So the world’s most famous alcoholic and junkie is dead at last. Amy Winehouse has finally escaped from the misery of destructive addiction that played out as the world salaciously watched and salivated, savouring every picture of her bruised, bedraggled, bleeding and intoxicated body.
But when the self-destructive girl was abnormally clean and healthy, no one was really interested in her. What’s newsworthy about that? We liked Amy Winehouse the clown pulling funny faces with her make up smeared across her face; look at her funny skinny legs, isn’t she a fabulous disaster?
As a nation of alcoholics many of us looked at her and thought, ‘God, not even I’m that bad!’ – and it made us feel that bit better, knowing that our own paltry addictions and afflictions couldn’t compete. Amy’s images were plastered across every red top juicepaper and every sanguinary celebrity website that thirsted for her pixelated celebrity blood.
Proving what a pathetic bunch us humans are, her second album re-entered the charts the day after her death. All of a sudden everyone is an Amy Winehouse fan. The same rubberneckers that drank up the sometimes shocking images of her like gossip-hungry vampires whilst she was alive now mourn her passing, like they were a close friend. It all sounds very Princess Diana, doesn’t it?
So did alcohol kill her? Did drugs kill her? Did fame kill her? Or are all to blame for Amy Winehouse’s death? Meaning all of us that took pleasure in the images of her looking demented on booze and drugs.
Amy Winehouse didn’t court public attention like media whores such as Lady Gaga do but garnered attention accidentally through having a great voice and an equally great affliction. Perhaps if she’d had a decent support network and if the media had left her alone, she’d have pulled through. She could have survived. But that’s not very rock & roll, is it?