Hayley is a Ghost

logical people being illogical about what “matters most”

Posted on: July 23, 2011

I liked Amy Winehouse because her voice was awesome and emotive. I saw her dragged through the papers and humiliated for the addictions that she had, and as someone related to an addict or two, I appreciate how hard that can be – especially when you’ve caused the problem through your own destructive behaviour in the first place.

Amy died today and it made me extremely sad, so, so sad.

Yesterday in Oslo, a man detonated a huge bomb and killed seven people – I watched at work as the news unfolded on my twitter stream and on news websites, and then as I sat there in my office, in another part of the world a man opened fire and killed over eighty (maybe even more…) teenagers who were defenceless, and I sat there not being able to do a thing about it.

The sheer horror I felt, like millions of others felt, still hasn’t quite sunk in because it’s difficult to imagine how horrific what has happened in Norway is. I can’t think about it without tears coming to my eyes.

When news broke that Amy Winehouse had died, people on my facebook and twitter feeds started expressing their shock and grief. Then others began questioning those first set of peoples sense of empathy and priority.

How dare people mourn the loss of a celebrity singer when dozens of innocent people in Norway had been killed?


I haven’t blogged directly about the “Elevator gate” saga because so many others said what needed to be said, but the thing that most people were critical of during “Elevatorgate” was the way in which Richard Dawkins, in the blog comments of PZ Myers blog, suggested that Watson needed to get a sense of priority – how dare she moan about being made to feel uncomfortable in an elevator when women are being beaten and raped and oppressed daily in other parts of the world.

The very people I saw talking about how Dawkins was wrong to express this dismissal of another persons feelings are now judging me and others for have the audacity to write about how sad we are to hear that Amy Winehouse, of whom we are fans, had died at the tragic age of 27.

How dare we mourn the loss of one life when elsewhere in the world dozens are dying? How dare we be so shallow? Don’t these people have a sense of perspective? Hello?! Haven’t these people seen what is happening in Norway?! DUH!!

Well, let me just set a few things straight here for those who seem so clueless as to why people would dare talk about how sad they are at the death of Winehouse.

I would also feel this sad about Amy Winehouse’s death on any other day, and I wont apologise for that simply because her death happened on the same day as the true horror of the attacks in Norway unfolded. Just because I am saddened that we lost Amy Winehouse today doesn’t mean that I am not also saddened and horrified by what has happened in Norway.

If you didn’t like Amy Winehouse then good for you, I did, and I am truly sad that she has died. If that makes me a bad, horrible person, then I am guilty as charged.

People who preach at others about how they should and should not act, how they should and should not feel are starting to really annoy me. It’s incredible that people who claim to be rational thinkers can see the world through such narrow minds and be truly shocked that other people don’t always think the same way they do.


18 Responses to "logical people being illogical about what “matters most”"

I agree.It is really annoying when other people tell you how to deal with your life. It is pure ignorance.R.I.P to Amy and R.I.P to the victims in Norway. Both of these situations are so so sad. 😦

>People who preach at others about how they should and should not act, how they should and should not feel are starting to really annoy me. It’s incredible that people who claim to be rational thinkers can see the world through such narrow minds and be truly shocked that other people don’t always think the same way they do.

What a hypocrite you really are – I know you won’t publish this, but believe me – many are getting sick to death of you and your snide ways.

Are they? Care to elaborate?

Well, she published it; happy now?

I publish comments as long as they’re not:

– anonymous
– rude and abusive
– spam

You’re not really a friendly chicken are you?

Great post Hayley! I agree totally, I am also sad about Amy, she was a huge talent. We are allowed to be sad!
True also, it does not mean that we don’t care about what happened in Norway, of course we do.
I’m glad to read a blog that says exactly what I also feel 🙂 great work!

Absolutely and totally agree. You may have already seen this on my FB feed, but people seem to be playing some kind of ‘Tragedy Top Trumps’ today: happened to my brother too. He was taken to task about his feelings for Winehouse and others on my feed did too. One even said “only a handful of people […] mentioned Norway […] yet when Amy Winehouse dies, Facebook goes nuts. Sometimes I worry about our species.”
Not that he’d posted about Norway… just a sanctimonious rant about others posting about Winehouse. Insane.

Actually, this also reminds me of the ‘bellyful of hacking’ cartoon…

Like people only think/care about one thing at a time! No such thing as multitasking, obv.

For me I feel grief for Winehouse taking her own life at the rockstar death age of 27 rather cleaning herself up and using her talent more effectively. Norway, I feel horror. Random mass death is a horror. For others it may be the other way around, but emotions are not rational. You can’t plan how you feel in a situation. I hardily endorse this post.

Yes, totally agree. People are perfectly entitled to their own feelings, telling people how to feel is totally out of order in my book. What about the people who are starving to death in Somalia right now?

“Like people only think/care about one thing at a time!”

As if feeling sad about one thing sucks up all the sadness and keeps you from feeling sad about anything else.

I didn’t realize there was a rule that we can feel sad about only one thing at a time.

Having spent many years working in the music industry, you might like to read my blog about Amy and other stars who have fallen to drug related deaths, at http://rhemsworth.blogspot.com

Hayley, I agree with the sentiment here. Although Amy Winehouse never really did it for me – of course it’s sad that she’s died.

