Monday 25 July 2011

The Aftermath from Amy

The news of Amy Winehouse's death spread like wildfire on Twitter.  I, like many, were sceptical at first, but it wasn't long before the "Breaking News" banner was scrolling across the Sky News screen.  And along with confirmation, came the many opinions of the Twitterati.  I didn't much get involved with the conversations, from either point of view, so I thought I'd reflect on my feelings here instead.

The first deluge of tweets were the "She brought it on herself" camp.  Amy Winehouse's addictive and self-destructive lifestyle were well documented as were her father's frequent attempts to have admitted for rehab.  The last performance video of her in Serbia shocked so many people and my observation then was why had her management team let this happen.  However, I've never been behind the scenes in Amy's life so I can't say what really happened.  What I can say, is that not one of us should judge someone else's life when it was not ours to live.  Having an addictive personality is a recognised syndrome and anyone can be inflicted.  To say Amy deserved the death she has because an infliction she couldn't control is callous and ill-informed.  If I was to die tomorrow, would people say, "Sure she'd no-one to blame but herself.  Did you see the size of her?  She was a heart-attack waiting to happen!"

Another frequently tweeted message questioned how people could be sympathetic towards Amy Winehouse when so many young, innocent people had been killed in Utoya.  The reason Amy's death affected more people was because, as a person in the public eye, they felt they knew her.  It felt closer to home.  And since when has our sympathy and sense of injustice been finite?

Then there's the issue of the rapidly spreading jokes that followed Amy's death.  Though you may fine it crass and heartless, it is human nature.  It's been happening for many years and always will.  It could be a defence mechanism, it could be a lack of empathy or it simply could be that some of us have a warped sense of humour.  I didn't find all the jokes funny, I thought some were tasteless but then again, I can have a giggle just like the next black man at a sexist or racist joke.

So, that's my opinion.  I do hope Amy can now finally rest in peace.


  1. Whilst I see where you're coming from, and maybe it's a case if who/what you read/follow on Twitter, but my experience with this particular piece of breaking news was an overwhelming barrage of sad/sympathetic tweets. Not saying that what you experienced didn't happen, but just to balance it with my experience. M.

  2. Well expressed. It's very sad regardless of how or why, it's sad.