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The Greatest Waste Of All

February 16, 2012 by  

The Greatest Waste Of All

By the time I bothered to log on to Facebook this past Saturday, Whitney Houston had been dead for a few hours. It’s not that I wasn’t paying particularly close attention to the wires on Saturday, it’s just that I was not paying particularly close attention to anything on Saturday. Suffice it to say, when I logged on to “the Book,” the first thing I noticed was a stream of posts about the demise of America’s erstwhile sweetheart.

Some of the status updates regarding Houston tended toward the shamefully cliched: “Crack is whack!” What incisive wits with which so many Facebookers are blessed! Elsewhere, the inappropriately maudlin held sway: “Rest now, Whitney. You were the voice of a generation.” Houston was born in 1963. Her birth year places her at the end of the baby boomer generation. While I won’t argue that Houston could sing magnificently (a fact reflected in her stratospheric record sales), I’m not sure she was the “voice of a generation.”  And spare us the crocodile tears, people; you didn’t know her personally.

The rest of those who shared some sentiment regarding Houston’s death offered varying themes of the “cautionary tale.” I will grant that Houston’s apparently self-induced death is a cautionary tale, but let’s not overstate the case. Pretty much every minute of Houston’s last two decades or so served as a cautionary tale. And the warning it carries has nothing to do with the tragedy of addiction, nor does it sound some alarm regarding the perils of fame.

The cautionary tale told by Houston’s death centers on the fact that Americans care far too much about precisely the wrong people. Houston was a gifted singer who frittered away her talent, her image, her career and ultimately her life by behaving like a spoiled child with access to a piggy bank the size of the hogs at the 4-H club’s livestock pavilion. Another supremely talented singer/actor eschewed logic at every turn and ignored even her own advice and snuffed herself out well ahead of schedule. That makes Houston about as remarkable as an abandoned building in Detroit.

To say our culture is celebrity-obsessed is trite. It would also undersell the point. Houston died, and the Nation donned its funeral suit. But she simply added her own name to a list which stretches back across decades. Billie Holliday, Hank Williams, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Keith Moon and John Bonham shuffled off their mortal coils in similar fashion. The President of the United States made a political joke about “Biggie and Tupac” at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Oh, what a chuckler! Two “gangsta-rappers” who spent their entire careers living off angry “music” glorifying shocking violence, drug abuse and almost cartoonishly horrendous behavior died in a manner befitting their lyrics. Tee-hee, Mr. President.

Steven Tyler and Keith Richards have somehow evaded the reaper, but their infamously hard lifestyles are winked at by fans and pundits alike. We know their approaching ends are well-deserved; we even laugh with them about it. But then, so many of us will try to attach ourselves to their deaths in the worst way possible. When we treat these people and their self-destructiveness as somehow acceptable — even noble (Houston is “singing to the angels”?); we set the bar awfully low.

Doubtlessly, some of you will email Bob, demanding he fire me, reprimand me or otherwise punish me for what some might mistake for my dancing on Houston’s grave. To you, I say: “You’re seriously missing the point.”  Don’t weep for Houston. Don’t act horrified by her death. Don’t endeavor to turn her early departure for the grave into what Obama Administration Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske described as a “teachable moment.” Do shake your head at the waste of talent. Do blame her for failing herself and her family. And do remember there were, are and will be better people who pass on through tragic and/or heroic circumstances who won’t be the subject of awards-show memorials, fawning print and Web retrospectives or coldhearted columns like this one.

Editor’s note: Over the next several days we will be making upgrades to our site. During this time, you may see some issues, including but not limited to the site loading more slowly than normal. Additionally, on Thursday morning your ability to post comments will be turned off for a few hours. These upgrades should be completed by Friday morning if all goes as planned. Thanks for your patience. –BL

 

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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  • DEE

    Congratulations on saying the obvious .. average people look to these self – destructive people and then end up doing themselves in the same way.

  • beth

    What a great article! You said all the things I felt.

  • Larry B

    An article that says what a lot of us think.

  • Scott Cepek

    Loved her voice, hated many of her personal choices. Personally, I will choose to use this as a teachable moment to those vulnerable that I disciple. It would be a shame to waste such a good lesson. Who you choose to marry will determine 90% of your happiness……or your misery. Thanks Bobby B. for that one. Do drugs, and don’t be surprised if they run your life. Then ruin it.

  • Steven N.

    Very good article. My thoughts exactly, although I would not be able to say it so eloquently. Thank you!

  • KEn

    Amen brother.

  • Susan Browne

    Great post. These celebrity self-destructs are getting to be so cliche’ they are boring and predictable as a Perry Mason trial.

