This morning on radio Fivelive, the in-laws of the pop singer Amy Winehouse spoke out against the drug habit of their son and his wife, which they said was “killing the couple”. It was good radio, and I felt very moved by their courage or rather desperation. They went so far as to say that the public should not buy their records and the record companies have a duty of care towards their singers. They were heart broken by the behaviour of their son and his wife.
It seemed to have a direct link with lots of other things, like the shootings and the gang culture. They are related to the drugs, their availability and how they are traded on our streets.
But what surprised me was the reaction of the callers. As this was a phone-in programme. A lot of people were either of the mind that who cares about the “pouncy pop singers, let them die if they want to”. Or they were of the opinion that as the people involved were adults, it was none of the parents business to question their behaviour. One caller went, as far as to say that this was a conspiracy against the singers, by the BBC because she is a Jew!
I would like to think that this was not the voice of the whole nation, but even if it was a minority, then how can they have such blinkered vision?
The way I see it, (and please tell me if am wrong) is that we live in a celebrity culture, where pop singers and such like have a huge influence on especially young people. It is them who have made drug taking “cool”. Everyday we hear some celebrity or other going into rehab. So it has to start from them that they are seen to be moving away from substance abuse.
Why should parents not be concerned even if their “children” are adults, should they just watch from sidelines?
I feel that the record companies should have a zero tolerance towards those artists who are addicts, and rehab should be a condition of a continuing contract.
Am I wrong in thinking that by accepting the drug culture of people with money we are creating a whole generation, which aspires to their ills?
I want to applaud the parents in-law of Amy for coming out and saying this, and am aghast by the responses, which were either indifferent or didn’t want anyone to interfere.