The Saga Of Amy Winehouse: We Cry Uncle

Jan 22nd, 2008 // 26 Comments

AP071101024413.jpgAn hour or two ago, I asked Maura what she was up to and she replied, “I just watched part of that Amy Winehouse crack video and it made me sad.” I wasn’t going to watch it, but then my inner rubbernecker got the better of me, and yeah, now I’m sad as well. So while I’m not going to post it–it’s a big Internet out there, and many of our competitors have already picked it up if you’d like to put a damper on your own good mood–it did get me thinking that maybe it’s time to retire Amy from our news cycle.

I’m not quite sure why stories of Winehouse’s self-degradation have come to skeev me out in ways that, say, the ongoing tribulations of current Spin cover star Pete Doherty do not. Maybe it’s the mix of self-righteousness, feigned concern for her well-being, and glee at watching her implosion play itself out in a succession of tabloid items that you get with Winehouse (and to a lesser extent Britney), while Doherty and his fellow male fuck-ups just seem to get the glee (and maybe a dollop of the self-righteousness). Maybe it’s (self-critical emo alert!) some weird brand of sexism where I’m unconsciously kosher with addicts with penises getting picked on by the boys’ club of music blogging whereas the Winehouse (and Britney) coverage feels more like bullying. (After all, the first post of the day was a gag about the missing Weiland possibly being dead and/or in jail, and we all LOL’d when Maura posted that clip of Shifty Shellshock lighting up, right? Right? Sigh.)

But whatever the reasons for my personal distaste, it’s all equally icky when it crosses that thin line where personal trauma stops being a colorful adjunct to the music and the bummers become the main attraction, and a crack-smoking viral video is certainly one of the bigger blogwide bummers of the last few months. (Maura’s prognostication almost a year ago feels more depressingly apt every day.) We trade in fun (and not so fun) gossip as much as the next site, and we’ve also occasionally made jokey “Winehouse is on the drugs again” references in stories on the singer, which means we won’t be calling anyone out for getting on the Winehouse page views gravy train. But without getting too hand-wringy and while this may just be backed up Catholic guilt for a lack of empathy for the dude from Crazy Town bubbling over, might it be time to put a Britney-style (and Doherty-style) hold on Winehouse-related news items unless they actually have to do with actual music/video product to be reviewed and discussed?

[Photo: AP]

  1. Charlie Kerfelds Jetsons Tee

    This should’ve happened a loooooooong time ago.

  2. Rob Murphy

    As the resident Amy fanboy down here, I’d say your coverage of Amy has been just right. I actually don’t see any need to change anything.

    We don’t expect you to post every time the paps snap Amy at the market at 2 AM or whatever, or every time Amy looks like she’s looped out of her brains.

    News about whether she’ll make it to a particular awards show, or how many awards she’s nominated for, should still be fair game, no?

  3. Al Shipley

    oh bitch you wary of the next thing you’ll have to write about Winehouse.

  4. mackro

    How dare you have a conscience in WEB 2.0

    It’s all about maximum comments, racial/sexist/homo-bigoted epiphets, endless off-topic verbal diarrhea in l33t, and The Black Kids.

  5. Dickdogfood

    Doherty has been surviving his worst impulses for so long that–sort of like Burroughs or Leary or Keef–you can almost believe at this point he’s found his own Golden Mean of fuckedupness, and that he’ll continue down that road for another four decades. Britney and Amy’s periods of degradation are newer. They haven’t established comfortably predictable patterns of misbehavior yet, so it’s still shocking to us.

  6. SuperUnison

    @Al Shipley: If she continues mixing her drugs (That horrible court photo had 6 Valium, coke, Ecstasy, and crack under it.) probably so.

    I’m for unplugging the circus. I don’t think we’d really give a shit about her music in the first place if she wasn’t enough of a clusterfuck to make it all appear “authentic” without a thought given to whether it transcends being a competent rehash.

  7. Anonymous

    Jeeeeez, it’s hard to believe the picture on that link is only a year old. Granted, paparazzi shots aren’t designed to be flattering, but still.

  8. Dick Laurent is dead.

    @dickdogfood: Agreed, m’boy Doherty has reached a sort of weird druggedhomeostases over time. Meanwhile, Brit-Brit and Wino don’t seem to even care anymore as they careen into the void…it’s gone from tragicomic to just grotesque.

  9. DavidWatts

    Amy’s life just seems to be flying apart a lot faster in a lot less fun of a way. More vadges and crazy shopping sprees, less crawling on glass and wandering around the city at 5 AM covered in blood.

  10. PeterBjorn&Yawn

    Come on Amy…let’s leave crack to the gentiles.

  11. FionaScrapple


    But, She was chosen by crack.

  12. janine

    @DHMBIB: Agreed. That album was good, what’s the problem with covering career-related things only? I have a feeling that that comes close to a moratorium, anyway.

  13. OingoBobo

    I’ve seen that one-second pause she takes, pregnant with guilt, before she hits the pipe.
    I feel good to be alive, anyone else?

  14. Silverfuture

    A moratorium? Really? Aren’t you paid by the page view?

  15. heyzeus

    Enough with the handwringing. 75% of Idolator posts are about Britney, Doherty, Winehouse, the Jonas Brothers, Hanah Montana, or some other contrived bullshit that is unrelated to actual music. You’ll be writing about Winehouse tomorrow when a viral video of her snorting battery acid shows up on the internet. It’s what “sells” the click throughs.

  16. Maura Johnston

    @heyzeus: care to mathematically substantiate that claim?

  17. AL

    @heyzeus: please! tell me more about this “actual music”! it sounds great!

  18. bcapirigi

    i don’t actually read the amy winehouse posts, generally, because they make me sad. i also didn’t read the britney spears ones, and don’t really know what she’s up to these days (except that it’s pretty bad, i guess, because i can’t avoid looking at the hideous us and star covers that my coworkers love to leave on their desks.) reading about parents selling off their kids to buy their other kids hannah montana tickets is fine, but i generally don’t want to know bad things about musicians i actually enjoy listening to.

  19. SuperUnison

    @Sloop Al B: Be nice to the rockist!

  20. janine


  21. janine

    @janine: oh, and: “…FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PLEASE LISTEN TO THE SMITHS. listen to joy division. listen to the clash. LISTEN TO THE BEATLES!!!!! listen to bob marley. listen to neil diamond. listen to the beach boys…”

  22. jt.ramsay

    @Dick Laurent is dead.: Not only is she alive, but she posts here sometimes!

  23. ImFeedingMattDamon

    Totally clipping this entry to have leverage against Jess later on.

  24. Charlie Kerfelds Jetsons Tee

    @janine: I see what you did there…

    …and I love you for it.

  25. Dick Laurent is dead.

    @janine: Speaking of people I wish would get addicted to crack, is Ultragrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl still alive?

  26. This is really what I was serching for (The Saga Of Amy Winehouse: We Cry Uncle | Music News, Reviews, and Gossip on ~ share).! Much ThX

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