25 Jul

Jacq Kelly

I was at Rosslyn.

Three weeks ago.

After a protest, granted. But it ended up being a really gorgeous afternoon, with two of my best girls; my girlfriend (Lena) and one of my most trusted friends (Kerryn). Great day. Paddle in the river, ice lollies, and a picnic. And sun. Sun!

On the way home – Kerryn driving – somehow (somehow) the subject of Amy Winehouse dying came up.

I can’t even remember how or why – but I do remember the inevitability of our discussion. There was no discord. It was a fact. Yet, when the news was seeping out, via twitter and other outlets, I was still shocked. It’s awful. 

This post isn’t actually about Amy Winehouse, though I have (had?) a huge amount of respect for her and wrote about her in my poetry a lot.

The most shocking thing, for me – personally – has been the way that some people received the news.

Wow, are people determined to be superior.

Apparently, science and the rules of “being a dick” means that it is officially ok to compare Amy Winehouse dying and Somalia. Or Amy Winehouse dying and Norway. Or Amy Winehouse dying and “British servicemen and women”.

Fuck people – a mentally ill woman died.

I got tempted to compare the loss of service men/women to the loss of Iraqi civilian lives. But that’s as cheap and nasty. And to say that I’m not sure that Amy Winehouse “chose” mental illness as readily as service people chose to join the army/RAF/navy is a  similar trap. This is not a grief competition. All losses are tragic – and to fail to see that is to fail, full stop.

I’m gutted that service people die in service. I’m saddened beyond believe about Norway. I feel terrible for those who knew and loved Amy Winehouse. And you would have to be a total cunt not to care about famine in Africa.

We can feel sorry for more than one thing at a time. This isn’t a competition.


One Response to “Amy”

  1. Tim July 26, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    Totally agree. This competitive, comparative thing is really bizzare and insensitive. Sympathy is not finite.

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