Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Morality and Mortality

This morning at the gym, I was sitting in the car, waiting for Richie to finish his workout, peacefully reading a book. My reverie was disturbed when another car pulled into a slot several cars away. The windows were wide open and a wistful chorus was blaring. The chorus was only six words ("Come on, m----r f----r, come on") but the vulgarity offended me. It's one thing to swear in private when exceedingly angry (or mildly irritated, for that matter) but this was Way Too Much. Just as I was girding up my loins to throw the miscreant the hairy eyeball laser of death, Richie came to the car. Opening the door, he said, mildly, "I see you've got the radio on."

There is a British singer-performer named Any Winehouse. I have never heard any of her songs, never seen any video footage on her, only various photos in which she appears to be waif-thin with a pair of improbably-large after-market headlights, jet black hair that certainly looks dyed and lots of tattoos. But every couple of days, I google her name. Why?

Winehouse, 26, is alleged to be a crack smoker and alcoholic who has been in rehab (unsuccessfully) many times. She's been hospitalized (at death's door) from emphysema (said to be caused by smoking crack.) Her own father has publicly wrung his hands and moaned about her, saying he doesn't know why she's still alive and if she doesn't change, she won't be.

My interest is simply that of any healthy 68 year old (no prescription meds) in the longevity of someone who so clearly and badly abuses her health. It's kind of "Look how the weeds flourish, but the roses are dead." Happily, the most recent news about her is that she'll be performing at the 2009 Coachella music festival. This after an idyll in the Caribbean where (allegedly) resort management cut her off from the bar so she resorted to stealing the other guests drinks off of their tables and downing them. She's very resourceful in her own way ...

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