The death of Amy Winehouse has sparked a range of reactions, and yet I see the same pattern happening with her passing that I saw when Michael Jackson died, and that was already covered in detail. Basic point being that it’s interesting to see a celebrity that everyone and their mom made fun of because of her exploits outside of her music career, and then suddenly turn 180-degrees and proclaim to be her biggest fan ever after she suddenly and unexpectedly dies. For whatever reason, it seems to be completely acceptable for this sort of hypocrisy to happen in a politically correct world.
I get that speaking ill of the dead is bad form, and that’s not so much what I’m condoning here (although, admittedly, I’ve made an off-color remark or three about Winehouse since her passing). However, why are people not allowed to say how they really feel about such a situation? I’ve stated several times how I feel that political correctness has become a new form of censorship, and this seems to be a great example, just like in the case of Michael Jackson. Those who were actual fans of Winehouse who miss her music and mourn her passing, by all means, continue to do so. No one can begrudge that at all. However, I’ve seen people on Facebook who I know for a fact were bashing her before last weekend only to speak out about how tragic her passing was afterwards, and that sort of hypocrisy makes me sick. These same people will make her the punchline of a joke at a party only a few years from now.
As far as speaking ill of her now that she has passed, some have done so because it was well known that she had issues with drugs. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the connection between being a heroin addict and dying young. Factor in that one of her most well-known songs spoke of attempts to make her go to “Rehab,” but she said “no, no, no.” What other reaction can be had in a situation like that? Remarks I’ve made about Winehouse centered around that song and how it related to the end of her career and possibly her life. They were made because I personally have a very hard time with those who do not accept personal responsibility, and Winehouse could very well fall in to that category because she chose to shoot up a needle in the first place.
That said, “the cause of death is unknown pending toxicology tests.” Those (including myself) who had a knee-jerk reaction to the news of her death as being drug-related could, in fact, look somewhat stupid in the end. If that comes to pass, I’ll be the first to eat crow, and I’ll do it in public because I can accept that I was wrong. However, if her death is due to what I suspect, I don’t want to hear a single word from some self-righteous two-face about how what I’m saying is wrong. At that point it would be absolutely correct, and unlike others who are afraid to go against the grain of being politically correct for fear of being ostracized, I’ll at least be speaking the truth, both factually and from the heart.
With that out of the way, let’s get to other news that happened this week that may be of further interest.
“Billboard.com reports that Jay-Z and Kanye West are giving iTunes and Best Buy exclusive windows to sell different editions of their Watch the Throne album, and brick-and-mortar retailers aren’t happy about this at all.
iTunes will be selling the album exclusively on August 8, four days before the official release date, and they will be offering the lead track “Otis” as an exclusive download after customers pre-order the album from Apple.
Best Buy will be given nearly two weeks to purchase the deluxe CD version of the album, until August 23.”
My very first reaction to this was, “What ‘brick-and-mortar’ retailers?” Tower Records closed years ago, every Virgin Megastore in the US has shut down, and Borders is going out of business for good even as I type this. Independent retailers are still around, but that’s it.
And then I did a little more research on the story and realized that it’s those independent stores that are so upset with this deal. In fact, they even sent an open letter to Jay-Z and West about the marketing move, decrying it as a “short-sighted strategy.”
On one hand, I can sympathize with the record stores. Corporate chains deserve to be out of business, frankly, but smaller independent stores have been a backbone long before chain stores started popping up in shopping malls. Much of those (the ones I’ve come across, anyway) are relatively fair when it comes to pricing and service. It’s a shame they’re being done like this.
I think their ire shouldn’t be directed at Jay-Z or West, though. The label would have made that decision for marketing purposes. We’ve already talked about how Apple is in bed with them now, and Best Buy has had exclusives like this for ages. It’s a common practice that, many times, the artists have nothing to do with. Although, with the stroke that Jay and ‘Ye have, they may be going after the right people after all.
On the other hand, this can also be chalked up to being a sign of the times. CDs have been dying a slow death for years now. The digital marketplace is where the action is happening—once again, a sign of the times. I hope the independent stores never go completely under, but I’m also afraid that the course is already set. Stories like this only serve as a small indicator, too. The future is far from set, but it would not surprise me if we look at this as the record stores having a very valid point, in hindsight, because there may not be any left a few years down the road.