|"Amy Winehouse: 1984 - 2011"|
There are only two options in how anyone can view another persons life; One: we judge them based on our own morality, principals, and conditioned notions of personal reality. Or two: we understand every solitary story of the human race belongs to its own book; the pages articulated by the actions of it's sole owner. In doing so, we respect the knowledge we are not them; and therefore have no right to pass judgement on decisions they make which only effect themselves - as if we are an omnipotent force who has any right to...
I write this article on discovering the sad news singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse has been found dead in her Camden home, at the tragically young age of 27. Initially it leaves me angry; not because a woman who carried such exceptional talent is no longer with us, or knowing she must have faced extraordinary pressure for so many years; which none of us could ever comprehend. It is more from the amount of judgement I read upon her life, by people who had never met nor even knew her; as if she were a one-dimensonal black and white figure from a poorly written slice of film noir.
I can understand the frustrations of seeing a lost and somewhat innocent soul destroying themselves in a world of heavy drugs and alcohol, or even wasting her prodigious ability. But how many people can truly understand how isolating the pressures of fame are, or how lonely, empty, disillusioned, or just plain tired of life she may had become; finding solace in escapism - as millions of young people do and have done since the dawn of moonshine. We never knew her past, her darkness, or how her eyes saw the world in the harsh glow of a morning sun, so what right do we have to pass sentence; not just on her, but anybody famous? I am tired of those who judge others through the distorted veil of their own disdain; as if they carry the rulebook of life, handed to them by God himself.
It draws parallels to Kurt Cobain; the lead singer/songwriter of grunge band Nirvana, who also passed at the age of 27; after fighting depression, drug problems, and a chronic stomach ailment through most of his adult life. I always thought the guy was and still is perpetually misunderstood; his dry, ironic humour being taken as serious, his sensitivity being judged as pathetic, and sense of human empathy profusely ignored, purely so media types could take potshots at those who find life so fucking awful to exist within, they try to escape its pain through substances; as if they intravenously inject heroin with a smile upon their faces.
Another soul has left this Earth, way too young. Another tortured artist to be condemned today, and revered a couple of decades from now. Leaving a collection of timeless music, misunderstood interviews, and revisionist biographies by people who never really knew her, looking to cash in on her both her name, and her death; acts much more heinous than merely being a good soul lost in a bad drug addiction. I am sorry to hear she has died, as she was one of the very few artists of my generation, who seemed to stay true to how they saw the world - regardless of the force thrust upon her; that and she had the unique voice of a weary yet soulful angel.
More than anything, I hope she never felt alone in her life. But it seems the more you understand the nature of life, the more you understand how very few people actually do. We all deal with the trials and tribulations in different means - some people write, a few dance, most construct a veil, and a tragic few become lost in a culture of drugs. Amy Winehouse experienced a life very few will ever understand. You don't have to like what she did, or how she lived her life, but remember one unquestionable truth; you never walked a mile in her shoes... or wrote a masterpiece like Back to Black.
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