The headline, where you refer to “Logical people acting Illogically” takes me back to the fuss about “skeptical people” not acting skeptically in their responses to the elevatorgate mess. A lack of skepticism was evident on both sides of that debate, which was a pleasant reminder that even self-proclaimed skeptics are delightfully fallible humans after all.

I do now think that there really is no such thing as a “Logical person” or a “Skeptical person”. No human that has ever existed has lived a life where every thought has been logical. They are just humans. You can reliably refer to skeptical approaches to, or logical reactions to any given incident, but I think disappointment at supposedly “skeptical people” expressing a non-skeptical point of view is to be disappointed by human nature.

We can applaud logic and skepticism whenever they are employed, but I don’t see that this means we should be surprised or disappointed when anyone goes on to express a gut reaction that we may or may not agree with – thus rendering them no longer a “Logical person”. My basic point is that giving people the tag of “Skeptical” or “Logical” is inaccurate and doomed to disappointment.

Anyway, on a separate note, I know you cop a load of shit on here and are often upset by it. I for one want you to know that there are plenty of us egging you on and who really appreciate your willingness to bother challenging the things you do. I don’t always agree with you, but I’m on a very similar journey to the one you’re on (i.e. learning stuff about the world) so do keep it up.

A little more than a month ago, the Big Man, Clarence Clemens, a major part of the soundtrack of my life, died from complications from a stroke. If you grew up in New Jersey in the 1970s, Bruce Springsteen was our voice but the big man was our soul.

Clarence had been a major part of the “soundtrack” of my life. His soulful saxophone made the everything seem nice if only for a few minutes. When he picked up his horn and walked to the front of the stage for a solo, the crowd would cheer louder than for anything else in a four hour Springsteen concert. I’m sure that Clarence is jamming with Coltrane in the great nightclub in the sky.

I didn’t know much of Amy Winhouse’s music. I didn’t even recognize her name when I read on Twitter that she had died. What I do know is that she was an addict – a characteristic that I share with her. I’ve been almost entirely clean and sober for more than fourteen years but having kicked alcohol, smack and pain pills, I can attest to the fact that getting beyond addiction is the hardest thing one can do in their life. I can only assume that it is much harder having to get clean while on the front page of gossip rags. I feel sad for Ms Winehouse as her struggle must have been awful.

I’m also saddened by the events in Norway as another right wing Christian shows how unlike Jesus they are by blowing up a building and then slaughtering dozens of children. These events have a greater gravity than the death of a couple of pop stars but having many die in Norway doesn’t erase the sadness I felt when I heard that Clarence had died Nor will it change the fact that seeing Bruce will be a lot different in the future.

Because I am profoundly vision impaired, I need web sites to be accessible for me to be able to access the information on them. When I tell people, including Skeptics who claim that they support increasing diversity in the movement, that there are problems with their sites, I get three groups of responses. The largest group silently ignores me; the second group tells me that accessibility isn’t important enough to warrant taking a few minutes to make some simple fixes; the last and smallest group, including terrific people like Hayley Stevens, Rebecca Watson and Richard Saunders, ask me how to make fixes and are willing to take action. A lack of accessibility is the 21st century version of the “whites only” sign on a door but many people deem that this isn’t an important enough problem to even try to remediate.

I understand Rebecca’s side of the elevatorgate issue and I identify entirely about being dismissed by arrogant white men who suggest that my needs are simply not important. I understand priority but the pain I feel when I try to read a web site and cannot is like being punched in the gut and, when the author of the site is someone I would otherwise respect, I feel all the more demoralized and unwelcome – especially after I’ve offered my services free of charge to remediate the site.

Different people have different priorities but there are many reasons that Skeptics should be interested in the tremendous amount of pseudo-science surrounding women’s issues, disability, addiction, mental health, etc. Instead of dismissing Rebecca for complaining about an issue that dorks may consider trivial, we, as a community, should dig deeper into the issue and hear what she has to say and, if you haven’t already you should listen to the Point of Inquiry interview with Watson to learn about the ton of bad science used to oppress women, and I’m confident that a little exploration into feminism, disability and other “fringe” issues, will result in a lot of really interesting outcomes, greater understanding and increased diversity in this community.

Does this make sense?


Useful quote on anonymity here (from a Guardian article)

“Anonymity is the refuge for all literary and journalistic rascality” – Arthur Schoepenhauer


Reminds me of an old poem from years back:
“Ayrton Senna was a hero,
The whole world mourned his loss.
But Roland Ratzenburger died
And no-one gave a toss.”

Replace names with Mother Theresa/Priness Diana, Amy WhineHouse/The Norwar Victims etc.

@Friendly Chicken. Your silence is very telling.
One of the other things in this world that make me mad, apart from people telling me how I should and shouldn’t feel, is people who make sweeping statements which they are either unprepared or unable to justify.
A great piece…think you summed up the past few days emotions for many of us.

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Hayley is a ghost

Hayley Stevens is an advocate for science-based research into seemingly paranormal experiences and occurrences. With a background in the pseudo-scientific research into ghosts, Hayley offers a unique insight into the strange world of ghost hunting through her experience.

She describes herself as 'a ghost hunter who doesn't hunt for ghosts' and this is her personal blog where she writes about ghosts, people, and other interesting things. Read more here.

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