    If there is a God, and there is … then there is a Satan too who lifts up the unwise to their own destruction. The question isn’t so much what are you going to do when you get there? It is by what Spirit did you arrive at the top? That is the same God you will worship when you get there. Mega stars can also be found in the ranks of the noble. We need to glorify them and ignore the rest.

  • http://www.motorcars Brad

    Just one less crack addicted waste of space we have to worry about

    • http://naver sook young

      Yes she was addicted to cocaine, but she had overcome that addiction, got her body healthy again, and was trying to come back. She was making strives in the right directions, but she died. They don’t know yet what killed her, but we will know in time. I’ll alwaysremember her music and the song she performed. She will be missed. Thank you.

      Sook Young
      Wife of the Samurai

    • Karolyn

      NOBODY is a waste of space! Each human life has value.

      • Joe H

        karolyn,
        In this case, I finally agree with you! She was the only modern singer that I loved to hear sing the national anthem!! She didn’t ad lib or trip over her own tongue while trying to sing it. It’s a beautiful song when it is performed correctly. I know there are those here that will argue that point, but it is usually the ones that can’t carry a tune in a bucket!!

      • http://naver sook young

        I with both of you and thank you.

        Sook Young
        Wife of the Samurai

  • Mike C

    Excellent post, totally fair and true – I couldn’t have said it half as well as you have done!

  • Polski

    So why do Americans spend all their time oohing and aahing about somebody like a Whitney Houston? It seems that Americans are using the brain they sit on instead of the brain in their head.

    • Karolyn

      People have had an interest in the lives of the rich and famous forever, some more than others. I agree that many people are way too involved in the lives of others; however, nothing is any different than it ever was except for the fact that we have a steady stream of information these days.

    • Joe H

      Polski,
      Perhaps you should concentrate on this: Psalm 100 ” Make a joyful noise unto God all ye lands.
      This is what comes to my mind when a person is blessed with a truly beautiful voice!!

    • http://naver sook young

      Why do you attack someone that cannot defend themselves? Sorry, but she had a great voice and was very talented. We still have all of her albums. How about why do you always want to be like those professional athletes? Aren’t they making more money than they should? Why do they get paid millions of dollars to hit a baseball, shoot a basket, or score a touchdown? Maybe it is time for you to respect people. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Thank you.

      Sook Young
      Wife of the Samurai

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JwtaaS7LdU&ob=av2e

      • brianS

        Yes I feel I have ben hard on someone who cannot defend themselves, or for that matter take care of herself. She is to be pitied not mourned.All I can say is that she ended her life like a songs in her concerts…on a HIGH note.

        Whitney Houston dies, Columbian econmy crashes.

  • http://www.easyinvest.co.za peter

    And that my good man is exactly why the planet ends up with it’s destructive and careless leaders. Voted in by people who are basically clueless, shameless and fairly ignorant to boot. Great singer but definitely not a role model. It never ceases to amaze however that “celebrities” ( both famous and infamous ), in death, take on the mantle of sainthood. Makes one wonder. I have been to funerals when I have wondered if the preacher actually knew the deceased or whether maybe I was at the wrong funeral..really!

  • RO

    VERY good article and well put.

  • Rob

    Good article – I agree with most of it. I have struggled with alcoholism and addiction most of my life and I can honestly say that if I had millions of dollars I would not be sober today. Celebrities like Whitney Houston never manage to hit a real “bottom” because their money and lackeys keep propping them up. Some of these notorious celebrities, like Steven Tyler – are now clean and sober despite their millions. It is not easy staying sober regardless, and takes a constant, CONSTANT concerted effort.

  • Phil

    You are saying what should be said. It disgusts me how we praise
    these creeps who get rich and self-destroy.
    Never see that kind of praise for a fallen hero defending the USA.

  • Spindrift

    Bravo for telling the truth. One writer opined that Houston didn’t “love herself”enough. Hardly.

    • Karolyn

      When one lives a destructive life, they do not love themself.

