Today Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment. While the official cause of death has not been determined, I think most of the world is assuming her death is the result of a drug overdose. If that’s the case, I won’t be shocked, based on the much-publicized (perhaps overly so) battle she waged with addiction to drugs and alcohol. What has shocked me is the sheer amount of comments I’m hearing about how disappointed people are in her ongoing struggle with addiction and her inability to overcome it. It seems so ignorant, insensitive, and removed. I wonder how many of these people have ever dealt with addiction up close and personal — in their own lives or of those they love — and not just through the media. I would venture to think that their outlook on the effects of addiction on the addict and the havoc it wreaks would be much different, perhaps less concerned with pointing fingers and more understanding of the rehabilitation process. After all, life is much different when you’re a participant instead of a spectator.
The first news story I saw today was this, about a little girl who was trapped in a Conyers, Ga. Wells Fargo bank fault for four hours. The first thing I thought was that her mother is going to get fired. Maybe it’s the cynic in me, but if I were a manager, I’d be thinking the following, which are all predicated on the assumption that mom was actually working a shift, not just visiting or conducting her own banking business:
If I’ve learned one thing in all my years of being a professional student, it’s been to look at things with a critical lens. I’ve always been a bit of a skeptic, but it’s only gotten worse over the past few years. I’ve been up since 4 am, and per usual, the only thing on TV at this hour are a bunch of bad infomercials. Now I’ll admit, I am a total sucker for food-related infomercials. I will absolutely sit and watch the Magic Bullet Blender infomercial whenever I come across it. That being said, I absolutely acknowledge that it has the worst acting I’ve ever seen. The stereotypes it plays upon are borderline offensive, and it’s just not convincing. But it begs the question, why do advertisers use certain strategies … unless they work? I’m skeptical of everything I see, so I know to question the infomercials. To be honest, I question everything that’s a paid advertisement airing between 1am and 6am. But there have been a few within the past week that were so offensive to my sensibilities/intelligence that I have to share.
Today, via Twitter, I learned that Fat Beats was closing its New York and Los Angeles retail locations. I’ve never been to either location, but the realization that I never will hurts. A TON of the artists I like have expressed how integral Fat Beats was in their careers, both tangibly and otherwise. Many of them cited how amazing on a personal level it had been to do their first in-store appearances there, or described how legitimizing it felt to see their vinyl in the stores. Others talked about how you could always trust Fat Beats to have the underground music more mainstream stores couldn’t be counted on to have. Immediately, people jumped to the why. How could something that has come to be regarded as a “mecca” for hip-hop fans and artists be closing? It truly is a hip-hop institution, so what went wrong? The same answer echoed (and was retweeted): people don’t buy music. DJs don’t vinyl anymore. Fans don’t purchase physical music, either. More than that, when people do purchase physical music, they do it at big box chains like Best Buy, Walmart and Target, but not local mom and pop spots, like Fat Beats, CD Game […]