Prince

(2009)

I just found out that Prince is epileptic.

I guess he had full seizures as a kid but they abated at some point (though odds are he’s still mildly epileptic, just without the big seizures.) Very very rare for a celebrity or any VIP in the US especially to own up to it….it’s pretty much a career killer. You’ll notice he gives the impression that he’s cured, which is more than doubtful. I remember reading an article on Neil Young that claimed he too was cured….but that doesn’t happen, really, not with adult seizures, and not on its own. Controlled at best. But it’s just that it’s better to let people think you’re cured.  Whenever you see lists of “Famous People With Epilepsy” it’s almost all historical people. Otherwise you got Margaux Hemingway and Florence Joyner, who both died from epilepsy, and badly. Margeaux destroyed herself, FloJo smothered face down in her pillow while seizing. Not too cool. There are others, but unless there are some terrible public scenes, like Margaux, or SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy), as with Flojo, one’s epilepsy remains intensely private, known by only a few, and sometimes virtually no one at all. But we are odd, us epileptics, we are different. Prince, like Neil Young, like Bud Powell and Lester Young and Van Gogh and Dostoevsky and certainly Donald Snowden, are shaped by their seizures, or perhaps shaped by the fundamental differences between an epileptic’s brain and your brains. Our neurons are not like yours, our synapses fire much more wildly, we have thoughts like power surges, we see a flattened world and auras like a Van Gogh painting. Our memories disappear. We have extraordinary focus on some things and no focus at all on most of the rest. Most of us wind up nothings. Some of us wind up Prince.

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