Admittedly, my last post about the death of Amy Winehouse may have been a little brash. It’s not that I have anything against her, I just didn’t like “Rehab” and didn’t give her another chance after that. I believe I am in the majority with this statement, and I would venture to say that 85% of the male race can’t name another one of her songs.
What do we do with a death that is unsurprising? There are two routes:
1) We elevate the person to god-like status. Amy Winehouse’s drug use and demise probably due to said drug use is very much the only way Amy Winehouse could have / should have died. In order to fulfill our need for the tragic rock star, Winehouse must not die from hypothermia or a bear attack. No, drugs are the only way.
2) We shame the person. Call it the Fox News treatment. Amy Winehouse deserved what she got, and so did Kurt Cobain. She knew she had problems, but she just said no, no, no and went about her day.
Bowdoin’s Jay Caspian Kang ’02, editor for sports megasite Grantland.com, wrote this piece on Winehouse today. In it, he annotates the above video. I think this captures a lot of what we want to say about Amy Winehouse and explains a lot of my last post:
5:40 This is where the postmodern, music-blogging brain implodes into a chorus of apologies. I want to apologize for pointing out (fervently) a meaningful (possibly) moment in the life of someone who has just died. I also want to point out that same moment, fervently, for earnest reasons. I want to pooh-pooh anyone who would have the gall to suggest that any televised moment is “real,” I want to write 500 words about what the word “real,” means in the “zeitgeist,” I want to tweet out the video link and the hashtag, but hide behind an ironic emoticon, I want to make a joke about the Grammys and link to the time when Homer Simpson threw his Grammy off the balcony. Despite all these interruptions, it’s touching to watch a young woman realize that her life is probably not exactly what she thought her life had been.
So RIP. We’ll be hearing you.
P.S. D.A. How’s that for sentimental? :-)8 bowtie man says “don’t do drugs kids!” #ishouldhavesleptin