Tuesday, March 10, 2009

She's Ill and Dirty

The Sun, 22 January 2008: Wild Amy Winehouse was filmed blitzed out of her skull and struggling to talk after sucking in crack fumes from a glass pipe. The tormented singing sensation took hit after hit of the deadly drug after a 19-minute binge in which she snorted powdered ecstasy and cocaine. And she admitted she had just popped six valium pills to “bring myself down”. Amy’s spiral of self-destruction was revealed in a harrowing video filmed at her East London home and seen by The Sun.

It will horrify relatives and friends who fear she could soon end up dead. The footage also laid bare the Back To Black singer’s squalid lifestyle as she stumbled around in a grubby vest surrounded by junkies and parasitic hangers-on.

Amy is locked in a nosedive towards oblivion — she is killing herself. The video shows a woman completely out of control. Her family and her few real friends have begged her to pull herself from the brink many times. But here is proof she has pressed the self-destruct button. Her fans would scarcely recognise the drug-addled wreck in the video as the talented performer they love. We can only pray she will get a wake-up call when she watches the video herself and sees the terrible state she is in. Amy is looking ill and dirty, and is so thin you wonder how much more she can take. She must get help.

I’ve seen a lot of headlines about this tiny pop singer. . .I’ve never heard any of her music. . .I’m not much for music, anyway, most of it gives me a headache. I’d rather listen to the gentle whirring of an electric ceiling fan than most of the noise that plays on the radio. It don’t really matter, anyway, whether this size zero warbler can sing or not. . .what matters is:

Amy is looking ill and dirty, and is so thin you wonder how much more she can take.

You read all these stories and you scratch your head and you wonder why people can't control themselves, anymore? Even our celebrities now drift through life like the derelicts on the street.

Three doors down from me lived a 45-year-old white biker named Robert. . .he’d been my *neighbor* for the last five years. He never went to work a day in those five years. . .his *old lady* supported him. . .on the days he was clean-and-sober enough to step outside, he would tinker with his motorcycle for a few minutes, then retreat back inside to use whatever drug he was addicted to. I saw him ride his beloved motorcycle maybe a half-dozen times in the five years. Last Friday morning, as I was heading out to work, I spotted an ambulance in front of Robert’s door. . .when I came home from work, I learned from another neighbor that Robert had died—*drugs* had finally killed him.

The neighbor, a nice old colored woman, said to me:

“Maybe he in heaven now.”

“Maybe. I wouldn’t bet on it, though,” I said.

She looked at me like that wasn’t a nice thing to say. What does it matter, now, I wanted to say to her, it’s all too late. We can talk nice or mean about him, and it don’t make one bit of difference, we’re just passing the time of day, we’re just amusing ourselves. But I didn’t say that to the nice old colored woman. . .no need to ruin her fairy tale ending for Robert, him up there in Heaven, dressed in white, sporting wings and all the rest.

I had talked to Robert three or four times during the five years. I would take my kids through the neighborhood, and we would walk past Robert’s place. . .he let my kids sit on his motorcycle a couple times. You could tell he was broken-down, hanging on by a thread. . .he talked so low, it was impossible to hear him. . .I would just nod and smile, and say he had a nice bike.

When the old colored woman told me he was dead, for a moment there I thought to myself, you should have really talked to that old boy.

But what was I going to tell him? That he was on his way to Hell? He was of that AC/DC Highway To Hell type, the biker who envisioned Hell as an endless orgy of drugs and whores. . .an eternity being high, with your genitals in some worn-out old whore’s mouth. . .To them, Hell is every fun thing you ain’t supposed to do. . .

What was I going to tell him, that he was going to die? His whole lifestyle indicated an indifference to life.

I could have told him that Jesus understood every last thing about him, that Jesus had a scorn for the world, too, but that He offered a different path out of the world. Yes, I should have said that, but I didn’t. Truth be told, I didn’t really care about old Robert. I’ve thought more about him here, in these last 5 minutes, than I did during the 5 years he was my *neighbor.*

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

The whole world had pretty much passed over old Robert. . .maybe, when he was a little boy or a teenager, even, he had an old grandma who told him a hundred times Jesus loved him. . .but in the last years of his life, he lived in poor people’s housing, intoxicated mostly, sometimes bringing his tool kit outside to work on his bike. . .a nobody to the whole wide world, but there he was, just three doors down from me. . .I don’t want to say God set him there, because then God would have made an error, He should have set him by somebody else. . .

There’s no way around it, really. . .sometimes the best you can say about yourself is every now and then you catch of glimpse of how short of the mark you fall. . .

Now here’s Amy Winehouse, a celebrity, and there are a lot of people telling her she needs to get on a different path. . .you’re ill and dirty, they say, and you need help.

I looked at some pictures of Amy on the internet. . .when she’s all scrubbed for the staged photo shoots for the fan magazines and the album covers and all that, she’s sort of pretty, in an ethnic kind of way.

But now she’s ill and dirty. . .and she needs help.

People can’t control themselves. It’s a condition of the times. The mass of Western humanity drifts through life, carried by the tide of hedonistic materialism. Amy Winehouse and all the rest, the Britney Spears and the Lindsey Lohans and the Roberts and all the other derelicts, they all would have been better off in the Middle Ages. . .better to have worked like a dog for a loaf of bread to take home to a cold, damp, dark thatched hut. . .better to have died of the plague than crack or a heart attack in front of the idiot box. . .the plague produced a fear of God. . .not a healthy fear of God, it must be admitted, but a superstitious fear of God. . .but I would wager Christ managed to pull a few of those stinking peasants out of the hocus-pocus of the Roman Catholic Church. . .more than He will pull out of our *Leisure Class,* that’s for sure.

Now even the relative poor, like Robert, live better than most who have ever lived. . .they live mostly idle lives. . .no one fears God, anymore. . .*Jesus,* *Christ,* *Jesus Christ* are no longer said in reverence, but as a curse or an exclamation. . .listen, the punk kid who pushes the mail cart at the building where I work, the other day when he discovered a load of large FedEx boxes he had to push down to the mail room, he muttered to himself in anger “Jesus Christ!” Some punk, whom God could yawn and knock his sorry ass past Uranus, some punk mad because he has to do a little work, spits “Jesus Christ!” This is the meaning of Jesus Christ in our world.

The masses drift through life, finding meaning only in pleasure. . .maybe they shop or have sex or eat like a pig. . .maybe, like the tiny songbird Winehouse or old Robert, they find pleasure (or, in some cases, escape from our dead world) in intoxication, however short-lived. . .and when the pleasure leaves them trapped in an addiction which eats away at them, they are helpless. . .they are all alone. . .even the renowned, like Amy Winehouse, with all the people shouting at her to change, she’s all alone, she’s helpless. . .she’s ill and dirty.

But look around. . .try to find one who ain’t ill or dirty. This Winehouse chick, her illness is just a little more spectacular than the fat old bag in front of us in the grocery store line. Most of us ill and dirty are just mediocre, fat nothings who watch TV, or clean-cut morons $30,000 in debt due to conspicuous consumption.

It’s too bad Amy Winehouse didn’t do crack last week, maybe I would have thought to have been a better neighbor. . .maybe I would have thought about old Robert, and walked those three doors down, and told him how Jesus understood every last thing about him, that Jesus had a scorn for the world, too, but that He offered a different path out of the world.

He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

That don’t seem like such a paradox, anymore. . . and that's the only hope for the ill and the dirty, the only hope for Amy Winehouse, that Jesus Christ shine a light on their dark lives, and they come to understand what truly motivates their behavior: they hate their life in this world.

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