WTF? Amy Winehouse’s death 'a wake up call for small business owners'?

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Amy Winehouse, who died over the weekend, was a wonderful singer-songwriter. Her genius for adapting older popular music forms — notably, jazz and R&B — to new times, is probably as close to total originality as this post-modern era allows. Winehouse, for all her tabloid-fodder habits, was a musical marvel and I miss her already — just as, on some level, I’ll always miss her “next album,” which, obviously, won’t be coming out.

People react differently to celebrity deaths. Many feel obliged to see lessons for us all in the death, usually lessons like “Just Say No,” "Use a Condom," or some other simplistic moralizing. The death of Amy Winehouse has been no exception. CNN, BBC, MSNBC, whichever media outlet you watched, someone there had a lesson all of us could — and should — learn from the diminutive, alcoholic chanteuse’s demise. It’s an annoying habit, this “lessons learned” thing — repeated after every sensationalized celebrity death or blast of political violence. (So far, people still seem too stunned by the horrors in Norway to find many “lessons” there yet, but have no fear, they’re on the way.)

Tricia Fox has come up with one of the oddest, not to say most self-serving, reactions to Winehouse’s death we’re likely to see. Her site within Huffington Post says “Tricia Fox is a Scottish entrepreneur and marketer who is utterly, utterly passionate about building brands.” OK, if that’s what pulls your trigger, but surely Amy Winehouse — who, was, if nothing else, impractical, non-business-minded, and representative of the flighty-artiste stereotype — offered nothing for Ms. Fox to muse about in her column, right? Wrong. According to Ms. Fox, and I am not making this up, Winehouse’s death “is a wake-up call to all small business owners.” To which I offer a big, fat, “Huh??” Or, as an old friend used to say, God al-fucking-mighty. Usually, someone’s body is allowed to get cold before crass vultures try to use it for their own narrow self-interest. I guess now, however, the hungry maw of the non-stop news cycle dictates that you get your shots in ASAP. Congrats, Ms. Fox, you've come in first in the "I can't see past the end of my own friggin nose" contest.

The late Amy Winehouse
  • The late Amy Winehouse

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