First, I should say that I have very little interest in celebrity news, gossip, or general goings-on. I don’t care who shaved their head, flashed their undies (or lack of), cheated on this one with that one, or ate a live zebra (okay, if that happened it might pique my interest…a little). I am, however, interested in who volunteered their time/money here or there, supported this or that cause, made an incredibly nice gesture, and ate a live zebra. My interest in these things isn’t limited to celebrities, though I’m interested in anyone that does this stuff.
Now that I’ve said all that, I decided that it would be appropriate to write an entry about the death of Whitney Houston. I’ve never owned an album of hers, but I remember hearing her music while growing up. I also remember hearing about her issues with drugs and relationships. Since this is an art-related blog and Whitney Houston was a musical artist, I figured it was relevant.
Beyond her music or personal issues, I know nothing of her. I don’t know what/if she did anything to help other people, I don’t know what her interests were, or what causes or issues touched her heart. I know that at one point she was placed on this fantastic pedestal to eventually be yanked off of it once her flaws out shined her voice.
It should be of no surprise that since her death, that negativity continues: Crack-this-that-jokes, She deserved to die, I’m glad she’s dead, etc… that is what I’ve been reading on FB, Twitter, and various other places online. I don’t understand the point.
She was a celebrity, but she was a human one. Just as real as you or I, simply playing on a different stage. Long ago I realized that celebrities are portrayed as cheap products that function poorly, are given horrible reviews, yet people keep buying them. There are expectations set for them that don’t make sense, nor would I wish them upon anyone. I don’t think I could handle feeling relatively secure as a person and, as soon as I make a mistake or do something that is seen as a mistake, everyone tears me apart as if I was less than human. In fact, this did happen to me, and I’m a nobody it was awful to deal with. There are always understanding voices trying to shout over the mob, but they’re drowned out by venomous comments, teasing, and bullying. Whether you’re a celebrity, public figure, or average Joe, this happens. Of course, with people in the public eye, it happens on a vastly larger scale than in a small town. It doesn’t mean it hurts any less, though. Truthfully it seems like cruelty, not love, knows no bounds.
Was I incredibly saddened to hear she died? Honestly, no. I think any death is sad, some more than others. I felt bad for her family, as I would with anyone that lost someone. I don’t think the world lost a hero, I don’t think her death will spark a revolution or a create major shift in anything (with the exception of her family). She was another person that, throughout her life succumbed to various things that affect people, eventually died for whatever reason, and that is sad. Of course, to her massive amount of fans, it’s probably a tragedy, and that’s okay too. Sometimes I think fans create this sort of familial relationship, so when the center of that family dies, they all take it hard. I’m sure that if Steve Martin goes before I do, I will feel very sad. I felt shocked and sad when Michael Jackson died, not because he was a performer, but because of what I knew about his upbringing and every event that followed him throughout his life. I feel deeply sad when I hear of a soldier dying, even though in order to hear about those deaths, you have to sift through a lot of other stuff…
Death is an incredible occurrence that can shake foundations and traumatize anyone. So is cruelty. Combining the two will never lead to anything good. For the ones being unkind to the ones receiving it nothing good, no one benefits. I know I’m not alone in my thinking, but I often feel like I’m trying to shout over the mob.
I remember hearing about it as I left a magazine launching party here in Jersey. I recall not really having any strong feelings or reaction to the news. I just knew that the heaping of praise about her “angelic voice” would be followed up by tributes and “Whitney Blocks” on local radio stations. Death has a way of making us forget people’s flaws and imperfections.
Though her voice was “Angelic”, she did not write her own material and her music was lightweight to say the very least. She was known throughout the industry as a “Diva”, which is essentially a term used to describe bitches who are very difficult to work with. Despite her squeaky clean image, she was never know as a nice person who was good to people.
It’s really a shame that she wasn’t able to overcome her demons. It’s sad that her family, handlers and so called friends couldn’t pull her out of her haze. Fame is a mind fuck. Who knows what she was dealing with.
As for social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. They all seem to turn cowards into brave souls. Thanks for your thoughtful post. JD
Excellent comment, James! I think the line: “Fame is a mind fuck” summed everything up so well that I could have used that as my entire blog post, and I’m sure people would have understood! 🙂
I would like to see bravery go the way of voicing care and sympathy for people that have been affected by loss. I never mind jokes and teasing for the sake of teasing, but when it involves something like death or tragedy, I just don’t understand it.
Thank you for your thought-provoking comment 🙂