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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Singer Amy Winehouse dead at 27. (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Singer Amy Winehouse dead at 27.
Derrell
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story
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Samprimary
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Watch this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttJg8901qAU

She was all over board/office dead pools, and for good reason. She was going to be dead or in rehab sooner or later.

I guess it was dead.

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Wingracer
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Yet another member of the 27 club. And another great talent wasted.
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Derrell
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Didn't she just get out of rehab?
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TomDavidson
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I do wonder what it is about 27.
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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Derrell:
Didn't she just get out of rehab?

Despite the song where she says "no, no, no" she has been in and out of rehab several times.
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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I do wonder what it is about 27.

Just one of those quirks.

We probably never would have heard about it all if not for four prominent musicians not only dieing at 27, but dieing within just a year or so of each other: Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison. That got it in everyone's head, so now we see all the others: Kurt Cobain, Robert Johnson, Pigpen, Kristine Pfaff (also a friend of Cobain and Hole bassist), Mia Zapata (a really grisly and tragic tale), Amy Winehouse and on and on and on.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Derrell:
Didn't she just get out of rehab?

A one week stint in what i think is a mental health place. Not what I would consider an actual rehab.

If it was, though, by the time her 'comeback' tour got publicized, it was pretty obvious she was not in any way clean. She actually seemed pretty close to collapse.

Actually, y'know, looking at her obit? No way was she going to live much longer. Even if she had survived this overdose, it would have given her another year at most. She'd already smoked enough crack to permanently damage her heart, and her lungs were all but permanently screwed, and she kept smoking despite doctors telling her that she faced a critical decline in lung function if she did. She wasn't going to stop.

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Lyrhawn
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I just turned 27 last month.

Thank goodness I'm not a musician. But I tell you, it's super stressful to be alive right now.

One of my favorite musicians died when he was 26, about seven months shy of his 27th birthday. It's tragic in so many ways, because on the one hand I feel for the guy, who suffered from depression his whole life. He had a disease, and he died from it, but you want to believe that, unlike cancer or something, depression was something beatable. And on the other hand its tragic because his music was so beautiful, especially the album he made just before he died. I often wonder when I listen to it what he would have made if he'd had more time, or if he'd been with it enough to record something else before descending into darkness. I'll bet there was a lot of music left in him.

I'll bet there was a lot of music left in Amy Winehouse too, and everyone else who died at about that age.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Gotta have a hobby.
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Samprimary
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The pattern could be mostly chance, or it could be that when you have those common cases of meteoric young performers with something that's eventually going to kill them — depression, bad habits, pathology involving the newfound excesses and privelege of stardom — it takes until about that time to typically exhaust what resilience and youth they had that could keep them above water.
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El JT de Spang
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I've long had the theory that people who use pain to create their art self destruct pretty young.
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Annie
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quote:
Originally posted by El JT de Spang:
I've long had the theory that people who use pain to create their art self destruct pretty young.

I read a quote from her that was somewhere to that effect - she said she had to go make some headaches to write about.

I'm not sure what it is about artists that can tend that way, but I think it's rather tragic. I definitely don't think you need the chaos to be an artist but there seems to be a correlation.

I actually heard the news on amazon first - I went to look up some mp3s and saw a little blurb on their front page, and it made me really sad. I'm not even a major fan; I know her more from the news than from her music. But I find it all incredibly tragic.

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Stone_Wolf_
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I disagree. "Incredibly tragic" is children dying of hunger. What happened here is "sad" for her family and "completely appropriate and predictable" do to her actions.
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Samprimary
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... completely 'appropriate' due to her actions?
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Stone_Wolf_
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Why not? Didn't you just post that doctors told her to stop smoking crack or she would die? Well...she didn't stop.
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Samprimary
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I don't describe the death as 'appropriate.' just ruefully predictable.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
The pattern could be mostly chance, or it could be that when you have those common cases of meteoric young performers with something that's eventually going to kill them — depression, bad habits, pathology involving the newfound excesses and privelege of stardom — it takes until about that time to typically exhaust what resilience and youth they had that could keep them above water.

I'd sign off on that explanation. Being 26, I simply can't image how I could have found the emotional maturity to deal with a life of stardom beginning when I was 18-20. It's unthinkable to me how somebody can manage that kind of life. I'm just now getting to the point where I think I could handle that kind of fame and even survive- where I look at myself and say: "yeah, you could handle that." But six years ago? Hell no.
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Bella Bee
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Yesterday, on one of the newspaper websites there was a picture of her at 20 and a picture of her at 27. Her face had stayed young, but her eyes had aged about a hundred years.

