Tag Archives: Gambling addiction

Know when to walk away

Reputed gambling addict and relentless Christian moralizer William J. Bennett has stern words for the Grammy judges:

(CNN)"They tried to make me go to rehab / I said, 'No, no, no.' " –Amy Winehouse, "Rehab"

Her most famous song may have been about substance abuse, but it mocked urges and demands to enter a rehab facility for her addiction problems. Then, in 2008, 24 years old and in the midst of story after story about her drug abuse, Amy Winehouse won Grammy Awards for best record of the year, best song of the year and best new artist of the year

With those awards, a message was sent: Mock addiction, create a rallying cry for those in its grip, blow your life up in every aspect other than financial success and name recognition, and you will be rewarded with the industry's gold medals. Today, at age 27, she is dead. The cause of death is unknown, but drugs took a toll on her life even if they did not they cause her death.

My guess is that William J.Bennett doesn't know a lot about music, or music awards, or song lyrics.  My guess is also that William J.Bennett wouldn't have written this same piece about the quondam drug-addled Johnny Cash, who celebrated cocaine-feuled spousal murder, or, for that matter, Kenny Rogers, who sung of gambling (while drinking).

Tu quoques aside, the song, if you listen to it, isn't quite as shallow as the refrain suggests.  Besides, I don't think people are looking for moral lessons from the Grammy judges in the first place.