I can remember just like it was yesterday. I was young, thousands of miles from home, I had left my girlfriend at home to go and do what my country asked me to do. During that time, on a small airbase in Germany, I saw a movie aptly named “The Bodyguard”. I instantly fell in love with Whitney Houston. At that moment, Whitney Houston was the most beautiful, wonderful woman in the world. As a product of the 1980’s, I had always heard her music on the radio and TV but didn’t really pay much attention, until that moment. Kevin Costner was right when he said that no one else could have played that part. Maybe it was the circumstances surrounding my life during that time, coupled with her performance in the movie, but since then that movie and Whitney have had a special meaning to me. So when the news broke of her death I was somewhat shocked and saddened. I was glad to see the public support and sorrow displayed over her death although her career had somewhat faded. The memorials were touching and it was glad to see people pay tribute to her. That being said, what was once a beautiful tribute has turned into media frenzied, money-grubbing spectical. I hate to say it, but the one’s who genuinely want to pay tribute and memorialize her are overshadowed by money-grubbing spotlight hungry people. The first thing I noticed was the mistake on the part of iTunes. Supposedly someone from a branch of iTunes “accidentally raised the price of her albums in the united kingdom. Afterwards apple said it was the fault of some lower executive in the UK branch. Another thing I’ve noticed is some inflated prices from live tribute performances. These are just a few. Sometimes you can take a good gesture and run it in to the ground so much that it trivializes the event you are trying to pay tribute. I think the death of Whitney Houston has become an obvious example of that. I might even go out on a limb and say that some of the same groups of people who are memorializing her every chance they get now may be the same ones that turned their back on her and separated themselves from her for the same problem that led to her untimely death. One aspect brought to light by this tragedy is that “we” as society, especially the Hollywood elite, enable and perpetuate the lifestyle that killed Whitney Houston only to enthrall ourselves in a public display of sorrow that would rival anyone in history. If we had only put forth the same effort before her death she could possibly be alive today. I loved Whitney Houston, and not only do I hate that she died but I really hate they circumstances surrounding her death. Unfortunately it is what it is and we should address that. When I heard that Governor Christie had lowered the New Jersey state flag to half mast, I was somewhat surprised. I thought that maybe it was appropriate as long as Christie did the same for every fallen New Jersey veteran, but the more I think about it the less I agree with the New Jersey Governor. Should we honor a celebrity, especially dying under such circumstances, as we do our soldiers giving their life in defense of our country. Whitney’s death has shed light on several things that are very alarming to me. First that people will come from nowhere, to jump a bandwagon, and do anything if it gives them a few moments of spotlight and an opportunity to make a few dollars. Also it shows the condition of our mental state when a Governor decides to bestow the same honor on a celebrity as which is usually reserved for fallen servicemen and high ranking officials. Is this a foreshadow of what our society is becoming? If so should we be worried? The bottom line is that we turned the death of a beautiful woman into a public spectacle and it is unconscionable. The best thing we could have done is pay the woman a tribute befitting her status and place in society, nothing more, nothing less. That’s what she deserved and it would keep people away with other than honorable notions.
The Public Death of Whitney Houston