Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Amy Winehouse and Russell Brand

I see that Russell Brand has taken the opportunity of Amy Winehouse's death to write a cri de coeur, asking for sympathy and understanding for addicts. He is a rather smug and smirking former addict who is 'recovering'.I suppose that it is, against all the media background (if that is true), likely that Amy Winehouse died as a result of the application of a toxic substance in a lethal amount. However, that has not yet been established, Russell.

He starts off by saying that, when he first knew Amy, she appeared to him to be a 'twerp'. Choice - and it comes from, someone who probably qualifies as the Twerp-In-Chief of all twerps.

This is an example (even if a minor example) of media manipulation from the author of the Booky Wooks. Of course, the media often select and edit real events and create their own version of 'the news' for us to chew on over our toast: a small girl (Madeleine McCann) goes mysteriously missing in the night: dreadful for the parents and family but children go missing all the time - there was a poster up in the local shop the other day - about a small girl snatched by a  motorbiker in the street (possibly a relative in a family feud but, still, will the world ever know her name?); a Norwegian nutter goes on the rampage and wipes out a boot camp  - again, tragic but so were all those scud missiles that finished off whole areas of civilian population in Iraq, just to 'get Saddam' but we didn't hear about those too much. Anyone (even remotely) connected to a 'news' story will know that truth and reality and social relevance are mere background to selling 'news'. The trouble is that most people lap it all up and there is something also in the fact that they lap it up as they tuck in to their processed, pre-cooked, chilled 'ready meals' from the greedy, controlling 'supermarkets' which have finished off all the little shops that used to exist in every town selling well-made, good food.

Moreover, while people are pointlessly fuss-arsing around over whether to break reasonable conventions of dress, in an age which is increasingly the age of the slob; the schmo, and the schmuck, there is building up a whole raft of pernicious modern conventions and norms, over things that really do matter; and two important examples are: the growing cult of selfishness and the promotion of hoarding and thriftiness over charity.

Seeking the truth applies to everything. It's not confined to scientific proof (which is good until disproved) or forensic truth (which is often dependent on dodgy identification and shaky memory); it is even more relevant in relation to the human heart. You can even apply it (less importantly), to a pair of shoes: are they true: in the sense of materials and workmanship and fit. I don't see any contradiction in seeking nice things (from shoes to food and drink) but these things are ancillary to living well in the proper sense. To allow ourselves to be seduced into mere materialism is our greatest self-betrayal. And this is not a 'religious' point because humanism supports the same altruistic position.

But please, Russell Brand, the poor girl has not yet been buried and you are holding her up as an example of a doomed addict, as against the shining example of your resolve to 'recover': maybe Amy found the world in which you (you patronizing twerp), are such a wonderful success too painful to face without some kind of medication.

No comments:

Post a Comment