Celebrity culture

July 29, 2011 2:53pm Published by Jules Smith in The Art Philosopher 5 Comments

A few days ago we lost a great musical talent Amy Winehouse.  A great British, quirky singer whose music was edgy and original.  I’m still reading in the papers about her death and how her drug and drink related issues took their toll.
  On the same day around 86 teenagers were brutally shot to death in Norway at a summer camp by a right wing, sadistic nutter and 7 died in the bomb attack.  What I am finding difficult is that the death of Amy Winehouse has had far more airtime and press than the hideous ordeal that occurred in Norway.  Whilst I appreciate that Amy’s death is a great loss to her family, fans and the music industry I don’t feel that her death should dominate over the lost lives of all those innocent people.

Lets be honest about this, Amy’s life was controlled by drugs and drink which inevitably caused her to lose her life at a young age.  I’m not judging her for this as I too have an addictive personality and am unable do anything in a balanced fashion. But this was her choice. She adopted a lifestyle which has a high chance of serious illness or death.  We all know how it works.

 The children at the Summer camp of Norway didn’t even have a choice.

The problem is we are so obsessed by celebrities from a young age that we become almost attached to them.  Their music, their films and TV shows touch us and make us feel that we know them.  I think this is why the death of a well known figure has more of an impact on us than the deaths of people we don’t know.
Two soldiers were killed in Afghanistan fighting for their country last week.  Do we even know their names?

So, my point is this:  All lives are equally important and all deaths are a sad loss.  But it doesn’t say much for us as human beings when we are so much more focussed and hypnotised by the celebrity culture than we are to the ongoing atrocities around the world.  

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I think you nailed it when you said we think we know them. I felt sick for a long time after Princess Diana died. I had read all about her and had felt sorry for her and then to have her die so uselessly hurt my heart. And then of course her boys lost their mom.

When a family member dies, of course you feel it horribly. Not so when a stranger down the block dies. You feel bad, but not for long. It is actually a good thing, or we wouldn’t be able to function feeling grief all the time. Newspapers know what sells, and celebrity deaths sell papers.

I was more depressed about how no one I knew even KNEW about the Norway attack.

You all know Amy Winehouse died!!!
Who are Justin Allen 23, Brett Linley 29, Matthew Weikert 29, Justus Bartett 27, Dave Santos 21, Jesse Reed 26, Matthew Johnson 21, Zachary Fisher 24, Brandon King 23, Christopher Goeke 23, and Sheldon Tate 27….Are all Marines that gave their lives this week. There is no media for them… not even a mention of their names.

Belle, I agree newspapers know what sell, however that’s only because people have bought into the celebrity culture. If people were to vote with their wallets and say enough is enough I wonder what they’d find to write about then!!

LoneIslander I also find that depressing 🙁

It is shameful! Winehouse had a talent that she was well paid for, too well paid actually. But the young soldiers that died would have been paid a pittance in relation to the job they were doing, I know what military pay is like, my son was living on stale bread and yoghurt when posted in Germany as his wages after buying extra kit to keep im safe and comfortable, didn’t strech to food! The young people on that island, were a like minded group of people who had a political interest, one that may have been different to yours or mine but they had the rights to be there and express them, they were a group that were obviously more interested in a wider world and not so wrapped up in the shallow world of celebrity, quite rare these days. They will be a sad loss to their country and the heart break that the families must be going through is unimaginable. So when I think of the media circus surrounding the talented Miss winehouse on the same day all those young people were killed, I felt ashamed for the press and TV who were giving it so much air time. What worries me is the sick individual who commited those awful crimes will fall into the same sickening limelight of ‘Celebrity’ as the media will not be able to help themselves as they fall over each other to find as much salacious detail as they can about him. And so the cicus will roll on.

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