Sunday, July 24, 2011
The Damned Grey Area
This Saturday, Amy Winehouse, 27, died, presumably of drug overdose, an event which the whole world had apparently been waging lighthearted(???) bets on. [www.whenwillamywinehousedie.com]
Meanwhile, the country of Norway (considered a champion of peace and humanitarian efforts and one of the biggest contributors to the UN) made a rare entry into the Breaking News, reeling from twin terrorist attacks that have killed nearly 100(?) persons.
My friend then pointed something out to me that ignited this need to understand something. We noticed that on our Facebook walls, tons of people paid a tribute to Winehouse (including me) but it wasn't easy to find one that said R.I.P Killed People of Norway or whatever. Of course the natural reaction of a wannabe-journalist should have been to condemn or to be disgusted with the fb generation's apathy. But since i was one of the RIP-Winehouse-posters, my instinctive reaction was on the defensive. So in twisted way, this conflict created a balance which allowed me to look at this somewhat neutrally.
THE QUESTION. Is our generation doomed because we evidently care more about the death of a popular musician with a figurative timebomb around her neck than the mass killings of innocent civilians in a country far away?
The truth is, we're doomed anyway. But not quite for the reason mentioned above. The sad fact is that most of us, except the News TV addicts most likely heard about Winehouse's death first (Source: FB updates, SMS's, radio.. whatever). In my case I read about the attack, but when i did the news report said 2 people dead so far, so I'm ashamed to say the event did not really register at that time. All the bad news on newspapers have desensitized me. But's lets leave that for another day.
Bottomline is, that i'm quite sure a lot of the current pop-crazy generation did not know about Norway and naturally did not tweet/fb about it. Now that comfortable ignorance is what is highly disturbing.
That being said, lets consider the possibility that everybody did know about Norway when it happened. Still I'm not completely shocked by the fact that Amy Winehouse's death gave people a jolt more than Norway did; I'm being brutally realistic here. Music is such a powerful thing, that it misleads the listener into believing he/she knows the artist personally. So it seems that people connect more to Amy Winehouse, the self-destructive druggie than the innocent 100 of Norway, who they did not know.
I'm not sure how this point of view projects me as a person, but i'm trying to make it as objective as possible. Think about it. If your much looked-up-to 95 yr-old teacher passed away the same time as 300 people in Genovia (yes, I know there's no such State), which tragic loss would impact you more? If it happened to be the former, must we feel ashamed of that? Is it fair to judge people who did not virtually vocalize their distress abt Genovia as much as they did the teacher, whom they did not really know as a person but loved for her teachings?
I'm not sure myself. The selfish truth is that we all only feel pain when it happens to us.
Those who are fortunate enough to not agree with this, you're all much bigger people than I am. The World needs more of you.
Some trivia I found interesting for some reason: Amy Winehouse was arrested in Norway for marijuana possession back in 2007
By the way, if you visit CNN.com's homepage now, it looks like Winehouse is given more space than Norway. Now that I feel is irresponsible journalism. You can't be as lenient with an entire News corporation as you can with individuals.