Thursday, July 28, 2011

No loss?

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.


  1. I've worked with addicts for 13 years, currently, teen ones. We talk all the time how amazed we are we haven't had any clients die from an overdose while with us in treatment. Addiction takes over your life and so many people just can't get out from under it.

    I think a major player in her life was that she didn't have good people who supported her in sobriety.

  2. Agree that every life is sacred but I do think that in order to become a junkie at some point you have to make a really selfish decision.

  3. Some of the reactions to Amy Winehouse's death have really made me sad. It's just a sad situation. I've lost friends and seen them in comas due to poor choices under the influence and the cause of the situation never occurred me in my mourning. Just the fact that it was a person whose life was cut short due to a stupid decision. Everyone deserves the right to a full life, and while it may of been her choice to take heroine who knows WHY she did it. :(

  4. It's a sad thing, that anyone wastes their life in such a horrible way... whether they do it frivolously, deep-seated emotional issues, pressure, or due to a genetic disposition. The more disturbing thing about this story is the fact that no-one would be surprised that this ended this way. Was there no one there to help her, if she could not help herself?

    What I detested in this story was that one of the first stories I heard was that "She'd joined the famous 27 club". This was truly disturbing that there was almost a celebratory side to dying young in the entertainment industry. I think we (society) need to take a long look at our own values and role in these tragedies.

  5. ANOTHER talent dies at the jinxed age of 27 (Joplin,Hendrix, Mama Cass.)(?) Tupac was 25. I don't listen to her but 27 is too young to go for anyone.

  6. It is terribly sad, I listened to her Back to Black album non-stop when it came out, couldn't believe somehow that those songs hadn't been released fifty years ago...

    We all make stupid life decisions that affect our bodies and life expectancies through ignorance, weakness, being manipulated, education. Drugs and alcohol are hardcore in that they take effect faster and in a more spectacular fashion; it's easier to blame someone who succumbs to them.
    But most of what we eat (sugar, fat, milk, meat) will send us to the grave prematurely, even if it's via cancer or heart disease in our 50's, so I consider that we are all arm in arm in that respect and should probably avoid pointing fingers. Dumbasses in matters of health, all of us pretty much.

  7. and damn, did I love her music. I never cared much about the hoopla around her, but she was good.


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