If you read any news from the UK at all, then you would have read this week about the sad death of Amy Whitehouse. If you don't know who she was, check out this video.
Sadly, after this video was made, Amy became a heroin addict and an alcoholic (yes, please don't think no one has noticed the irony of the title.) She died last weekend at the age of 27.
I can't say I was a fan as such. It's hard to be a fan of someone who releases a couple of great albums and then becames more famous for being drunk and lost in the streets of Camden. But, whatever else she did, the girl had a great voice.
I guess your reaction to her death largely depends on your attitude to addiction. Amy wasted her talent on an addiction. An addiction that I would say is a disease. For all the success stories of rehab programs and new leaves there are so many others of people lost to their need to have more drugs, more alcohol, more whatever. Maybe some would say addicts are just weak minded, but, really, isn't it just a case of "there by the grace of God"? I don't know what it is that causes addiction, I leave that to the experts, but, coming from a country where being drunk is a perfectly acceptable Saturday night activity, I count myself lucky not to have wound up in some clinic, drying out.
Living abroad means reading news from home online, which also means seeing the comments underneath. Some are interesting, some are thought provoking, some may even bring a tear to the eye, but the ones that never cease to amaze me are the ones saying "it's no loss. She was a junkie"
Like I say, I wouldn't say I was a fan of Amy Winehouse, and her death doesn't affect my day to day life in any way. But to say that someone dying at 27 is "no loss" is an awful thing to say. It's a loss to her family, for whom it must have been horrific watching their loved one in the grips of a heroin addiction. It's a loss to the people she worked with, who have been making tributes all week to her (Read this tribute by Russell Brand. It's made me wonder if maybe the eejit persona is just an act). It's a loss of a human life, and, as far as I'm concerned, all human life is sacred, even if the person blessed with that life doesn't always feel so.
I can't help but wonder what people will say about these commentees when they pass. I hope no one will say, "it's no loss. He was a malicious, nasty man who like to leave poisonous comments on the internet." Because no one deserves that.