Monday, July 25, 2011

Tragedy and Terror

Many are wondering why the death of Amy Winehouse appears to be engendering more emotion here in the UK than the bombing and massacre that just took place in Norway. The former seemed inevitable, and the latter unimaginable. Of course I have no answer to this question. A couple of thoughts, however, do come to mind.

Firstly, the two events are not comparable - it was just the timing that brought them together.

I watched a survivor of the shootings on the news last night. He reported quite calmly how he had hidden beneath dead bodies to try and escape; then pointed himself out in a newspaper photo that showed the pile of corpses. He was in shock, as we all are. It is impossible to get one's head round the idea that a person could do what the murderer has done. It will take time for it to sink in, if it ever does. For most of us it happened far away, and to other people.

Amy, on the other hand, was a well-documented disaster waiting to happen. While we were all pretty sure that she was on the traditional rock-and-roll road to destruction, there was always hope that at the last minute she might save herself, or be saved. Hearing that her body had been carried away from her home on Saturday killed that hope. That was tangible, and we felt it immediately. That was something that happened to us, it was our hope that died with her.

My heart goes out to the friends and family of the victims in Norway; and to the Winehouse family. As for me - I need to find someone I love, and give them a big hug.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Who Is To Blame?

The allegations about the phone-hacking by people working for the News of the World continue to grow both in size and in awfulness. You don't need me to find you a link if you want to read the latest reports. I would like, however, to raise a point that occurred to me this morning: am I culpable?

Am I culpable? I don't buy tabloid papers. But I do check out the Daily Mail regularly online. I try to avoid the stories that refer to avoirdupois, but I have been reading about the troubles of Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco. I don't care about reality show celebrities, but will generally look at something about a movie star. I don't care what the Duchess of Cambridge is wearing, but a picture of her and Prince William looking healthy and happy will cheer me up.

It seems harmless, or it seemed harmless until now. People are interested in this stuff. There is a market, and it is extremely competitive. Of course I am not condoning any of the reprehensible and possibly criminal behaviour. I just wonder - if more people decided not to pay attention to such stories, then would the NOTW and others not fall so far down this slippery slope?