So Amy Winehouse died. Whatever you thought of her, a human being died alone leaving two parents without their child. In the same week in Norway nearly a hundred people died, most of them children, most of them scared and leaving traumatised family behind.
Neither of these are things I’m particularly inclined to talk about then or now, or things I want to compare to each other. No, what bothers me is an increasing knee-jerk reaction, the common trend for a backlash to begin before the very thing being lashed against has occurred.
“84 dead in Norway shooting and you people care more about Amy Winehouse. The fuck?”
“93 innocent lives killed in Oslo, Norway […] but it seems like the drug addict Winehouse was more important”
“Why do people give more of a shit about 1 crackhead than the 90 plus people killed in Norway ”
Number incongruity aside, Facebook, Twitter, news feeds and forums etc were rammed over that weekend with people clamouring over how the deaths in Norway were more important than the mourning of Amy Winehouse, and how Winehouse deserved little or no publicity.
Strip these back rants and raves though, and you see there was actually little or no mourning for her. The most frequent and common mention of her name was the shouting down of the mention of her name, a rallying against something which quite frankly was barely there at all.
Facebook has already spawned literally hundreds of “Norway not Winehouse” pages, some even congratulating the news feeds and major news networks for giving the Norwegian killings more coverage. WELL DUH. You can’t create a fantasy set of negative criteria and expectations, and then celebrate when those expectations aren’t met. When you expect someone to be a cunt without any reason or grounding, and they turn out to not be a cunt, that isn’t a win for them, it’s a massive judgmental loss for you.
Another case in point… I don’t have my head buried in the sand or live in a media-free bunker but I’ve only ever heard maybe 2 and a half plays of anything recorded by Justin Beiber. Yet I’m surrounded both online and offline by calls to put an end to him, jokes that use him as the punchline and fatwa-level cries to execute this teenage boy I probably couldn’t even pick out of a lineup.
The worst part is I don’t get this from Beiber’s target audience. I don’t have starry eyed teenagers coming up to me telling me how great he is, or how sick they are of being expected to think he’s great, because quite frankly, I don’t talk to these people. By and large it’s the alternative scene, the metalheads, goths, grungers, rockers and pirate-viking-celts who shout his name from the rooftops, despite no-one ever asking or expecting them to fawn at his teenage feet.
“Fucking Justin Beiber, I’m sick of Justin Beiber!” Yes, and you’re my only source of information on him and the only place and person constantly forcing his name upon me. You’d do yourself a favour if you just shut the fuck up about the things-that-you-hate-and-aren’t-expected-to-like.
Let’s focus on reacting to what’s actually happening, rather than what we expect to happen, rejecting the things that are genuinely forced upon us rather than the things that are just lying nearby. We might actually get something done, deny mundane culture some free publicity, and y’know… grow as people?