So the NME have finally put there money where their mouth is and named Pete Doherty as the "Cool Icon of 2004".
As you'd expect, the paper has already been accused of glamorising drug abuse by some, but to us that seems to be missing the point a bit.
We don't think drug abuse should be celebrated at all, but we have to agree with the director of Drugscope who was quoted as saying that "Fans can see when someone is messing up through heroin and crack. I haven’t seen evidence that they are influenced to take drugs because of a rock star."
What's wrong here is the NME's ever-widening editorial dichotomy, and their feeble attempts to sandwich elements of "rock 'n roll" into a magazine which is now squarely aimed at a teenage market.
Deputy Editor, Alex Needham's claim that Doherty "is a very talented musician who has become a modern-day minstrel, wandering the country playing for anyone who wants to see him." And that "There is something seductive about the idea of doomed destructive youth, which goes back to the Romantic poets." is, frankly, bollocks.
You can't compare Doherty to Cobain with a straight face, and the presence of The Others' Dominic Masters ('big brother' and neighbour to Doherty, and fellow advocator of crack) at number eleven on the 'cool list' doesn't really back up Needham's claim that "It is not a heroin addiction which makes Pete Doherty the coolest."
The bottom line here seems to be that the NME (which became lifestyle magazine a long time ago) is championing a self-constructed 'movement', which is based on even more flimsy foundations than most musical fashions.
Trying to shoehorn Pete Doherty in to the classic mould of 'crazy mixed up kid' with tragic undertones just doesn't wash, and just makes us feel sorry for the kid.