The Saga Of Amy Winehouse: We Cry Uncle

Jess Harvell | January 22, 2008 11:50 am

An 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]