The repetitive use of those particular words, used in one context only, tend to make me heave. There is nothing wrong with remembrance, there is no shame to be attached to recalling the life and memories of a loved one, we are all as one in sadness when a relative or friend dies. The sadness is and should be reduced, as the death of either an acquaintance, or a local hero, happens, mainly because their lives did not impact upon us as individuals. One of the larger funeral services which was held in some years ago in Durham City at the crematorium was not organised, there was no ‘order of service’, there was indeed very little ‘formal’ organisation, apart from the actual operations in the building itself. We all came to honour the service and the friendship, the fact; that a simple unassuming man had touched a great many lives with a simple honesty, a clarity of purpose, and an acceptance that his life was shared amongst many; and we filled the crematorium’s area to a capacity rarely seen.
There was no breast-beating, no wailing, no hysteria, no fuss; for this was an English farewell to an English gentleman in the truest sense of the word. His was a life of commitment, and this was shown by the number of representatives of all callings who came to give and pay their last respects at the funeral of one who would probably have blanched at the sheer numbers who sat and stood in silence. As for my dead friend, whose funeral was quiet and dignified, there were no adverse comments, because he lived his life by the standards which used to rule us all.
Compare that, if you will, against the outpourings of ‘grief’ for the dead druggie Amy Winehouse. We are informed that Winehouse’s father has been comforted by Keith Vaz in his efforts to start a Foundation in memory of his dead daughter, and has also met the Coalition Minister to push for more money to be targeted at ‘Drug rehabilitation’ clinics, so that other addicts can get the treatment which ‘works’. As I have never consciously listened to the songs or indeed the ‘singing of this dead ‘artiste’, I do not feel qualified to comment upon their artistic integrity, but I do feel eminently qualified to comment upon the false and unctuous commentary upon what seemed to me to be the ending of a wasted and wilful life, despite the many warnings she was alleged to have received from both ‘family’ as well as ‘friends’.
Whilst being totally unfamiliar with the family of the dead ‘pop star’, I along with many, many others, are all too familiar with the outpourings of ‘grief’ from the besotted fans and admirers of this cruelly failed young woman. Time after time, when ‘Slebs’ of whatever calling die or kill themselves, we see and hear the knee-jerk reactions of the ‘mourning brigade’ as they work themselves into paroxysms of fervour for the recent passing of what is surely the most ephemeral of heroines or heroes.
It was not too long ago, after the strange and suspicious death of yet another ‘pop hero’ Stephen Gately that a columnist on the Daily Mail had the temerity to question the hedonistic lifestyle of the dead homosexual in question, and the sheer volume of hatred shovelled upon that unfortunate woman’s head could have been weighed by the vitriolic ton. Quite a number of ‘slebs’, mainly from the world of ‘pop music’ have died early, many as a result of heavy drug use and overdose, and every time, you read or hear the same tunes played on the public’s heartstrings; ‘they never stood a chance’, we tried to warn them’, etc. etc. With ‘friends’ like those, who really needs enemies. The quality and calibre of the ‘grief’ after Winehouse’s death can be judged by the pictures of half-empty glasses, presumably empty bottles of Malibu and cigarettes at the shrine outside her home. Did she kill herself by yet another measure of cocaine or heroin which presumably dulled the ‘noise’ in her mind? We shall no doubt be informed at the inquest. I would end by repeating a few words from one of her ‘lyrics’, so as to gain a measure of what the singer actually thought of the ‘advice’ which was seemingly so generously ladled in her direction:-
‘They tried to make me go to rehab but I said ‘no, no, no’