  • Terry

    Good article. I for one won’t be e-mailing Bob to complain. It is about time someone had the kahuna’s to tell the truth. George Orwell said it best when he said that “telling the truth in the latter days will be an oditty. Well, that is true. We put to much stake in celebrities. I am also a singer and an actor, and I know that singers are a dime a dozen, good singers are hard to come by. We seem to love to be cuddled and coddled. We love the warm fuzzy feelings that all those supposed talented singers, dancers, and actors bring to us. However, how much meaning do they bring to us. How much soul searching do they bring to us. Above all, how much closeness to God do they bring us. Oh and by the way, did I tell you that I’m also a Born Again Christian and that I know Jesus Christ. This makes me one of the bad guys in our world today simply because I know that there is more to life than to be entertained. I would rather be entertained for a purpose, a meaning, and to be closer to the presence of God so that he can talk to me and correct me. I guess this is why I don’t even own a television. There is not enough meaning and purpose there. If I wanted a warm and fuzzy feeling, I’d probably be snorting coke or doing crack like Whitney Houston did. How we fail to realize that for all of us eternity is but a breath a way, and let’s not blow it. Keep up the good work, and always take a stand for the truth. Remember Matthew 5:48, “Be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

  • Susan

    Dear Bill thank you very much for tnis article. I do not understand how allthese people act llke they know every celebrity tbat dies and its rediculous. Dont get me wrong a death to soon us sad. And having a child and family that one leaves behjnd is sad.But s hg blew 100 million in 10 years on alcohol and cooine!! That money would have saved e lives who havee no money to get theatrnt nd doctors needed to get well luke me

  • Harlan

    Amen, How true, Talent like a Mind is a terrible thing to waste and Damn those who do !

    • Joe H

      Harlan,
      your post is one of the best here! everyone here is centering on the waste of a talent while we should focus on the true waste of a human life! Yes, this woman had a beautiful gift and she wasted it, but the waste of her LIFE is the true loss. May God have mercy on her soul.

  • http://SURVIVALBLOG.COM CWREN

    EXCELLENT COMMENTARY I TRIED TO EXPLAIN THAT SAME LINE OF THOUGHT TO MY WIFE BUT SHE DIDNT GET IT-UNTIL SHE READ THIS THANKS GOD BLESS

  • Kim

    Thanks for putting this into the right perspective. The fact of the matter is, we all reap what we sow.

  • Stephan F.

    Absolutely could not have said it better — talk about getting to the ‘heart of the matter’.

    Great piece, this one gets archived.

  • Patticake

    Some may disagree with you, but I am not one of them. You hit the nail on the head with this article, and I always admire that you stand up for the truth, honesty, and facts – as ugly as the facts can be sometimes.
    Keep up the good work; I’m glad someone has the guts to do it!

  • Patsy Cochran

    Ben, what you said about Whitney Houston touched me in a very dramatic way. We all attach too much of our energy and emotions to people that we should not and not enough to the ones that we should. I can think of several others that slid down that same slippery slope that Houston slid down, but then I can also name others that did not waste their talents and time on trivials like getting high. Dale Evans is one of those that can truly be admired. She sang praises to God until she died and I can think of others just like her that used their talents for God that are now truly singing with the angels.

  • steve

    Fire you? For being dead on. You need do nothing more than listen to the interview with Gene Simmons where he comments about her death to see what the other side of fame and fortune are like when you don’t do drugs or alcohol.

  • nick beck

    a TOTAL waste of air—rubbish to rubbish—the real pity is the fact that so many look to an alcoholic and user of heavy drugs as a role model—-its no wonder that we have the present washington gang

    • Karolyn

      I’ll say it again. No one is a WASTE. Each and every human life is important. Everyone has his or her own path to follow. Some are students and some are teachers. Whitney was a teacher.

      • RightGunner

        There is a company that provides hilarious “Demotional Posters”. One of them states something like “Did you ever consider that your life’s purpose may be as a warning to others?”.

        It could be that she sacrificed herself so others would not follow, but that idea is not indicated in anything we see. I would not call her a teacher, but as a teacher who points out the real meaning in a subject, I would nominate Ben as a Doctor of Education.

  • Barbara D

    Thank you for stating the truth and not letting the PC crowd keep you silent. You said everything I thought the moment I heard Whitney Houston died and the fawning press and news media started singing her praises. Yet this same media goes out of their way to ridicule and debase a great role model like Tim Tebow.

    • http://html Bob

      Barbara u are so right, especially the so called comedians who are a pitiful bunch.

  • J.T. Cantrell

    While you will suffer bause you are correct. The worship, adoration and whatever else you may call it does reflect that we as a nation are concerned about the wrong things. The loss of talented people in any field of endeavour is tragic as they can no longer contribute. Entertainment is a field of endeavour yes, but truthfully it does not save lives. It may chnge or improve them but it does not save them. Those who die in service of their fellow man are rarely mourned for long and the thought of lowering the flag to half mast in Houston’s honor is ludicrous. We had best get our priorities straight because they way we are headed we are going to lose more people sooner than we think.