I'm 27 too. I don't think it's really fair to try to decide whether her death was something inevitable or avoidable, something tragic or normal. It was a seven year suicide. It's just sad.

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Annie
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
I disagree. "Incredibly tragic" is children dying of hunger.

Why, thank you, Richard Dawkins [Wink]
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Synesthesia
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That's so sad. Drugs are just the worse. The way they screw up your brain and it's so hard to recover.

I was hoping she would though. I wonder if there's more that can be done when it comes to getting people off drugs.

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by Annie:
quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
I disagree. "Incredibly tragic" is children dying of hunger.

Why, thank you, Richard Dawkins [Wink]
[Smile] Forgive me if I reserve my sympathy for non self inflicted injuries.
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Annie
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I understand what you mean.

But for me, part of the tragedy was that it was self-inflicted, and totally avoidable. That's the tragic part.

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Stone_Wolf_
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I get where you are coming from and am glad that there are people like yourself to help fill in the gap which is left by people like myself. [Smile]
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mr_porteiro_head
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In classic tragedy, the seeds to the hero's fall had to come from within himself. If it was something that was done to him, without him being complicit in it at all, it wasn't a tragedy, it was just bad things happening.
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Bella Bee
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It's sad that someone could care about themselves so little, and sad that the love of others couldn't make a difference to how they saw themselves.

That's what I mean by it being a suicide - it's frustrating, and it makes you angry that someone would do that to themselves. And you naturally think that they had a choice.

But honestly - they were, whether in that moment, or here in those years, not well. They were who they were, and they really didn't believe that they had any choice at all. Because, honestly, when Amy Winehouse was younger and more mentally sound, I don't think she dreamt of killing herself young, desperate and alone.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
quote:
Originally posted by Annie:
quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
I disagree. "Incredibly tragic" is children dying of hunger.

Why, thank you, Richard Dawkins [Wink]
[Smile] Forgive me if I reserve my sympathy for non self inflicted injuries.
Sometimes there is something deeper going on that ISN'T their fault, and we don't know yet exactly what killed her. Addiction is a disease. And furthermore, if she was depressed, that's also a disease.

I don't feel any worse for her than any other addict, but to write them all off as not worthy of sympathy is pretty callous to me. And frankly, I'm a little personally insulted as well.

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Nighthawk
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Russel Brand's tribute to Amy Winehouse
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Tuukka
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It's very likely that someone who has such a bad drug addiction also has other mental issues, and is using drugs to escape them. She also suffered of clinical depression, eating disorders, violent mood swings, and apparently used to cut herself.

So it's not really the drugs that killed her - It was the psychological stuff that caused her to use drugs. I don't know why she was self-destructive, but there are probably things in her past that made her so.

So the whole "self-inflicted injuries" argument seems pointlessly mean to me, since we don't really know the whole story.

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Sometimes there is something deeper going on that ISN'T their fault, and we don't know yet exactly what killed her. Addiction is a disease. And furthermore, if she was depressed, that's also a disease.

I don't feel any worse for her than any other addict, but to write them all off as not worthy of sympathy is pretty callous to me. And frankly, I'm a little personally insulted as well.

Why are you personally insulted that I don't view an addict's death due to their addiction to be "incredibly tragic"?

I don't write them all off as not worthy of sympathy...I specifically said I was glad that there are people out there like Annie who feel that way. -I- simply do not feel sympathy for them. I feel sympathy for their family and friends.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Sometimes there is something deeper going on that ISN'T their fault, and we don't know yet exactly what killed her. Addiction is a disease. And furthermore, if she was depressed, that's also a disease.

I don't feel any worse for her than any other addict, but to write them all off as not worthy of sympathy is pretty callous to me. And frankly, I'm a little personally insulted as well.

Why are you personally insulted that I don't view an addict's death due to their addiction to be "incredibly tragic"?

I don't write them all off as not worthy of sympathy...I specifically said I was glad that there are people out there like Annie who feel that way. -I- simply do not feel sympathy for them. I feel sympathy for their family and friends.

Kind of a fine line to parse there, between personally not affording someone sympathy but feeling they're worthy of it.

Your wording, however, was still ill-considered. Winehouse, like many people suffering from "self-inflicted injuries," often have other very real problems going on beneath the surface that drive them to do what they do. Do you not feel sympathy when cancer patients succumb to their disease? At a basic level, it's really no different. You perceive it as different because you perceive addiction-related diseases as simply being a matter of willpower, or a choice, and since they CHOOSE to do what they do, they aren't suffering the same sort of random affliction as a cancer patient. Feel free to correct me, but that's what your feelings imply to me. I've seen it before, and you're fitting snugly right into the stereotype.

