Category Archives: Whitney Houston
(Note: The 45th President of the United States is now in office. Neither he nor his alleged critics, who I’ll get to after this tribute and one other post, are going anywhere. Meanwhile…)
A still-record seven straight number-one singles. A huge movie with the best-selling soundtrack ever. And the artist with the most imitated rendition of the U.S. national anthem.
All these achievements took place less than a decade after a debut album, lauded even now as one of the best intro albums ever released.
For the first fifteen years of her career, Whitney Houston could do no wrong. After that, she could do no right. She was the last celebrity I deified.
By February 11, 2012, the only way to redeem her reputation left was her passing. As a fan, I was sad, and in a way relieved. And as a recovering addict, I was mad.
All the things that made Whitney iconic will be here: the music, The Bodyguard, the fashion, that initial pristine image.
That whole package, handcrafted by music mogul Clive Davis, was meant to be loved. It was, and still is.
Now, however, there is absolutely no chance at one more comeback, or one more live, epic performance of I Will Always Love You.
To my personal relief, there will be no more “Crack is Whack!” or “Hell to the naw!” meltdowns, either.
For all the epic songs, and the later epic hi-jinks with ex-husband Bobby Brown, however, there is one other epic Whitney moment I’ll sadly never get to see again…
The 2009 interview Whitney did with Oprah Winfrey was among the most real sh!t I have ever seen from a celebrity.
The often graphic details about her drug use, and the humor she could show about it in hindsight, was sad, honest, and refreshing all at once.
More importantly, she didn’t try to pretend that there would be some storybook ending for herself, or guarantee she would never slip up again.
In other words, the legendary Whitney Houston was willing to face her own mortality and humanity in front of a worldwide audience.
I loved her voice, and detested her all-too-public downfall. But after that interview, I respected the hell out of Whitney Houston as a person.
That public display of the person also broke me of constantly praising or shredding celebrities and politicians.
Nonstop adulation, excuses, and enabling, or continuous criticisms, are both extremes directed towards what are ultimately mere mortals.
Nonetheless, the entire public life of one Whitney Elizabeth Houston turned out to be an EPIC moral lesson.
Her life vividly shows the greatness a mere mortal can achieve, the tragic capacity for error, and the everyday struggle to live with both. Even if you’re Whitney Houston.
Next time, Part 2: “And as a recovering addict, I was mad”…
Contrary to popular belief, I don’t think the current paranoia in America began in 2008. At the very least, it started with the volatile 2000 Presidential Election. The last two elections, in comparison, are obviously smaller in impact than the aforementioned events. In fact, it’s safe to say that all the prior dramas left the door wide open for the current sh*t. And the origins of our current plight in America are varied but always… interesting. The main goal of these conspiracy theories is to point blame for all of mankind’s ills at some supernaturally powerful secret society. The last two U.S. Presidents are certainly lightning rods for conspiracy theories. But nowadays, anything unfavorable to somebody could be considered the work of some shadowy empire.
George Walker Bush is only the third President ever elected without the popular vote following the 2000 Presidential Election. Following the 9/11 attacks, the Bush Administration declared a long “War on Terror/Islam”. Based on sketchy information that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, Bush also declared war on Iraq. The wars abroad and the housing market collapse in the U.S. left his Presidency and America a wreck. And with the public’s anger came the conspiracy theories. The “Truthers” claim 9/11 was not the work of Muslim jihadists, but of the Bush Administration to gain respectability and blame Muslims for the attacks. But Bush’s Presidential successor got it even worse.
After an incredible keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Illinois Senator Barack Hussein Obama all but vanished. His 2007 announcement of Presidential candidacy went unnoticed until he upset former First Lady and New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 2008 Iowa Caucus. “Birthers”, egged on by Hilary, claimed that Obama was born in Kenya, thus ineligible for Presidential candidacy. Obama actually presented a birth certificate that stated he was born in Hawaii to a Black Kenyan immigrant and a Kansas White woman several times, but that didn’t stop the Birthers (or the media using the slave owners’ “one-drop rule” to deem Obama the “first Black President”). Despite, or maybe even because of, the controversy, Obama was elected President in 2008.
Conspiracy theories have now taken over politics, whether people admit it or not. When an election doesn’t go as planned, the defeated voters claim there was voter fraud, which they never do when their people win. Or they’ll blame villainous billionaires like the Koch Brothers or George Soros for funding the winner’s campaign, which, again, they never do when their people win. Look at what happened when we wound up with a Democratic President and a Republican Congress, BOTH publicly elected. This had to be the work of the International Bankers. Never mind that almost ALL Presidents have had opposing Congresses.
But this is not exclusive to politics. I recall when iconic singer Whitney Houston died. Not even a week later, there were videos of Dave Chapelle and Brandy, in some sort of way, alluding to Whitney being an Illuminati sacrifice ordered by her longtime mentor, mega-producer Clive Davis. Whitney simply overdosing and dying after years of drug use would be too… rational. Let’s get closer to home. The conspiracy theories start out early. You know, “the teacher doesn’t like me.” That graduates to “I’m sorry you misunderstood me”, “I couldn’t help myself”, and “he can’t hold his liquor.” Then you get “a legacy of slavery”, “the Prison Industrial Complex”, and “blaming the victim”.
So what’s the point of all this conspiracy business? Simply put, they shift blame anywhere but upon ourselves… where it most often truly belongs. It’s easier to blame the current political state in America on some “powers that be” than the self-absorbed voters that elected these people, or the lazy whiners that never voted at all. It’s easy to tell where unpopular politicians got their dubious manner. They got it from their voters. After all, America has a REPRESENTATIVE government.
It’s easier to cope with some secret society controlling people rather than accepting that other people don’t share your opinions. It’s nobler to be a sacrificial lamb than admit somebody selfishly did themselves in. And it’s always easier to act as if it’s society that made you like you are, when the overwhelming majority are nothing like you… even if they do make excuses for you.
When things don’t go as we like, or we just don’t like facing something we’ve done, conspiracies are often comforting, if not entertaining. The thing is, whatever we use them to avoid will inevitably be waiting on us, nonetheless. Contrary to conspirator doctrine, yes, most circumstances in life ARE controllable, and only losers would really say otherwise. For those situations that aren’t, well, there are ways of dealing with them that don’t require some mysterious underground explanation. Now, if you’ll excuse me, Tupac and I have a Bilderberg meeting to attend. (H/T Dave Higgins) Thank you for reading.