Monday, July 25, 2011

They told me to feel bad, but I said no, no, no

I tried so hard to avoid this, but the news sucked me in. Unfortunately, I couldn't live by my own edict of "if you don't like it, don't watch it." I was stuck watching HLN on a common TV while I ate my dinner. They gave a short time slot to a story about a woman that escaped forced sex and marriage in a polygamist compound and chose to devote almost an hour to Amy Winehouse.

Let me preface by saying that I do not feel bad about her death. It goes without saying that I will tell you why. I was not particularly moved one way or the other until tonight.

Let's keep in perspective that unlike some celebrities, she was not a child star. She was an adult by all maturity and legal standards when she hit the limelight. It's safe to say that we all know, by that age, that drugs are bad (mmmkay?). She didn't care. She was so cavalier about her drug use that she wrote a song in defiance of rehab. Incidentally, that's the song the truly propelled her into proper stardom. So maybe addiction is a disease from which there is little escape. However, the first time you make the choice to take a drug, you are far from addicted and should know better.

I understand there is stress in stardom, but if you play the numbers and really look at the amount of celebrities running around (be it athletes, movie, music), the percentage that are on drugs is really very small. She said she was in a dark place. Really? With millions of dollars, extreme talent and adoring fans, not to mention a doting family? What does that mean for the poor schmucks that are broke and alone without a skill or education?

She has been inducted into the "27 club" with Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Kurt Cobain (all died at that age). The dope on HLN attributed the reasons for her behavior to the same reasons of as the others. It was because of, what she was calling, too cool to be sober. They were vested in being cool. For Jimi, Jim, and Janis it wasn't their choice to be cool. For J-cubed it was a way of life when they were at their peaks. Everyone did drugs in the 60s. In the 40s they may not have been addicts. In the 90s they may not have been addicts. They weren't addicts necessarily because of a disease. It was everywhere; it was common; and the information, education, and negative publicity had not taken root in the mainstream. As for Kurt Cobain, being cool was never on his agenda. He was tormented by his popularity. He didn't want to be a superstar. Hell, he basically started the grunge movement which was all about being alternative to the mainstream. When he was overcome with the feeling of being trapped, he put a shotgun in his mouth. So doing it to be cool makes no sense. And the moron, Mackenzie Phillips, who was playing "I'm an addict so I can speak for all addicts" on the show, didn't do much to make more sense out of it.

The bottom line was that Amy Winehouse made a series of bad choices and, at no point, made a real attempt to overcome them. 4 rehabs and 5 arrests. Last year she was seen crawling on her knees at a resort, taking drinks off the tables of patrons while they were not looking. She was reportedly lucid and sensible during the day. I understand the power of addiction - as a 20 year smoker. But why put yourself in a situation if you want to quit. I don't want to quit, but then again, one too many cigarettes in a day won't kill me on the spot either.

I guess it's just not tragic. My high school friend who got Lukemia and died at age 19 is tragic. Repeatedly making the same bad choice, that you know is bad and has shown its bad side and feeling no remorse for it is not tragic. It's stupid. If I die of lung cancer next year it won't be tragic. It'll be my own stupidity. I recognize that. She should have recognized that in herself and all of you should recognize that in her as well.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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