  • 2centsworth

    Whitney Houston was raised up in the church and was a great believer in JESUS. She was to be a light for a lost world, but in her journey, she became lost herself….but she never lost sight of the light, and she finally made her way back to it. If you watched any of her short youtube videos, you would see she was a very loving mother and that she loved Bobbi Christina so much! I am sorry for Bobbi Christina for her great loss. My love and prayers go out to Bobbi Christina, and I pray that you don’t get on drugs and liquor. Your mother was very unhappy when she was on drugs, and she looked so happy when she finally got off of them, and you remember that she wants you to be happy. Don’t let yourself become manipulated by the hollywood “devils”. JESUS loves you!!

    • kelwin58

      You are obviously incorrect in your assumptions… Whitney never got off of the drugs. She merely switched from illegal drugs to legal ones… prescriptions. She died from drug abuse, plain and simple.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kimberly.ritchey Kimberly Ritchey

    Although I agree with you that we, as a nation, put entirely too much stock in many of the so called “superstars”, I do have to strongly and wholeheartedly disagree with your comment, “Do blame her for failing herself and her family.”

    This was spoken with the ignorance that so many people share regarding the nature of chemical dependency. The DSM added alcoholism and chemical dependency as a disease many years ago. Whitney had no more choice in the matter than if she would have developed cancer. Yes, drugs are self administered but that does not mean at all that she woke up every day not trying her absolute best to not take that drug. Dependency is a bio-psycho-social disease and should be thought of very much the same as diabetes or cancer or any other illness where relapse is likely and even, for the most part, counted on.

    The stigma that our society has placed on being a “drug addict” is ridiculous and is part of the reason many abusers do not get help. Insurance companies do not really want to spend money to help a person who is “bringing it on themselves” and why would they. For an adolescent who is addicted, the “all powerful” insurance companies will not usually approve an inpatient stay at a treatment facility until they “fail” outpatient first. What if “fail” ends up to mean “die”? The thing is, even crooked insurance companies realize, because of the overwhelming amount of research that proves this, that dependency IS A DISEASE.

    So, please consider your language in the future. We do not need to perpetuate the idea that the addicted individual woke up in the morning and made a conscious decision to fail at life.

    Thank you,

    Kimberly Ritchey
    Recovering Alcoholic/Addict
    Chemical Dependency Student

    • http://html Bob

      B.S.

      • Karolyn

        Spoken like a true holier-than-thou ignoramus.

    • AVCurmudgeon

      This is self-indulgent nonsense, beginning with you citing to the DSM.

      Yes, addiction is a powerful and destructive force. But it is within the power of each and every addict to make a choice to stop. It may be hard, but I know from personal experience in my life and that of my family that it is possible. People do it every day, even without wallowing in the self-pitying cesspool they call AA. Just make the decision; once you do that, everything else follows. Until you do that, nothing is possible. Ms Houston simply never really made the decision. End of story.

      • Jeep

        Right on target! And, I would add that the easiest choice is to never take the first snort. Forget all the excuses, just don’t start. And, don’t give me that self-righteous stuff about peer pressure or ignorance. Who does not know drugs and alcohol are bad? If you make the decision to snort a line, then be prepared to face the consequences and don’t whine about it.

      • Robert Crain

        I think people blame too many others for their short comings. I almost fell into that trap because I wanted too make my wife happy. I had my own welding and machine shop out here in the woods of the Ozarks. Just a bunch of good ol boys always hanging around after working hours, sipping on a few cold ones, talking about how to soup up another ride. We did this 7 days a week. I never once beat my wife, or my 3 step sons, but I was a big disappointment to my wife because of my drinking. One day the wife walked into my shop, and politely told me in front of my biker buddies, IF YOU REALLY LOVED ME AND MY BOYS, YOU WOULD QUIT YOUR DRINKING. OH MAN, you could have heard a pin drop. She calmly turned around and walked out. I went with her to see a DR. and he said I was a alcoholic. I told him I was not, I just really like to drink. I can quit anytime I want. He told me that I just said what every alcoholic says. He started talking about how much treatment was going to cost, and I stopped him. I told my wife, lets go. He insisted my wife have me committed, and she was tempted. I walked out, and she followed a few minutes later. She told me she would not have me committed, but he seemed real insistent. She said he might have me committed. We went home, and the guys were there. I let them drink everything I had, even let them take what they wanted when they left. I have never taken a drink since then. That was over 20 years ago, and all my friends still drink. My wife still nags me from time to time, my step sons still tell me YOUR NOT MY DAD!! I personally feel better, and I think it was a good accomplishment on my part, but I took my own responsibility, I did not blame others, or depend on others for my support. Maybe my way is not right for everyone, but it worked for me. There have been many times in the last 20 years I wished I had a drink, but like everything else, it passes. Life is what you MAKE IT, not what it was supposed to be. Take control of your life, your situation, your free will. Don`t let others influence you, think for yourself. You will be a lot happier.