And it was that wording, not the "incredible tragedy" statement, that I found personally offensive. I guess you never know who you're going to offend with random statements that mischaracterize things like that, do you? And I'll admit to being somewhat sensitive, especially with the wording you used, though normally this is something I'd ignore. Go ahead and explain what you really meant, tell me I'm wrong for overreacting, and I'll apologize. I don't really want to argue about it.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
It's very likely that someone who has such a bad drug addiction also has other mental issues, and is using drugs to escape them
It's also very likely that such mental issues were exacerbated by the use of drugs.

quote:
since they CHOOSE to do what they do, they aren't suffering the same sort of random affliction as a cancer patient
I actually agree with this. There is an element of choice with such behaviors that is not there for most victims of cancer.
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
I guess you never know who you're going to offend with random statements that mischaracterize things like that, do you?
Is this a serious question? Everyone suffers at one level or another and saying that people who die due to drug use is a mischaracterization because they obviously had other issues is a cop out, and a really big assumption.

Some people suffer such heavy and tremendous damage at a formative age that living as a functional adult is nearly impossible, and if someone like that was to die, say from drug use, I would have sympathy...for their past, not their passing.

I am sorry if I offended you, it was not my intent. It doesn't change what I think about it though.

As to the idea that a cancer victim is the same thing as a drug addict, I don't agree. There are many reasons people become addicts, and many reasons they stop, and many reasons they don't and end up dying from it, I don't think any one generality on the topic is accurate (i.e. they clearly had other issues). I know that when I smoked a lot of pot I had to be careful not to let it take over my life, and it was always a game of balance. Knowing that at times I couldn't handle it, I never sought more powerful drugs. I'm -not- saying that "since I didn't die of drug addiction, then anyone can", but I am saying that even when I did make poor decisions and do harmful things (such as loose a great job for a positive drug test) that I still choose that path, and there are enough tragedies in the world which have victims which are truly and completely innocent, and it is to them that I feel sympathy for.

I don't require others to not give sympathy to those that I don't, heck, I encourage them to do so, as even really really bad people (not just those who die from their choices) are human and worthy of some consideration.

quote:
Go ahead and explain what you really meant, tell me I'm wrong for overreacting, and I'll apologize. I don't really want to argue about it.
I meant what I said...I disagree with you...no apology necessary...nor any argument.

Reasonable people can disagree.

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Samprimary
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i think, honestly, that when someone dies like this — at the end of a long road of dependencies and critical personal dysfunction — it is incredibly tragic. But not so much in the terms of the death itself. The death is just the outcome. The end of the process. What makes it tragic is the process and input that went into making it play out so predictably.

Someone I know recently was all but destroyed when her lover and long-time partner died of a tragic but IMMENSELY predictable heroin addiction. He was maybe 25.

He was not raised in a loving environment that shielded him from these impulses. He was raised in an environment which exposed him to it daily and was essentially abusive and capricious enough to have made him unstable enough to be easy prey to social pressures and addictions. The end result is an adult who would rely on drugs just to 'get by.' So much of the fault really lay with his parents and the environment they grew him in, willfully, and neglectfully.

It's easy to sit back and view the death only as some addict doing themselves in of their own accord. Just some junkie doing themselves in, as if he or she formed in a vacuum.

However, when you get to peel back the veil and look at both the birth and death of a junkie, the result is .. usually uncomfortable. In far too many cases. You find yourself forced to empathize rather than shrug it off. Which is why many people refuse to do so. It's so much easier to leave it at the junkie in the vacuum mentality.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Samp: I doubt you were writing that directly at me, but instead more as a general truth. I would indeed look upon your friend's up bringing as a tragedy, to which I do have sympathy, as well as his lover who it affected so much.

For me the lack of sympathy for self inflicted deaths stems from the belief that freedom and responsibility are different sides of the same coin. All parents impart, one way or another, issues onto their children, however, some try to raise their children into responsible adults, where it sounds like your friends parents were just negligent. At some point in each life it becomes the responsibility of that person to work on their own problems. Some of those problems are insurmountable, as I said before...and some people, despite their best efforts are just not given the tools to do so. And that is tragic, and I do have sympathy for those people, for the wrongs done them as children.

I do draw the line when a doctor says, "You are gong to die, and that soon, if you do not stop doing this." and the person doesn't stop.

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kmbboots
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Freedom, choice, and the ability to "draw lines" are not doled out in equal measure.
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Stone_Wolf_
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I'm not understanding boots.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
All parents impart, one way or another, issues onto their children, however, some try to raise their children into responsible adults, where it sounds like your friends parents were just negligent. At some point in each life it becomes the responsibility of that person to work on their own problems.

