I was very shocked and saddened by the untimely death of Stephen Gately.
I have never met him, seen him perform, bought any records or even wanted to see him perform. I'm not too keen on Boyzone but the music is nice and easily listenable too. If he was appearing in my local town I wouldn't have gone to see him.
Again he wasn't in any way the musical genius that Michael Jackson was, though he was a bit more normal.
Yet I was upset and still am. In part the loss of anyone in their prime out of the blue just like that there's a real sense of pointless loss.
And in some ways his contribution to entertainment was a big one, whilst also remembering his coming out in 1999.
So never having been a fan I always liked Gately and wished him well in life and think the world was a better place for him having been in it.
That may be the best thing that can be said about a human being.
On the other hand some of the coverage has been atrocious. Like coverage suggesting he had been drinking before dying, smoked cannabis or some such thing. So what? He was a young man on holiday and was at liberty to do what many people do. There's no sense of decency to allow grief these days.
And then there's the senseless ravings of Jan Moir in the Daily Mail. Of course she denies she is being homophobic. Of course she does. Like most homophobes do.
I think that there is a lot of homophobia around the need to trash someone before they've even been laid in the soil.
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.
.... any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.