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.