into the crowd, and I didn’t experience what it was like to be standing in the front row when he lost it. Or watching from afar and seeing him suddenly disappear from the stage. However, I did read accounts of both, and some other, perspectives including his, and it’s obvious that it doesn’t matter where you were when it happened, really. I want to address it from a universal stance, anyway. It’s not just disturbing to see it happen – fans all of the world have been worrying for days without having seen anything.
It should be common knowledge by now that GACKT does everything in his power to avoid living only a partial existence. He wants to do everything %150+. This is an incredible quality in a person, and GACKT’s superhuman capacity to do and get done has been a huge source of inspiration for me, and I’m sure for others as well. In fact, it’s entirely because of GACKT that I was even able to realize that I was living my life so shallowly to begin with. If it weren’t for him, I would probably never have stepped it up. It’s because of his philosophy around living fully (or, in his case, to an extreme) that I have been able to work through some intense situations that may have potentially overwhelmed and drowned me.
But even though he has inspired me personally, and again, I’m sure many others as well, by being this type of person, it’s not %150 anymore, it’s %200. He’s moving at a velocity now that we can’t even really comprehend, even from a place of trying to understand the process of celebrity status. And obviously, it’s beginning to effect his health, and as a result, it’s causing a lot of concern among us, the fans.
In his blog post about the show*, he recounted the experience of the whole thing, of losing consciousness 5 or 6 times during the live, and the pain in his legs as he was about to collapse. They were, in his words, “absolutely human legs”. Yes, GACKT, you are a human too.
However, I don’t think he really realizes that. And so much of the time, I don’t think we do either. But now that this has happened, Fans are realizing it, in some way. Unfortunately it’s playing out more or less exactly how you might expect it to. It’s about this that I want to talk right now.
A bunch of fans have gotten together on Facebook recently (I’m not sure which account this is based out of, but if you search GACKT enough you’ll likely come across it) to organize a Facebook Event (of which I highly disapprove in general) based around “supporting GACKT’s health”. The event is to, on the same day, “spam” GACKT’s email account with a standardized block of text that says, to paraphrase, ‘GACKT: shut up, sit down, and rest yo ass or we fangirls gonna cry’.
Now, I want to make it really clear that I think the intention and sentiment behind this “event” is really commendable, and I think we all agree with it. We all want him to rest and regain his health, and we would all like for his strength and longevity to be his priority…But firstly, I really don’t believe anything is solved by spamming anyone with anything. And I really don’t believe flooding his email with these messages is going to help at all– in fact it will probably just result in annoying him on a deep level. Yeah, I’m sorry guys, but I have to say it straight up. I don’t believe hammering “you have a problem, we demand you fix it” into anyone’s head helps in any way. I do believe in focusing on the positive in every situation, and through the drawing of attention to the positive, the negative issues or aspects become diminished by the positive force funneled into the hopeful, helpful direction.
If you want to support GACKT, and you want to give him a message to encourage him to take care of himself, flood his email with messages. Flood it with personalized, individual messages written with sincerity, composed from the concern in your heart. Tell him how amazing his shows were in Europe. Tell him how much you are supporting him, and how many encouraging hopes and wishes you are sending to him with your thoughts. Tell him you are concerned about his health– tell him how much you care about his well-being. Don’t say “You’re going to die if you don’t stop.” Say, “You are the strongest person I ‘know’. I believe in you. You are what encourages and keeps me going when things get tough. Your music keeps me fighting for my dreams…and now, I want to help you keep fighting for yours. I believe in your ability to be strong. You can do this. I believe that this is the beginning of the increase of your strength, stamina, and health. I believe in you.”
Because you do, don’t you?
*To read an English translation of his blog post please check out amaiakuyume’s page. Special thanks go out to her for doing an awesome job making his words available to monolinguals.