    • Paul

      You had better find another area of study. With your attitude or perhaps the indoctrinational courses you are taking you will NEVER help an addict get clean. they will only use you as an excuse to blame everyone else for their problems.

      • Karolyn

        Don’t speak about something you know nothing of! Unless you’ve been there, you no absolutely NOTHING!

      • Robert Crain

        PAUL, well said my friend.I was willing to bet that Karolyn would have something totally worthless to say, and I see she did not disappoint me. I`m pretty good at reading people, and when I talked too this DR. that was going to salvage my life , I saw him for the power hungry jackal that he was. Too hear him talk, my wife and children were in mortal danger, and he wanted her to call the police and have them come to my house and collect all my guns. Thats when I told him, how about all the knives in the kitchen, or the ball bats we have for the boys?? I told the wife then, lets go. Smartest thing I ever did, was take control of my own life.

    • kelwin58

      Chemical dependency was deemed to be a disease solely to force the insurance companies to subsidize the rehabilitation process. Drug abuse is a moral choice… nothing more. Folks without a strong moral center will take recreational drugs to help them ‘cope’. Calling it Chemical Dependency is just a fancy PC way to shift personal responsibility away from the drug abuser. Cancer, Parkinson’s… those are diseases. Drug addiction cannot exist unless the person fails to resist the initial temptations of the drug. You can’t be an alcoholic… if you never drink any alcohol. Irresponsible behaviour often leads to impaired health. too many sedatives plus a warm bath… equals an inadvertent suicide.

    • Joe H

      Kimberly,
      you miss one very important fact in your post. you say she fought every day against taking that drug. Well she didn’t! she didn’t fight the mostimportant time, the FIRST time! Had she never taken it in the first place, she would have never been addicted to it!!

  • FreedomFighter

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixPMtZNDM6Y

    such a waste of talent

    Laus Deo
    Semper Fi

    • http://naver sook young

      Thank you for the song. I remember many more like, How Will I Know, I want to dance with somebody, I’ll always love you (Which my husband used to sing to me), and I’m your baby tonight. I know you are talking about her drug use, but I’ll always remember her for her music and talent. I know I may get some not so nice responses, but that’s OK. Thank you.

      Sook Young
      Wife of the Samurai

      • FreedomFighter

        She certainly had voice and talent blessed by God.

        We all make mistakes in our lives and sometimes the cost is very high.

        Laus Deo
        Semper Fi

      • http://naver sook young

        I agree. I feel sad that she died too young. Thank you.

        Sook Young
        Wife of the Samurai

  • AVCurmudgeon

    Ms Houston was not the first talented singer or musician to walk this dead-end path, nor will she be the last. Why didn’t I feel profound sadness or any particular surprise when I heard the news (actually, I wondered if it was drugs or Bobby Brown beating her to death)? I’m sad in a way to see a great talent wasted, but I also know that she made her choices and paid the price. So be it.

  • Paul

    How many brave and anonymous soldiers died or were wounded over the last weekend without even an honorable mention?? They weren’t anonymous to their families and friends yet they died for all of us so we could drink the Whitney Huston kool aid. I watched the Grammy show just to see what kind of “tribute” they would do. It was very weak. They should have just played the video of her 1991 Superbowl National Anthem. This would have given the assembled narcissists and fellow addicts an opportunity to think about something larger than themselves. It would also have showcased here unbelievable talent.

    This nation is totally screwed up in its priorities.

    • Melissa

      How screwed up the priorities are, shows the Action of Governor Christie NJ.
      He orderd the flags on half staff on saturday.

      I found this disgrading an insulting against soldiers, officers, firemen who died in the line of duty.

  • http://personallibertydigest Gottaplenty

    My sentiments exacyly on the B S If you are bent on destroying your own life , dont look for sympathy

  • Michael

    I don’t think your boss should fire you, maybe give you a raise though. To bad your article will be buried under all the political correctness surrounding her death, and the blind will go on leading the blind. Oh well, you just go on speaking the truth and you will get my vote. Great article with clear understanding of the reality of Whitney’s life and death.

  • http://personallibertydigest Gottaplenty

    And I forgot to add ,it was Bushes fault

    • http://naver sook young

      How is it President Bush’s fault? Thank you.

      Sook Young
      Wife of the Samurai

      • independant thinker

        Sook I kinda think he is poking fun at those that seem to blame Bush for everything.

