My friend OddBabbling writes about how we can have more compassion for those who are addicted. OB writes about how we don’t judge the lamb for being weak in the jaws of the wolf. Living in a big global city, I presume OB sees more addiction than wolves.
The very smart and insightful Russel Brand wrote yesterday about his friendship with Winehouse:
Winehouse and I shared an affliction, the disease of addiction. All addicts, regardless of the substance or their social status share a consistent and obvious symptom; they’re not quite present when you talk to them. They communicate to you through a barely discernible but un-ignorable veil. Whether a homeless smack head troubling you for 50p for a cup of tea or a coked-up, pinstriped exec foaming off about his “speedboat” there is a toxic aura that prevents connection. They have about them the air of elsewhere, that they’re looking through you to somewhere else they’d rather be. And of course they are. The priority of any addict is to anaesthetise the pain of living to ease the passage of the day with some purchased relief.
Everything about Amy Winehouse’s death is stupid. I am not being flippant. I am speaking technically here. Death in the first place is stupid. But death so young is even more grotesquely stupid. Thinking this death more significant because Winehouse was gifted is also stupid. So too is giving out because we care more about her death than the millions on the edge of death in East Africa. It is stupid to die from a drug overdose. But it is also stupid and disgusting to suggest that she deserved to die because she was addicted to drugs. If you think that, why do you think it repugnant if people say that those with AIDS deserve to die? You are just being stupid.
I’ve found that I most desperately need compassion when I am stupid. I’ve found that on a bad day you could organise an intervention to help me confront my addiction to stupidity.
Your Correspondent, A fierce idiot at times