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She Said No, No, No

by Ned Wicker
(Wisconsin)


It’s another senseless death. No matter how many warnings are put out there, no matter how many red flares are sent screaming into the air, no matter how many people die long before their time, drug users will always know better. Amy Winehouse is just another in a long line of rock stars who die at age 27, for all the wrong reasons and probably because she knew what was best for her.

The song lyrics to “Rehab” read:

“They tried to make me go to rehab I said, No, No, No.”

Doing her best to cast herself as an uneducated, downtrodden, drug-house dweller, Amy emphatically said “No, no, no.” She adds:

“I ain’t got the time and if my daddy thinks I’m fine. He’s tried to make be go to rehab but I won’t go, go, go. I ain’t got 70 days, cause there nothing, there’s nothing you can teach me.”

Her mind is made up and those who see the world of drug addiction for what it is are, of course, wrong. It’s one thing for a singer to portray a certain persona, but in Winehouse’s case, the lyrics were her life. She had canceled European tour dates and had gone back to her home in London. She was found dead on July 23.

This is a tragedy, on many fronts. First and foremost, a young woman is dead, a person dearly loved and cherished by God. Those who appreciate her music understand that a tremendous talent has been lost. Regardless of any personal struggles, professionally, Winehouse was remarkable, reminding this writer of the remarkable Blues/Jazz singer Billie Holiday and of the great Janis Joplin, who also died at 27. It’s such a waste.

Do you have to use to be successful

Here’s a question that was posed to me today. Can a person be successful singing, writing or playing those blues, down trodden, drug using songs if they don’t use themselves? You look at any Amy Winehouse photo and there is a message there. For someone of my generation, it’s all too familiar, as I grew up with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix. Can you merely portray that?

It’s one thing to have a persona, but quite another to live that way. I once met a villain professional wrestler, who was despised by the fans, yet was this gentle, funny, loving teddy bear guy. That was the reality. So many young people with talent, people to attain a measure of success, can’t handle it because they really can’t handle life. It’s like people of her type are like lemmings marching off the cliff to their death. It’s going to happen and you can see it far off, just as Amy’s father saw her death long before it happened.


They don't allow it to work

Drug addicts always know better. Rehab doesn’t work because they won’t allow it to work. Her song lyrics talk of it. They can’t teach her anything. She already knows everything. It’s a shame. At some level it just makes me angry because it’s so avoidable.

It’s like she told the whole world to sit down, shut up and watch while she killed herself. At the time of this writing, the drug question had not been answered. They were waiting for the results. Everybody is suspecting an overdose.

With the alcohol use, in combination with drug use, there could be other causes of death. Respiratory failure, cardiac arrest, any number of things could have gone wrong.

Started effecting her performance

When Winehouse got “booed” off the stage earlier this summer for slurring words and forgetting lyrics, it was obvious that something was seriously wrong, but she didn’t stay in the hospital and receive treatment, she was at home, in her drug culture. She was doing “outpatient treatment.” Interpretation—sure I’m in treatment only I’m not going and they can’t make me. You can’t force them into treatment, no, no, no. She knew better.

In life there are consequences. We try hard to keep our children free from any disease, any pain, any consequences, even when those consequences would be in their best interest. In Amy’s case, her parents knew everything and didn’t sweep the dirt under the rug. They faced it. Amy got her own way though and she made her choices. Nobody could force her to do anything she didn’t want to do, including getting clean and sober.

If you take illegal drugs, or misuse those that are legal, you’re going to get into trouble. If you become addicted and refuse treatment, those drugs are likely going to kill you. It’s the kind of insanity you can easily demonstrate, yet the law says if you’re an adult, you can slowly kill yourself. What if, Amy Winehouse, and others just like her, would be locked up and treated? Not jail, not punishment, but counseling and treatment.

Well, getting them off the streets and not breaking the law would be a violation of their freedom, right? I suppose, at the end of the day, they get to kill themselves if they want, but what about the rights of those who loved her.

Parents tried everything

Do Amy’s mom and dad get anything? If they could have forced the issue, regardless of how their daughter felt about it, no matter how much she cursed them, do you honestly think for a minute they wouldn’t have done it? To see her death coming, many years ago, and to now be forced to live the tragic reality, is the kind of heartbreak I wouldn’t wish on anybody.

We have lost a talented young performer. She wasn’t the first and she’ll certainly not be the last. Why? We don’t learn. We know what’s best because it won’t happen to us.

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- Matthew 7:7-8






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