      • http://naver sook young

        OK, I understand. Sorry Gottaplenty, but I understand now. Thank you.

        Sook Young
        Wife of the Samurai

  • http://navigatingthroughprophecy.com Erlene

    Well! Finally someone has a grip. Thank you for bringing some common sense to this issue.
    These people do behave like spoiled brats, they allow their moment of fame to destroy them.
    They are not “gods”, and they are not even sensible human beings. Those fools who do worship
    them are running after “gods” who can do nothing for them, when there actually is a true God
    who is able to do all things. Sad that so many people miss the truth while buying into the
    Big Lie.

  • Richard

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for saying what I’ve been telling people for years. Get your priorities straight. This has been and I’m afraid will continue to be proof of the dumbing down of the population. Which is exactly what that pathetic group in Washington wants. Its easier to control the “sheep” when their more interested in this tripe than in matters that are really important. Such as the destruction of our way of life in this once great country and the taking over of every aspect of our lives by the “out of touch with reality” pols.
    Yes you will be bashed by these moronic “sheep” but just realize the source, and continue to be one of the increasingly small number of people who are still able to think rationally.

    God Bless you Ben

  • Zero

    Bob,
    (IMHO) Ben deserves a raise!
    Ben,
    Great post and right on the money! You echo my thoughts that we, as a culture ( and I exempt myself) hold the wrong people “up” as “heros” ie; this latest debacle, the parade in New York for the football players!
    Just another example of why our once great country is in the shape it’s in today.

  • Glenn Singleton

    Your article is so ON TARGET . It is appalling how the Networks are
    portraying this kind of life style to our youth .Very little mention
    is given to our Brave Young men and women whose lives are litterly
    sacraficed each week in defense of our national freedom . Their lives
    are not frittered away ,but are given in return for segments of our society to live like Idiots with Glorification.

  • 2WarAbnVet

    I’ve been noticing, for some time, that when our great heroes of World War II die (as so many are doing on a daily basis) they might rate a two-inch column on the obituary page. These are people who suffered and bled to maintain the freedom we all enjoy; yet their passing is hardly noted. Yet, when some celebrity dies we seem to go into a period of national mourning. It just seems to be upside down.

  • Michael Fisher

    I am glad to see there is someone who understands that Whitney’s death should not be glamorized. However, I think that your statement: Don’t endeavor to turn her early departure for the grave into what Obama Administration Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske described as a “teachable moment.” is incorrect. There is much to learn from her death. You are right that too many other people with bigger (and perhaps better) social accomplishments will pass from this mortal coil with no more than a possible two lines in the local obituary pages. Still, there are a lot of people who, even though they did not know Whitney Houston, “personally”, they still will miss her talent, and voice. Give some of these people the credit they deserve! Allow people to grieve in their own “personal/private” way.

  • Al Hill

    I take a lot of Ben Chrystal’s comments as being flippant, but this article strikes home.

    A very large part of this problem stems from “Main Stream” media. That would be television. It is saturated with celebrity shows pushing various shallow people talking about trivial nonsense. The “live” audiences clap and cheer for almost every “brilliant” comment by any participant.

    How do I know this? All we have is broadcast TV. As a retiree, it’s almost impossible not to hear it in the background. (Taking out my hearing aids helps considerably.)

    And whose fault is this? Those who have nothing better to do than sit like zombies hour after hour, day after day, listening to this drivel.

    Good article, Ben.
    Promise you won’t fire him, Bob.

  • Donna Sangsiri

    Mr. Crystal your article expresses exactly what I feel. It amazes me how involved Americans have become in the lives of celebrity’s that they don’t even know personally. To be honest it seems to be something that is happening all over the world not just the U.S. I’ve read about how people are so heartbroken about something that happens to these people but not give a thought to some poor family down on their luck.they can cry for some damn singervor movie star but not shed a tear for people that put their lives on the line for us every day. On those reality shows they get all pissed off if someone is rude to one of these so call stars but don’t care or say a word when someone is rude to someone maybe standing next to them waiting in line somewhere. These so called big shots -singers actors – most of them act like they reside on another planet from the rest of us and still people worship them. I have favorite singers and movie stars too but I don’t act like what they say or do affects my life. With everything that is going on in our lives right now – serious life threatening issues – being distraught over the death of a junkie singer doesnt say much for our priorities. We need to “get a life” and quick and care about something worth caring about.

  • Mark

    Persons who shoulder responsibility quietly and ask nothing in return are the structure holding society together and keeps it from safe from the self destructiveness of the few that seek glory.

