The Cinch Review

In memory of Whitney Houston, please party on

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I’ve been trying to suppress the reflex to write anything on the death of Whitney Houston, but one’s stomach can only take so much before the need to expel becomes overwhelming.

It has become tiresome in the extreme to repeatedly witness the whole sordid pattern of a celebrity going from unbelievable levels of success to becoming drug-addled and universally mocked, and then very predictably dying of his or her bad habits and finally having his or her corpse raised up like a trophy by the same ravenous entertainment industry that had both built and consumed him or her in a new wild orgy of profit, schlock and revolting cynicism.

Hours after Whitney Houston’s pathetic and lonely death in a bathtub, Sony music mogul Clive Davis went to the stage of a pre-Grammy party, and, with her corpse in the process of rotting upstairs while surrounded by police investigators, he said this to the overpaid self-important revelers:

“She graced this stage with her regal presence so many times. Whitney would have wanted the music to go on and her family asked us to carry on.”

I don’t know anything about Whitney Houston’s family, but I do have to wonder who this individual might be who was absent from the scene while she was killing herself but was so easy to reach when Clive Davis wanted some kind of permission to keep the party going while her body decayed in the tub.

Whitney Houston must have had some people in her life who loved her, and who she loved, and they can remember her as they wish, and hopefully they have some good memories to cling to. But for there to be a public “celebration” of her atrociously-wasted life is, to me, sickening. For years now, Whitney Houston has been the butt of cruel jokes alluding to her as a dope-addict, crack-head and so on. The tabloid papers and shows have been littered with pictures and stories of her in states of dishevelment and desperation. Now the same purveyors of garbage are going to give us huge spreads on how wonderful a singer she was, and what a terrible tragedy this is? Spare me.

The whole ugly farce will go on no matter what people like me say, but for once I’d like to see an event like this followed by the general acknowledgment that here was an individual whose life was utterly wasted. In Houston’s case, she was blessed with a great voice, which she was led (by people like Clive Davis) to devote largely to insipid and sometimes crass music. She couldn’t handle her runaway commercial success. She married an abusive moron, descended into more and more extreme drug-use, and either was not or would not be helped by anyone in her life, whether loved-ones or the well-paid hangers-on all around her. She died alone in a hotel bathroom, and it seems pretty clear today that it was a result of either an accidental or intentional over-consumption of “medication” and other substances. As said, I hope her family have touching private moments which they can remember her by, but as a public life Whitney Houston’s was a total waste. I believe in a God who has mercy and who redeems, and may Whitney and all of us receive His mercy, but in this temporal existence the story of her life should stand as nothing but a warning of how not to do it.

Sorry for the interruption, Clive. You can go back to planning the next party now.

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