Let me try a pretty out-there and admittedly pulling-it-out-to-the-extremes example. Let's say I'm a terrible parent, and I force my kid to work on combine harvesters in the field, and 'homeschool' him because I don't believe in them fancy educations with them maths and sciences and grammar. He grows up with no better than a second grader reading and math level. He might even be physically disabled (say, a combine accident).

I have subjected him to an upbringing, an environment of opportunity (or lack of, thereof) that through no fault of his own leaves him pretty much unable to expect much in the way of employment and the tools very much so needed for much in the way of economic and personal autonomy. If you had full knowledge of the neglect I fostered upon him, never giving him even BASIC reading skills, and you saw me say to him "These are YOUR OWN problems. Now they're your own responsibility, meaning that it's your own fault if you don't overcome them. Not mine! Sorry!" ... then close the door in his face.

Somehow, I hope you're not going to agree with me.

quote:
I do draw the line when a doctor says, "You are gong to die, and that soon, if you do not stop doing this." and the person doesn't stop.
What if they were raised by, say, homeopaths. And don't believe the doctor because they don't believe in Western Medicine?
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Stone_Wolf_
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Those are extreme examples...of course I don't agree with them.

I'm not an unsympathetic person (at least I don't think so).

I do find it tragic that people are mistreated and raised poorly, and that it can echo into their adult lives as a negative.

I just don't have a lot of/any sympathy for deaths from drugs/suicide.

Is the argument that I should? Each and every human life (from Ghandi to Hitler) has intrinsic value, and even utterly evil people (if there is such a thing, more like, people who do utterly evil things) are deserving of some human compassion...and I'm glad there are people out there who can empathize enough to do that...I'm not one of them.

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0Megabyte
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What boots means, Stone Wolf, is that freedom is not given out to people based on whether they can handle it or have been prepared for it.

I guess... how about a different tack: When you see someone hired for a job they have no experience in, and no background in, and they are expected to know all those little things, including those safety things, to keep afloat, and nobody really bothered to tell them those things... when they get into an accident that kills them, do you also say "I would feel sympathy for their past... but not their passing" as though they won a Darwin Award or something? Or would you get angry at those who failed to prepare them, sympathize with the family of the deceased, and grieve (if close to) and/or simply feel bad at the thought that they died?

This is a hypothetical, of course. I've known drug users. I know that not all of them are worth sympathy. But I also know that sometimes people's bad decisions aren't something they can just pull out of.

Exceptional people, the ones who are big stories because they came from nothing and overcame severe troubles are... well, exceptional. The normal human being -and you are more likely to be that then the exceptional- is limited by circumstances far more than those special few. The normal person doesn't just pull themselves up by their bootstraps and become wealthy story-book heroes.

The normal person stays in the same social class they were born in.

Now, does that say something bad about the normal person? I wouldn't be so sure...

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:

Is the argument that I should? Each and every human life (from Ghandi to Hitler) has intrinsic value, and even utterly evil people (if there is such a thing, more like, people who do utterly evil things) are deserving of some human compassion...and I'm glad there are people out there who can empathize enough to do that...I'm not one of them.

Now, keep in mind that even if I think everyone has intrinsic value (or, however the argument goes), it doesn't mean I would hesitate to fight, or kill, to stop them from doing what they want to do with what they would become.

The issue with pointing out the thorniness of the word 'responsibility' in these contexts is that if my Hypothetical Terribly Raised Kid ends up miserable, depressed, in chronic pain, and dying from a heroin overdose, plenty of people don't want to even KNOW about the varied factors that go into it. They WANT the surface variety only. They want to view the end product in a vacuum. Effects without causes. Short of the one in thirty to one in fifty of us who are actually, legitimately sociopathic, it is not comfortable to process the causes, and the degree to which an uncomfortably large amount of these tragedies (be they overdoses or suicides or starvation while indigent) come packaged with a situation where their upbringing/circumstances left them with a bar that was way too high for us to just sit there and say 'just jump over it, it's your responsibility alone.'

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Stone_Wolf_
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This isn't a case of ignorance nor of social class. Drugs aren't a mystery when it comes to them being potentially lethal. I would also have very little to zero sympathy for a thrill seeking base jumper who died after trying more and more dangerous stunts.

When people do selfish things that put them into harms way, and then die from them, I shrug and say, well, they knew the risks. It's not that I hate them, or wish them dead, but I don't feel bad for them either...I just accept that they had the freedom to do what they did and their actions had consequences.