  • greg

    YOU ARE SO RIGHT, THIS COUNTRY HAS BECOME OBSESSED WITH HOLLYWOOD, REALITY TV. THERE’S SO MANY HONORABLE MEN AND WOMAN WHO ARE IGNORED BY THE MEDIA WHO HAVE DIED AFTER A LIFE OF GOOD HONEST, HUMBLE DEEDS.AND I WILL BE RIDICULED FOR MY OPINION. SO WILL YOU MY FRIEND KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

    • brianS

      Totally agree with you, you are dead on. Some amazing people out there and are not recognised at all. I have a riddle fo you all out there,
      WHAT IS 6 INCHES LONG AND WASN’T USED ON VALENTINES DAY????

      whitney houstons cack pipe.

      • http://naver sook young

        That joke was in bad taste. You should be ashamed of yourself. Thank you.

        Sook Young
        Wife of the Samurai

      • Karolyn

        typical response from somebody who doesn’t know what they’re talking about and has no sense of propriety.

    • http://gbvieto.wordpress.com deepizzaguy

      You are right Greg. We are obsessed with rebel artists that make mockery of their Creator and get their egos massaged as the greatest thing since sliced bread. But if you say you are a Christian you are called a Christ freak or a religion nut and are ignored.

  • Marlene B.

    I loved Whitney Houston’s voice and felt she had far more talent than Michael Jordan, in the singing department. She had a beautiful range and strength in her voice whereas MJ’s voice was always falsetto. Years ago, I was saddened to learn of her addictions and the way she was throwing her talent and life away. Her death was probably inevitable, though sad. What is even sadder is the fact that the celebrities that whine and bawl about her death will learn nothing from it while getting their faces before the cameras to get advertising from her death. Their own drug and alchohol abuse will continue until they, too, die from an overdose. They have scads of money but their money can’t buy brains. I wash my hands of the whole lot of them.

  • http://gbvieto.wordpress.com deepizzaguy

    You are right Ben. I know a lot of celebs who said they became successful and rich and by then went to self destruct mode when the spotlight got too hot on them. Whitney was packaged correctly by Clive Davis and her family by Whitney’s own admission. After she married Bobby Brown she became a spoiled brat and changed for the worse.

  • Chris Coolidge

    I’m clean and sober over 25 years thanks to AA myself, the thing about 12 step programs is it works if you work it, and Whitney didn’t work it. From what I know about her last days she wasn’t using crack anymore but she was taking several sedatives and anti-depressants on a prescribed basis, Lorazapam, Valium and Xanax to name the three most important. The combination of prescribed medications caused significant moodswings and made her behavior erratic, I believe she was still drinking alcohol on a regular basis and to excess, though I’m not certain about that. The prescriptions are documented in a recent article on the Health Ranger website, a good source of alternative health articles that don’t toe the PC line. What most likely killed her was a combination of slight overdoses of prescribed medications, just like Elvis. I don’t believe it was an intentional suicide, just a fatal miscalculation by her and her medical team. She needed that extra something to help her sleep, like Michael Jackson.

  • Robert Crain

    You make a very good point Brian. What do you wanna bet it ends up on Ebay, and I bet it goes for a hefty price. Her brain dead worshipers will fight over it. You also told the truth. Unless she comes back from the grave, she ain`t using it again. I imagine we will hear she is not really dead either. Someone will spot her in Amsterdam or someplace else. It will be Elvis all over again. Some people just cannot face reality. I do feel sorry for her family, and she was a great singer in her younger days. She made her own choices, now she has to pay for them, just like we all do.

  • disgusted

    Ben, nobody with a brain would ask that you be canned. What you’ve said here is the truth, and you might be surprised at how many people on other sites are saying the same thing.

    As for Bobby Brown being her downfall, do some reading up. She was what she was when she met him. In her own words, they were the same.
    That sweet angel we all thought she was, was just a creation courtesy of Mr. Clive Davis. He spent two years and a quarter million dollars putting it together…and we bought it; hook, line, and sinker.

  • wkelly

    a big AMEN, and thanks for saying what i was thinking!!

  • Owen K.

    Outstanding article and right on target. Indeed, Americans do care about the wrong people. Everything else has been said.

  • Jan

    I won’t speak ill of the dead and would only speak the words of many of these posts if the deceased was a pedophile, murderer or terrorist. The woman isn’t even buried yet! Yet, she has been judged here as a life-failure, no role model, crack-head and unworthy of the attention being paid. The cause of death hasn’t been determined, yet the rush is on to defame her the nastiest and fastest! Seems to me if this “article” which seems to have been written on the back of an envelope, and the attack-posts that follow represent the values of the liberty loving right then we are in far worse shape than I thought.

