Any time a celebrity dies at a young age, over-enthusiastic fans come crawling out of the woodwork with their “only the good die young” platitudes.
Over the past few days, since police discovered the body of singer Amy Winehouse inside her London home, fans have been tweeting about her now being an “official” part of the “Forever 27 Club.”
That dubious honor goes to those troubled celebrities who happened to die at age 27. According to some tweets, those celebrities include Kurt Cobain, Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix.
One can argue about the relative talent of those people compared to Winehouse. In most cases, I suspect Winehouse would come up short hands down. But that’s beside the point.
Just as it’s beside the point that they all happened to die at age 27.
People who have substance abuse issues — and we don’t yet know if that’s specifically what resulted in Winehouse’s death — often shorten their lives.
But we all have to die at some age. And here’s a news flash: no matter what age we’ve reached when we die, we will be the same age that someone famous will have died. If we’re lucky, we’ll be part of the “Forever 100” club.
And I answered (or commented):
"Wow... I knew Amy Winehouse was in trouble, and I'd honestly thought she would have been dead long before now, but it certainly isn't a surprise that she is now deceased. She's been careening down that road a very, very long time. It seems like years that I've been wondering who'll be dead first - Lindsey Lohan or Amy Winehouse. Guess we know the answer to that one.
Sad? Yes. Drugs or not, it is always a pity to see a life ruined or completely destroyed by age 27. The cause doesn't matter. Unlike most EMTs, I try to stay away from the attitude that one less drug addict is fine (from death). One less drug addict IS fine - provided it is because they turned their lives around, got help, wanted to get clean. Amy Winehouse was clearly not ready for that. And she struck me forcibly as someone who would not reach that point first. I get that vibe from Lindsey Lohan, too. Paris Hilton is stupid enough that she seems to have nine lives, although it would not be the end of the world if she had to spend one or two of those lives in jail...
I wonder, too, if our tendency (by "our", I mean the local constabulary) to let famous people off when they should go to jail for the same things the common masses go in for isn't really contributing to this early demise. Maybe if Lindsey Lohan went into a real jail, with the common masses, instead of having a private room in a "facility" that was much more tame than the county lock-up, she would really have learned something. Same for Paris Hilton, who only served one sentence several years ago and wasn't jailed for the latest display of idiocy - she was pulled over; cops searched her bag and found (can you believe it?) cocaine. First she said it wasn't her bag then she said that wasn't coke, it was (get ready) chewing gum. REALLY? Throw her lily white butt in the hoosegow! Don't even debate it!
Hard to know where this goes wrong, but it seems to me we are contributing to it rather than trying to fix it."
I suppose it is the American Way to let famous people off the hook for what seem like minor infractions. But no one's ever learned a lesson from getting free passes for carrying drugs, whether it is enough for personal use or on that line that may make it "possession with intent to sell". Definitely this did not help Amy Winehouse, who was a train wreck looking for a place to happen. Did we do her any favours? Did Great Britain do her any favours? Not likely. She's a big name (with big hair) and she is now a big dead name with big dead hair.
Food for thought.