Monday, February 13, 2012

Rant #674: Another Completely Senseless Loss

Yes, the music world suffered another tremendous loss with the death of Whitney Houston on Saturday.

She was extremely talented, and took the music world by storm during the 1980s and 1990s.

But the music world had passed her by by the mid-1990s. She made more headlines regarding her marriage and her drug use than for her recordings.

She had comebacks, all of them fizzled, and she really had become something of an icon of the time, and certainly a major influence on female singers who came after her.

But let's not deify her, as the press and much of the public is doing.

Like they did with Michael Jackson, underneath all the talent, there was a terrible dark side to this woman that unfortunately probably led to her death at such a young age, at just 48 years old.

Houston was raised in Newark, New Jersey, an area that long has long been ravaged with the evils of drug use. I am sure she saw this first hand, maybe even right outside her doorstep, but even though she was raised in the church by her parents, including her mom, pop/gospel great Cissy Houston, it didn't stop her from her own drug ravages once she hit the big time.

And it affected her mindset and her talent. It also didn't help that she married a fellow drug user, Bobby Brown, another talented performer who not only abused drugs, but we later found out, abused his wife.

Both drugs and age played havoc on Houston's career.

No matter what anyone says, she wasn't going to have that angelic voice for her whole life. People get older, and voices do change, even for singers.

Listen to Frank Sinatra. His voice was much different in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and beyond. Mix in age with cigarettes and alcohol, and what do you expect?

Well, Houston mixed in age with alcohol and cocaine and heaven knows what else, and it took its toll on her, physically, mentally and emotionally--and professionally.

It's one thing when you do drugs when you are younger--the body can often withstand so much when you are in you 20s. But when you continue to do this garbage when you are in your 40s, there is much less room for error.

Even if you give Houston the benefit of the doubt here--let's say she died of "natural" causes, something we might not find out for weeks or months--she ravaged her body with this garbage, making it weaker than it should have been for a person of her age.

She was just in rehab in the fall--what does that tell you?

Quit frankly, she slowly killed herself because of her out-of-control lifestyle.

And her own daughter is proving that the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree, because this young lady--the child of two drug abusers--has also reportedly been seen abusing drugs herself.

And that is the tale that the media should be telling here, not the flowery tale about how wonderful she was, making her into the female equivalent of Michael Jackson.

Houston and Jackson shared so many things, and for that matter, the parallels between Houston's demise and death of Judy Garland are frightening.

Houston, Jackson and Garland were all talents beyond normal talents, but had their lives extinguished because of drug abuse.

That is what the media should be covering. It is a cautionary tale about what can happen to even the brightest talents when they abuse themselves.

But that isn't what we are hearing, and again quite frankly, I am a bit sick of the whole thing.

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