  • taminator013

    At least as my wife noted when I expressed your exact sentiments to her, “At least she wasn’t a child molester.”

  • Kandi

    It is a shame to see any Mother die and leave a child orphaned. That being said, your article hit the nail on the head, but there is a whole house that has unsunken nails.
    Americans worship the celebrities and more than that, sports and sports figures. Being a great athelete is the same as baptism to the masses. It covers all of your sins, especially if you are winning games. They are paid outrageous sums to play a youth’s game.
    There are scientists and doctors studying to cure disease and they do not get this kind of compensation.
    It was the same at the demise of the Roman Empire. Sports and leisure overtook border control, good government and social conscience. Too bad we cannot learn from their mistakes, but are determined to emulate them.

  • Roberta Winston

    Ben C. is right on, but I am so tired of hearing/reading that we Americans are celebrity obsessed- it is the MEDIA that is constantly force feeding us with articles, photos, films- who would really know or care about most of these spoiled, dysfunctional “celebrities” if their stories, faces, addictions, divorces, and general bad behavior was not EVERYWHERE in our faces through the media, telling us that these dregs are somehow important and we care what they are up to?

    We Americans are brainwashed on every level, assaulted by an insidious, ruthless Media/advertising Machine that quietly steers the public- we are brainless victims, asleep at the switch. The Government and Media operate hand in glove, feeding us junk to keep us fat, dumb, and happy, caring more about sports and Whitney Houston, than the fact that they are about to drive the sucker (America) over the cliff, so they can then pick up the pieces and then implement their socialist agenda from the chaos that will ensue- Whitney Houston had a great talent- saying she was America’s Sweetheart is just anther media creation, and the focus on her funeral is part of the same. Leave her family alone, take the cameras off the idiots “needing to express their grief”, and pay attention to what is happening around the world.

  • http://personalliberty.com/2012/02/16/the-greatest-waste-of-all/?eiid Tom Paine

    Ben Xtal, Jan et al. Oh my…all these references to the Bible, God, Jesus etc. but nothing pertaining to the generally accepted interpretation of Romans 1:26 (condemnation of Lesbianism), probably damned in the Quran too! But, Oh: there I’ve said it, and the Ann Arbor Thought Police (aka/the ACLU) will come swooping down (or up the stairs) w/their jackboots. As Reinhard-Heydrich Rudolf-Hess Holder has opined..some speech can not be free! So what a role model for our airhead, valley-girl, brain-washed, dead-head, paradigm-locked, limousine-liberal children: no need to send anyone to the Pavlov institute in northern Manchuria when the mainstream media is doing it for us.

  • http://ficebook ali

    my name ali ilove Whitney Houston

  • Jimbo

    It’s not just Houston. Americans have put hundreds of performers, atheletes, and politicians on a pedestal. It’s as if we have royalty in this country. The biggest idol being the tyrant in the White House. The American colonies fought a war to throw off the yoke of British royalty and create our nation of free men, blessed with the right to life and liberty. But these days Americans clamor for a king! How sad.

    What is it about these people that makes them deserve such adoration? They are not doing their thing out of love for us! They’re doing it for the money, fame, and attention. And they are extremely well compensated for that. They are no different than the rest of us, other than being blessed with a skill, talent, or gift of gab. True, in most cases, it takes hard work to develop these things into a marketable commodity. But most of us also work hard for the few things we have in life.

    In the end analysis, we all eat, sleep, poop, and eventually die. Why should anyone be glorified other than God?

  • Peter S. Chamberlain

    We live in a country where our advertising industry and various sales hucksters can and do peddle all kinds of useless, poorly-designed, poorly-made, and damaging stuff, but fail to persuade people to avoid or get off of drugs and substances, and other habits, known to damage and shorten their lives, while, through Democratic and Republican administrations and Congresses over the years, the government appropriates billions upon billions of dollars on a sham and scam called the “war on drugs” or whatever other public relations label Obama is calling it this week, and you don’t have to look beyond the DEA Web site to see that they’re losing the war. If we’d fought World War II the way we’ve been fighting this so-called “war on drugs,” we’d all be speaking German and goose-stepping our way to destruction. Why can’t we get through to people with the stark facts about where this so often leads whether death results or not? I represented a lot of young people and one of my wife’s best students died of acute alcohol poisoning after winning the drinking contest at his first so-called “grown-up” party at fifteen, and, despite the valiant efforts of school personnel, etc., some of his friends continued binge drinking, which is our biggest drug problem in terms of deaths, etc.

    Where were Houston’s friends?

  • James

    Didn’t Michael Jackson qualify for Crystal’s list?

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