I wasn’t that surprised about Whitney Houston’s passing. She had been absent from reality for well over a decade. My older siblings have struggled with addiction for years. As a family we did what we could but it’s a complicated mess of a disorder.
It goes to show you that money and notoriety can’t bring happiness. It isn’t a magic wand like a lot of people think it is, and the demons that lurk inside us, can’t be chased away because we’re recognized.
Fame is a very strange thing in our culture. We believe that famous people are somehow more valuable than those with nine to five jobs. I’ve always rejected this attitude our culture has towards celebrity. It’s the art of distraction, designed so that we don’t have to confront the perils of a dwindling economic system, wars, famine, poverty and so much more.
Last year, for some bizarre reason I started to listen to Whitney Houston’s music. To this day I have never watched The Bodyguard, or any of her movies. I thought that like most people in that stratosphere of fame, she wasn’t all that talented. Sure she had a beautiful voice, but she couldn’t write music, and she was just as marketed as every other mainstream musician. She was simply a money-making machine for the music industry.
Comfortable in my smugness I gave her greatest hits album a listen and I was mesmerized by her voice. It was unlike anything that I’ve ever heard, and will probably ever hear again. I was a convert, and apologized for my earlier judgments. This was a God-given voice.
Now she’s dead. At 48. Leaving behind her young daughter. If there is any consolation in this tragedy, it is the idea that she has been released from whatever haunted her all these years.