Is it better to burn out, or fade away?
"Sub-question: is it fair to critisize a formerly great artist for his latter day sins..."
So I guess, as of today, it's been ten years since Kurt Cobain committed suicide....and wrote the famous last words: "it's better to burn out than to fade away."
What's your opinion?
Would you rather see your favourite artist, athlete, whatever...leave while at his or her peak (burn out) or stick around and let everyone observe the denouement of their career, as they fade away into obscurity?
Some examples of people that left while at the top of their 'game':
-The above mentioned Kurt Cobain, taking his own life while his band was still at or near the peak of their profession
-Patrick Roy, retired from hockey still (arguably) touted as the best net-minder in the game
-James Dean, only made 2-3 films before dying young...and subsequently becoming a Hollywood legend
-"The Family Guy" is cancelled, despite being one of the funniest shows on television
-Michael Jordan retires (1998) at the very top of his game, winning his last NBA title
Some that have maybe hung around too long:
-Michael Jordan retires (2003) from a terrible Washington Wizards team and loses his last game to the 76ers
-"The Simpsons" stops being funny sometime in 2000...four years later and the jokes are simplistic, dumbed-down, and for some reason Homer cries in every episode
-Ice Cube was a revolutionary, incredibly skilled artist in the late '80s...and is nothing short of a complete joke by the late '90s
-Gordie Howe retires as a Hartford Whaler while in his 50s
....feel free to give examples I haven't thought of.
So in your opinion, is it worth leaving on a high-note, at the risk of missing out on future potential that is yet to be exploited?
I know I'd much rather 'burn out' than 'fade away'...