Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse, Norway, and a messed-up world

So I'm sitting here at lunch and I see a Facebook post about Amy Winehouse being found dead. I shouldn't be surprised but at the same time, yes, I was. You hope that people get their stuff together and have happy lives, but some people just can't. I cannot imagine what kind of pain she must have felt in life that it was bad enough for her to digest the level of substances she did, but also as often. I spent a few minutes pondering why some people have tremendous amounts of pain in their lives -- from abusive homes to childhood traumas or horrid disabilities, anything that is out of the norm -- and have little trouble making their way through life, and usually with the best attitude ever. And other people can have such difficulty coping with things that most of us would either shrug off or eventually just get over...... Some people are like the Black Knight: chop off their arms and to them, just a flesh wound. Others, you can show them a safety pin at 30 paces, and they are stabbed in the heart for life. There's sensitive and then there's "really, child, toughen up!" just as much as there is "you went through all that, and you're okay? really? Wow."

Then I had another friend post an opinion about the horrific tragedy in Norway, for which there just are no words. Her thought was on what sort of odd combination of environment and genetics could possibly produce a killer like that..... and there are no answers. Here's someone who felt such deep emotion about something that this was his answer to his personal pain..... it is a massively (blank)ed-up answer to 99.99999% of the rest of the world, but his mind would not see that.

Violence.... one full of rage and took it out on 100 people who had no connection to his pain at all. One full of self-hatred and took it out on herself. Both deprived the world of something. Who knows if Amy Winehouse's talent could have blossomed and given us all lots more to enjoy in her music? Who knows what those 100 people in Norway (especially the teens) could have gone on to do and be? We mourn most what might have been...... in both instances.

And sadly, this week, a part of my childhood has gone away too..... No new program for NASA. The space shuttle program has, after 30 years, ended, with nothing substantial to replace it. NASA was something cool from my childhood -- being an astronaut? YEAH! Even as a girl, it would have been super cool! I remember watching launches on the evening news, and we all held our breaths when the very first shuttle went up and came home. I can tell you exactly where I was when I heard the news of the Challenger explosion .... and my teacher's reaction has never been forgotten in 25 years. (Wow. 25 years? Seriously? Oh geeez......) In fact, we used the whole Challenger explosion and investigation as a case study in my Public Administration class. And now it seems that we have other fish to fry. Too many different things wanting a piece of the pie, and oh well, this quaint relic from another time, well..... sorry NASA. You're expendable.

Really? How many of the technological advances that we enjoy today had a genesis or a further development from the space program? What if all that had never happened? Damn those Commies for capitulating .... they took our competitive drive away. (/sarcasm) The one remnant of the Space Race Age that I'll hang onto are some great pieces of ambient music..... or music steeped in remembrance of such a time (e.g., Donald Fagen's glorious The Nightfly, and especially "New Frontier").

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Guess today, I haz a sad. All over.

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