|Drug overdose (?)|
My heart has been heavy for the past week. Famed singer Whitney Houston's daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, may die in the next couple of days, perhaps on February 11, 2015, the three year anniversary of her mother's death. I hope that I am proven wrong about this, so I'm perfectly fine if it turns out to be the case. And tonight, the Grammy's will be televised, feting the musical accomplishments of some of America's most popular singers. You will note that I did not say, "talented." I believe that term has been lost in translation, nowadays, as it is personalities that become celebrities, not artists, necessarily.
|No need to explain this one.|
Clive Davis, the mogul who has created mega-stars, throws a Gala, every Grammy night, anticipating his artists' big wins before the Grammys airs on television. In fact, he was partying in the hotel in 2012 year when his top-grossing singer was lying in a bathtub, dying of a drug overdose, upstairs. Alone. A victim of his genius. And treachery. He is a poster boy for so many other "maestros," handlers (managers, agents, posses, handlers, hangers-on, and sheer leeches) of talent, who breed and nurture fame, like a plant, but then let it go wild and choke itself with too much sycophantic, and ultimately, murderous adoration. Anyone who can shepherd the talent of a young, raw, street-talking songstress into the epitome of American beauty, grace, and talent should also know the heart of his client, know of her troubles, her weaknesses, and nurse her to mental health with the same acuity and adroitness with which he nursed her talent as a singer. And let us not forget those bereaved who eulogized her at her memorial service. They were actually lamenting their own scarlet letter A, not for adulterer, but for being "At Fault," for using the carcass, eating it alive, siphoning away the money and life joys from artists too disturbed by drugs and fame to know what was happening to them.
Adulation is the ultimate orgasm, nowadays. And the problem is that we have chosen fame as a career goal, without the job title that goes with it. It is enough to "party like a rock star." I wonder if any of our dead stars would want their anonymity back, to be alive and on Earth now.
|Natalie Wood - drowned at a drunken|
Fame is our crack cocaine. The human ego has reached gargantuan solipsistic navel-gazing to a degree that even the famous can't get enough of themselves. I recall my stupefaction learning that when he was younger, even Prince William, already a teenage heartthrob and legendary heir to the Windsor throne professed his desire to be...an actor.
Let that sink in.
|River Phoenix -- drug overdose|
I haven't touched on the infamous famous, like Monica Lewinsky, who is a household name because she performed fellatio on the President of the United States. Having accomplished this Herculean feat, she is now qualified to write articles for Vanity Fair, sitting among a pantheon of meritorious writers.
It is not the love of money that is the root of all evil. It is the love of fame that is evil. It is a cancer that has infected our world and it will only get worse, as the masses continue to be fed stories of "rags-to-riches" triumph that inevitably crash and burn in a drug-addicted death, a dangerous driving accident, or a tragic life of looking everywhere for love, not realizing that loving yourself is the best admiration to which one could ever hope to aspire.
I have shied away from idolizing any living person except my grandmother, when she was alive, and my mother, who lives and breathes--yet, she, too is only human. We can all cast our gaze and applaud the feats of hard-working individuals who have climbed from anonymity to be known to the world. But don't get it twisted. For those who seek only fame, it comes at a price.
|Michael Jackson, Drug overdose|
Bobbi Kristina is paying for it, as are Michael Jackson's children. And our nation is paying for it, too, while we spend hours reading the gossip sheets and internet sites, reveling in our celebrities' latest perils, instead of helping each other solve our own. Our nation is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, addicted to being everyone but our individual selves. We are in a perennial state of youth, where nobody grows old, and everybody is consumed with consuming like a rock star.
Whitney Houston's death, and her daughter's impending one, should remind us all of the price we pay for fame that no one is accustomed to handling without special assistance. We would all do better to wish for a long life of happiness, creativity, self-improvement, an income in which to live comfortably, and the love of family and friends.
Grow up...and old, America. It's better than dying young. And famous for dying so young.