Sunday, February 12, 2012

oh, Whitney.

I feel like everyone is dancing around this topic and so I’m going to just come out and say it. Whitney Houston’s passing is sad, to be sure. She was an icon and had a wonderful voice, of course. But she was a drug addict with opportunities that most people would NEVER have to clean herself up, and she couldn’t succeed.  Social media has kept us informed of the situation and has given everyone and his brother a platform to mourn Whitney…which is, I suppose, what social media is for.  But I can’t help to wonder what people would be saying if Whitney had been arrested, again. Or if she had hurt someone else as a result of her addiction?  How would people be responding if this situation was different?
I can think of three good friends who have gotten sober this year. Three. And these are people who decided finally that life would be better without drugs and alcohol. These are all people who don’t have the celebrity and the access to help like Whitney did.  These are people who don’t have the kind of money that Whitney did. People who didn't have Oprah Winfrey as a friend – people who were simply tired of having the proverbial monkey on their backs.  The public needs to hear stories like this – not another celebrity death story again. It’s sad, it truly is – I’m a human being and would never wish harm to people, but I can’t believe that this story is shocking to ANYONE. Whitney Houston has been a parody of herself for a long, long while. Her death is tragic – to the daughter she leaves behind. Not to the people mourning her in their Facebook status.  Tomorrow, they will move on and forget all about Whitney. Next weekend at the bars they’ll sing her hits karaoke style.
It’s just sad to me that the media won't focus on the people who are trying – and succeeding – at getting themselves sober.


  1. i agree kate - I felt the same way about amy winehouse and michael jackson.

  2. We don't know how Whitney Houston died. We have all speculated that it was connected to drugs -- which reflects the opinion that the public has of her. However, it is all speculation. Though admittedly less than likely, she died for a reason completely unrelated to her drug addictions.

    Moreover, I think you miss the point. Few are truly mourning the loss of Whitney. They are mourning a loss for themselves.

    Earlier this year, author Christopher Hitchens died. I was sad about it for some time. Never met him, which was probably for the best since he would likely have been a condescending asshole to me.

    But I loved his words. He created words that made me think. And with his passing, I mourned that part of me that he inspired.

    Whitney helped many to feel. Her music stirred something within their souls. That is what they mourn.

    Don't spite Whitney for being more fallible than others. Recognize that many feel a little bit less themselves without what she brought them.

  3. hey, J, will you just write my blog for me next time? seriously, though. I love what you say about mourning a loss for ourselves. I think I was in a place of tunnel vision, having just read about another friend's struggle with addiction - someone who had far less resources than Whitney. Of course I know that addiction isn't fixed by money or fame - only by will power and incredible strength. I certainly don't spite Whitney, I spite our media for calling such attention to her flaws. Every celebrity, even (and maybe especially) Christopher Hitchens himself, is fallible - some sort of troubled soul. It's what makes us want to know more, to hear more, to read more. Thanks for saying what you did, I agree with you completely.