This is also why I let firefighters, police, EMTs and military personnel in front of me in line at stores and tell them that I appreciate them. They too are putting themselves in harms way, but not solely for personal gain, but for the greater good of society.

Please note that I have from the first said that I have sympathy for the families of bad choice repercussion deaths.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Okay Samp...I'm totally willing to stipulate that on a case by case basis, that some unfortunate people had problems unfairly gifted to them by their parents/upbringing/unavoidable circumstance that moves their premature death into the "tragedy" category and out of the "simply consequence of bad choices" category.

I'm not willing to have that be the assumption in all cases without persuasive info though.

So before I spoke out against Winehouse I should have done some research...or more to the point...just not said anything.

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Samprimary
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quote:
I'm not willing to have that be the assumption in all cases without persuasive info though.
Neither am I. There's also a pretty large category of people who are nearly impossible to sympathize with because their problems are more or less the result of being absolutely rotten individuals.

Here we go with anecdote time again: My mother had a longtime friend die of cancer when her boy was still a young kid. The kid was hit MASSIVELY hard by it. He grew violent and dysfunctional. Bounced through foster homes. Burned through his trust money as soon as he was able. Became a pathologically criminal idiot. Stole cars. B&E. Addict, I'm sure. I wouldn't have tried to stop him from self-destructing, since I don't think it would have made a difference. I said, even, that if it were up to me, he would be in jail until he was 50. That I would all but certainly shoot him if I caught him breaking into my house (which was a real possibility at the time). I'm sympathetic to the reasons why people end up like that — and usually, it's upbringing — and I can understand why his story is tragic, but that doesn't come (for me) with a passive attitude towards having to deal with what they have become.

Of course, he eventually ended up pretty much getting put away for good when he tried to steal someone's car and the guy was at home sleeping naked but jumped up and pinned him to the ground or something. Man, I wonder if I could even find a story about it.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
So before I spoke out against Winehouse I should have done some research...or more to the point...just not said anything.
There you go. That was a big part of my problem to begin with. My bigger problem is that you seem to not care at all about underlying mental health issues.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Well I'm glad we didn't have to argue. [Smile]
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Noemon
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Not on the immediate subtopic that you guys are wrapping up now, but it occurred to me today (and I mentioned this elsewhere) that if someone had wanted to murder Amy Winehouse, it would have been incredibly easy to do without getting caught. We see what we expect to see, and Amy Winehouse has been so centrally in the spotlight as the celebrity who abused drugs so flagrantly that it's only a matter of time until she kills herself with them that if any effort at all were made to make her murder look like an overdose, it's unlikely that it would receive any serious scrutiny. I almost think that if the autopsy came back and said that she'd died from shooting up Draino, the assumption would just be that she obviously decided to give shooting Draino a try.
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
My bigger problem is that you seem to not care at all about underlying mental health issues.
I've long debated with my uncle about mental health issues...it's which came first the chicken or the egg debate...does bad brain chemistry lead to poor decisions, or poor decisions lead to bad brain chemistry.

My grandfather was a bad person pretty much, not the worst in the world, but still...in the twilight of his life he had a major stroke and forgot why no one called him anymore (he told us not to bother as we were evil, even me at the age of ten).

My uncle thinks that if you have any mental issues, then you are just plain off the hook on every moral level.

I tend to think that people who are committed to their poor choices and delusions will do almost anything to maintain that delusion, pushing them further and further down the road to mental issues. Not everyone of course...some people are just bat sh*t crazy yo!

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Orincoro
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Well, yeah. That's a given. Hope-to-die drug addicts generally *die*. Kurt kobain conspiracies are convenient ways for people to cope with what they cannot otherwise hope to understand about people like this.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
[QUOTE]

My uncle thinks that if you have any mental issues, then you are just plain off the hook on every moral level.
!

You strike me as one of those people who seems unable to countenance any shade of moral ambiguity. So your uncles attitude, according to you, since you're the one rendering it here, is just a mirror reflection of your own. NO responsibility is clearly silly, so therefore total responsibility is more likely. The best you can muster is to totally dehumanize the person you are talking about and hand wave their behavior away as just totally bat**** crazy. In my opinion that's an unhealthy attitude.

It's uncomfortable to imagine that victims of drug addiction and suicide are thinking, feeling people with many of the same human qualities that you have, and that they suffer from a distinction that could also strike you. Some amount of humility and understanding for them is an important step in addressing and solving societal problems of drug addiction. A clue: dehumanization of victims is not helpful in that process. And that is what you are doing, whether you are aware of it or not.

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