Monday, July 25, 2011

Wherein I Speak Ill Of The Dead

Since the news broke about Amy Winehouse's death, all I've been hearing (aside from "Back to Black" on a constant loop) is how she's the newest inductee to the infamous 27 Club: the group of uber-talented, super-messed-up rockers who all not-so-mysteriously popped it at age 27. This clique includes the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Brian Jones, Jim Morrison - all personal favourites of mine (hell, who DIDN'T have a Cobain poster hanging on their walls and "Heart-Shaped Box" on repeat in the mid 90s?).

But everytime I think of their deaths - drug and alcohol fueled to the last - I lament not the loss of human life (cold as that sounds, it's true - they brought it upon themselves) but the unbearable waste of all that talent. All that power and energy and genius - gone. Snuffed out. Because they couldn't stay away from the needle, or the bottle, or whatever the eventual implement of their death may have been (to be fair, it was a shotgun in Cobain's case).

I'm not the first person to ask this over the ages, and I won't be the last, but what IS it about these artistic types?? Why do they have such addictive personalities? Sex, drugs, booze, gambling - is it too much money too soon? Excessive time on their hands? Greater opportunity? Less willpower? Does injecting something in their veins give them the added push to create the magic they do? Whatever the reason, obviously they never heard of "Just Say No", and end result: the world is deprived of decades of musical bliss because these coked up idiots couldn't get their shit together enough to ensure they didn't OD.

Honestly, ya morons. Join a 12-step programme. Pain and suffering and addiction may be good for your art, but your untimely death isn't.

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