Thursday, October 20, 2005

Danny Bonaduce is my role model

Danny Bonaduce (bah-nuh-DOO-chee) was the guest on last night's Late Night with Adam Carolla, umm, I mean, Too Late with Adam Carolla, telling the story behind his latest œuvre. Danny Bonaduce will go to his grave known as "Little Danny Partridge" from The Partridge Family, but his life got considerably more "colourful" as he grew too old for the "redheaded midget" image. Danny pitched a reality TV concept to VH1, but when the crew showed up, he was so blitzed out of his mind that the crew decided to film Danny's rehab process instead. At one point, Danny commented that anyone who held him as a role model should just give up all hope right now, seriously.

So why on earth would I say that Danny Bonaduce is my role model? Well, I take a rather narrow view of the term role model. There are certain things about the way Danny Bonaduce is today that I consider downright admirable, although I would not recommend to anyone the path that got him there. But if you can get there without the whole addiction / rehab / relapse / rehab / lather / rinse / repeat cycle, it's good to see someone who has finally come into himself. Danny Bonaduce has taken responsibility for the direction of his life. He got a sobriety date tattooed on his shoulder, but he left himself a couple of days for one last binge before going into rehab. He knew himself well enough to say that he needed one last wild ride before riding "It's a Small World" instead of the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom rollercoaster at Disneyland®. One last night of fun before the cold, hard reality of rehab.

Danny Bonaduce today speaks his mind freely. He's certainly not trying to be a role model, but it sure seems that a lot of people who set themselves up as role models fall well shy of their ideals. He has a serious zest for life — he's quite clear that his drug problems arose not from a "death wish," but from a "life wish": live fast, big, and wild. That drive in and of itself is not a bad thing, although it helped lead him to some very bad decisions. He's beginning to realize that the duration of your life is important, not just its intensity. He recognizes both the appeal of drugs and the drawbacks of using them, and he's also realizing the importance of being there for his own kids.

So please, don't go smoking / injecting / snorting everything under the sun, and don't go beating up any tranny prostitutes, but on the other hand, do take an honest and unvarnished look at yourself and the life you lead and the life you want to lead.

Danny Bonaduce had some pretty tough competition for most fucked up member of his high school class: he graduated with Michael Jackson and Christian Brando. That he has managed to pull any portion of his life together is pretty remarkable.