When I was a prepubescent soprano in the all-boy choir at St. Edmond’s Academy waaaay back in the mid-80s, we sang Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All” like millions of other choirs. I remember “So Emotional” and her other pop hits from that era because they were all blared over the radio that my parents controlled. As I got older, I remember the not-too-bad movie The Bodyguard that had a couple of good songs (but I really quickly got tired of “I Will Always Love You”). Eventually, she married Bobby Brown and became psychotic. It was probably the drugs, sure… but she lost her mind.
Now? She’s dead in a hotel room bathtub.
Everyone is making such a huge deal out of this, but you know what? She was a human being who struggled with addiction, and now she’s dead like thousands of other addicts who took one wrong ride. That doesn’t make her special, it makes her human.
Granted, she was an international superstar, so I get the retrospectives on VH-1 and E!, but what really pisses me off is that we are doing exactly what we always do: Ignoring ALL of the issues surrounding the person to deify them in death.
You want the truth? Whitney Houston squandered her talent, became a crack addict, and died because of her love of drugs.
Is that enough for Chris Christie to lower the flags in NJ to half-mast? Apparently so.
So that’s another reason why NJ is screwed up, but that’s besides the point right now. The main point is that Houston is another in a long line of celebrity deaths that sends a message to the impressionable (and stupid) American public that, despite every moronic thing you do in life, people will adore you in death.
I haven’t seen one story talking about Houston’s charitable contributions or philanthropic efforts or global awareness to make the planet better. Say whatever you want about Bono or Angelina Jolie, but those two put their money where their mouth is. The only memories of Houston that have been displayed have been her music (which, let’s face it, while catchy, should not go down in history as legendary), her tumultuous marriage to another train-wreck, and her drug addiction. Let’s call this what it is, folks… someone who couldn’t shake the monkey from her back. Yes, she left behind a daughter and an ex-husband (who, by all accounts, is heart-broken over her passing), so I feel for the both of them. That’s where it ends though. I don’t spend any more time wasting my energy eulogizing a singer who, like so many before her, chose addiction over career.
The half-mast thing in NJ really pisses me off, though… You’re telling me that a drug-addled tabloid-favorite should be given the same level of honor as a soldier who fought and died selflessly? the same honor as a someone who sacrificed themselves for the good of others rather than selfishly took care of only herself? Hell, no. We have returning caskets that get far less pomp and circumstance than the attention paid to these celebrities like Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, Heath Ledger, and that list can go on for pages and pages and pages! It sickens me that our society is so wrapped up in glitz and glamour that we are more concerned when a celebrity goes to the bathroom than with real problems in the world.
So, yeah… I’m over it. I’m tired of paying homage to flawed human beings (just like myself) when I can reserve my tears and anguish for those who really deserve it.