My friend on FB had a status update: “They tried to make me go to rehab, but I said, thud.” I pointed my e-thumbs up because it was funny.
I, of course, didn’t know Amy Winehouse personally. I thought Back to Black was a great album and she had some killer hair. But in response to this news, I felt nothing. No other thoughts than “Oh, that’s interesting. I bet the media is going to treat this like MJ lite.” Is this because where my heart is supposed to be is a cruel, atheistic black hole for compassion rendering me incapable of ever feeling sad about the death of another human being?
No, it’s because there’s not that much all surprising about her death. Her battle with drugs and being a general screw-up were pretty public. The media portrayal of her drunken, coked out antics may or may not be fair, but they were made amusing by the fact that she made a hit single based solely about refusing to get help and she did indeed have funny hair.
Meanwhile, while something terrifying, with a sweeping death toll 90x greater than that of one coked out celebrity, happens to a peaceful and industrialized nation, the mainstream media blinks and scratches its nuts in confusion. “Well, that there is a magnitude of infinite tragedy, but there are more interesting questions to answer. Like at what point in Winehouse’s career did she let the booing her drunk ass offstage upbraid her fragile psyche?”
Anecdotes are the primary emotional knee-jerk rebuke to responses like mine. Tear-jerkers about how your ex-roommate’s mom was a hot mess with a tragic death. But Amy Winehouse wasn’t that person; she probably didn’t even know who you are. So let the public figures have their public ridicule. She can’t be hurt anymore.