|Half-mast for Whitney Houston? Turn that sucker upside down...|
A person waiting for the same flight, trying to make small talk, asked what I thought of her. Without thinking, I said, "Isn't she dead?"
Well, as of February 11, 2012, she is. She is one of those beloved celebrities who self-destructed in front of a worldwide audience, becoming a butt of jokes that quickly ran out when she passed away.
That her poor decisions - over more than a decade - directly led to her early death have been glossed over as we must now mourn a celebrity death for the mere sake of mourning... what exactly?
The Daily Mail ran an interesting story two days after her death that detailed the extravagant lifestyle of Houston, a true libertine who was anything but niggardly with her fortune:
By the end, Whitney Houston had thrown away every last scrap of the poise and beauty that had made her the ultimate diva of her generation.
Leaving a Hollywood nightclub two days before her death, she was drenched in sweat and disoriented, a wad of mint chewing gum visible in her gaping mouth.
Blood from a cut trickled down her leg. But the lady herself, surrounded by party-loving hangers-on, didn’t seem to notice.
This was a woman who, despite at least three attempts at rehab in the past eight years, appeared fully in the grip of drug addiction: wired, wrecked and out of control. Inside the club, it is claimed, she nearly came to blows with a partygoer who she felt had ‘got into her face’.
So why could nobody save Whitney Houston? In truth, having spent almost two decades destroying herself, she was past saving.
er voice, with her signature, high-octave power note, had been pitifully diminished by years of abuse, particularly the smoking of crack cocaine. The soaring vocals had become a soft, whispery falsetto.
‘She don’t want to come, my soprano friend,’ she told a booing concert audience in London in 2010.
The years of material plenty were behind her, too. She was reportedly once again ‘flat broke’, even though she should have had a fortune well in excess of £100 million.
Indeed, despite earning up to £20 million with a colossal 50-date global tour only two years ago, she was reportedly this month reduced to asking her great benefactor, Clive Davis, the music mogul who ‘discovered’ her, for hand-outs yet again.
Only in death did Whitney Houston get to have her come back. Because Whitney spent most of the last decades of her life spending away her fortune on drugs, booze and other hedonistic, self-destructive activities, we'll have to ask Patrick Bateman to illustrate for us why we should see nothing wrong with the US flag flying at half-mast in her honor:
"Did you know that Whitney Houston's debut LP, called simply 'Whitney Houston,' had four No. 1 singles on it? Did you know that, Christie?" asks Bateman.Not convinced.Wait, this story might do it though:
She is dismissive of Houston's allure, but Bateman continues:
"It's hard to choose a favorite among so many great tracks. But 'The Greatest Love of All' is one of the best, most powerful songs ever written about self-preservation and dignity. Its universal message crosses all boundaries and instills one with the hope that it's not too late to better ourselves."
Bale as Bateman then addresses the other girl on the couch: "Since, Elizabeth, it's impossible in this world we live in to empathize with others, we can always empathize with ourselves. It's an important message. Crucial, really. And it's beautifully stated on the album."
Whitney Houston's funeral has inspired several of Newark's gang leaders to call for a day of calm today to honor the Brick City-born pop queen.It was only a few years ago that Newark had its first murder-free month in more than two score.To go one day without a murder, courtesy of Whitney Houston... still not enough to deserve the flag flying at half-mast.
The push started after Hykine Johnson — a former high-ranking member of the Sex, Money, Murder Bloods who is better known around Newark by his street handle “HAK” — published a Facebook post Wednesday night, calling for citywide peace on the day of Houston's services at the New Hope Baptist Church.
"If anyone out there is gang banging lets show Whitney Houston respect by commiting no crimes on saturday ......No shootings No robbing No car jacking basically no crazy (stuff) let us show some respect she helped alot of people in Nj lets show lov," wrote Johnson, who now works as an author and filmmaker, publishing works intended to show young people the perils of gang life in the city.
Johnson’s message quickly circulated throughout the street community, largely among city and gang leaders connected to the Bloods. While Newark is home to a wide array of street gangs, the Bloods make up the majority of the city's gang populace.