Sunday, 3 August 2008

Katie Price, getting wasted and The Sunday Telegraph

In today's Sunday Telegraph, Jenny McCartney writes that young people, besotted with celebrity, now regard the likes of Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty as icons because of their self-destructive inclinations. 'It is the prolonged pageant of self-destruction that draws the crowds,' the writes. She posits the view that the younger generation are not put off by the way these guys look. '...ugly, scary self-destruction is precisely the point at which the fans' admiration escalates.'

Not at all. Young people are not so shallow as all that. They peer with horror at La Winehouse. They look at her skin, her filthy nails, her bloodied feet and her blank visage with the curiosity of a voyeur watching with baited breath the demise of a stricken liner flailing tormentedly in a hurricane. They've no interest in 'using' until they look like that. They're fascinated that this is what drugs can do to a talent. They certainly don't want to emulate her.

Amy Winehouse seeks out and uses drugs because of her mental health problems, not because she loves to have scabies, live in squalor or wishes to end up sleeping in a pile outside her favourite pub. I know from 'Zach's' experiences, that suffering from Bipolar disorder means that the continuing symptoms of the condition presage an urge to 'cure' them in any way possible. Drugs and alcohol are medications, easily obtained and without prescription that do, to some extent, alleviate the horrors that the illness forces sufferers to experience on a day to day, night by night basis.

Tattoos and piercings are not sought out for the pain that they inflict. They are sought out so that they inform who the wearer is and what he or she stands for. Drugs are not sought out to prove that the user is 'an angst ridden teen'. What a shallow concept! If only it were that simple... You've got it wrong Jenny. If you read 'Don't Wait for Me', you'll realise that getting wasted/drugs/mental illness go hand in hand and no one overdoses on heroin to prove their notoriety.

As an addendum to a previous post: I see that Katie Price is now the number one bestseller in 'original fiction'. Well, that's a nice oxymoron...!

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