As I travelled around Europe this week (flew to Barcelona via Prague from Tel Aviv, don't ask) and mulled and blogged about the reality of physical gatherings still important in this digital age, also followed the almost unbelievable (if it weren't true) story of the United States government refusing to grant Amy Winehouse a visa to attend the Grammy Awards.
While the "powers that be" in Washington DC continue to make policy decisions that kill thousands upon thousands, and directly pull the trigger on debatable military actions all over the world, fascinating that the US State Department found Amy Winehouse, of all people, too threatening to allow into the US, knowing that she had been invited to perform at the Grammy Award ceremony.
Now, has young Amy led a perfect life? No. I have not followed all the gory details, but enough to know she has substance abuse problems, emotional instability, and I am sure few other serious "issues."
Like all prophets (in Jewish tradition there are many that say prophets often were seen to be possesed, singing in dancing in a pitched fever, see King David and critique of him by wife Michal), Amy will take time to mold herself, and her God-given talents. If we as a society reject her, will only drive further away. If the US really wanted to make a point, should not only have granted her a visa, but offered her the best drug counseling US has to offer. Could have asked her to make a PSA (Public Service Announcement) to be aired during the Grammys about dangers of substance abuse. So many creative possibilities.
But instead the Americans utilized one of the last remaining powers they have in this crazy world, which was to formally deny Amy entry to the country (that doesn't stop the millions that cross in search of work, or the terrorists that often are granted Visas). Amy in the end used modern technology to one-up the American government, appearing at 4 AM London time by satellite, and taking 5 Grammy Awards.
From recent headlines it looks like Amy is making progress on pulling past her problems, it would have been nice if the US government would have given support.
Mazel Tov Amy, may you go from strength to strength, as my grandmother used to say.