Fuck It, I'm Talking About Amy Winehouse
You know, everything I had to say was too long for a tweet so I wasn't going to step in it at all, but what the hell. It's my blog and I'll say what I want to.
I think the only thing rivaling my severe lack of faith in humanity after hearing about the recent terrorist attacks and shootings is the attitude regarding one woman's death at the same time.
Compassion? Yeah, it's not a zero sum game. I noticed time and again in feminist circles people had trouble with this--that many of us were horrified over the cruelty towards animals committed by Michael Vick at a time when other football stars were being charged with domestic violence. Because, apparently, there is just only SO MUCH HORROR WITH THE HUMAN RACE to go around, so obviously dividing it among two causes lessens it, somehow. Or something. Honestly, I don't really get the logic.
I can be sad that someone tortures animals.
At the same time, I can be sad that people commit violence against their intimate partners.
I can also be sad that a terrorist killed nearly a hundred people.
I can be sad that a young woman died.
In fact, I still cry often about another dead young woman who everyone seems to have forgotten about but me.
I know, this is shocking--I'm like Super Compassion Woman or something. I must be magic.
Do I think that sometimes reporting on simultaneous tragedies is unbalanced? Absolutely. Do I think that the solution is for people to make disparaging remarks against another human being? No. I think that's shitty. I think it's possible to say, "Hey, can we talk a little more about this tragedy in Norway? Maybe discuss what we can do to help?" without resorting to, "Amy Winehouse was just a drug addict and had it coming."
Also? WTF is with the "Well, I'm not surprised--she was an addict" comments?
Are they actually contributing anything to the conversation? Is looking down at someone and snorting in disgust even remotely helpful? Does shaming someone ever work when you're trying to correct someone's behaviour you don't approve of?
No, wait, it's not about helping anyone, is it? It's about being a bully. It's about rejoicing in one's own superiority.
Amy Winehouse, as far as I know, wasn't a child molester. She didn't eat kittens for breakfast. She didn't commit genocide in the Sudan. She did nothing to deserve the level of scorn I've seen heaped upon her for happening to die within a day of a massive tragedy.
She was a self destructive singer--a human being with friends and family who are devastated right now.
I dunno, maybe I'm just sympathetic because I know what it's like to be self-destructive. I know what it's like to have a brain you can't shut off without foreign substances flowing through your veins. I know what it's like to be hurting so badly that the person you end up lashing out at is yourself. I know what it's like to be in a very dark place, trying to find your way, terrified you're going to fall. So I'm not about to judge someone knowing that, under the right circumstances, I could've ended up on the same path.
At the very least, I hope that if something ever happens to me--whether an irate writer shoots me or I lose a battle and fall or I get hit by a bus--my mum and my friends will never have to run into snarky comments from random strangers on the internet claiming I got what was coming to me.
Also? My dad is an alcoholic. If he should die of liver disease or alcohol poisoning or something and someone says to me that I shouldn't be surprised and he got what was coming to him? I will punch that person in their stupid, motherfucking face, and tell them they shouldn't be surprised--they got what was coming to them.
I'm sorry, I'm just...I'm thoroughly disgusted right now, so if you don't see me tomorrow, I decided to step the fuck away from the internet for awhile.
In the meantime, it might be a great time to give to your country's respective Red Cross (or the SPCA, or Doctor's Without Borders, or Amnesty International, or Equality Now--because I think you can care about all of those causes equally) AND you can even listen to my favourite Amy Winehouse song while doing it. See how that works?