Monday, February 13, 2012, 11:08 a.m.
Corrected and expanded, Friday, February 17, 2012, 3:12 a.m.
By Nicholas Stix
Whitney Houston once had a golden set of pipes, but they left her years ago, and now she’s left us.
Creative talent is always scarce, and it breaks my heart to see people squander talent that could make the world a less ugly place, even when the talent belongs to a vicious racist like Whitney Houston.
Most readers below a certain age will have no idea what I’m talking about, and even many readers who are old enough to know will suffer from self-imposed ignorance.
Almost 20 years ago, I saw Houston appear as a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Now, as a late night talk show host, Jay Leno is as friendly and easy-going as they come, in stark contrast to David Letterman, who can sometimes make for a difficult interview—just ask Shirley MacLaine. But Houston was the worst interview guest I ever saw. She kept staring daggers at Leno, making it impossible for him to engage even in the smallest of small talk with her. (The Internet Movie Database incorrectly dates that appearance as May 22, 1992, which was the date of Johnny Carson’s on-air farewell.)
Of course, she got a pass from what she called “the white media” for that exhibition.
And for everything else.
Indeed, her AP obit replayed the typical MSM sycophancy, even changing drug abuse to “drug use”:
She had the he [sic] perfect voice, and the perfect image: a gorgeous singer who had sex appeal but was never overtly sexual, who maintained perfect poise….
But by the end of her career, Houston became a stunning cautionary tale of the toll of drug use [sic]. Her album sales plummeted and the hits stopped coming; her once serene image was shattered by a wild demeanor and bizarre public appearances. She confessed to abusing cocaine, marijuana and pills, and her once pristine voice became raspy and hoarse, unable to hit the high notes as she had during her prime.
Early in Houston’s career, the New York Times wrote that she “possesses one of her generation's most powerful gospel-trained voices, but she eschews many of the churchier mannerisms of her forerunners. She uses ornamental gospel phrasing only sparingly, and instead of projecting an earthy, tearful vulnerability, communicates cool self-assurance and strength, building pop ballads to majestic, sustained peaks of intensity.” (Quoted in her Associated Press obit.)
She had only had a serene image, because the MSM covered for her. There was never anything serene about Whitney Houston.
She got a pass from the law, too.
On January 11, 2000, airport security guards found half an ounce (14 grams) of marijuana Houston and husband Bobby Brown’s luggage at an airport in Hawaii.
MSM reports later spun this incident in wildly divergent terms. One obit claimed (before being plagiarized), implausibly, that the couple were able to escape to their plane and fly away, before the authorities caught up with them. More credibly, in 2001, following one of several mistaken reports of Houston’s death, ABC News reported that Houston had been charged with possession of marijuana, but that the charges were later dismissed.
She was in an abusive relationship (1989-1992) and then marriage (1992-2007) with singer Bobby Brown, himself a racist who was in the habit of acting out in public, baiting white policemen, and then committing charming acts such as urinating on the back seat of police cars.
He was also capable of great charm and poignancy, when it served his purposes, such as when his wife was leaving him. The hated white media gave him airtime, during which he pleaded with Houston to stay with him. I was moved by Brown’s importunings but then, I’m a romantic fool from way back.
Romance and urine aside, it has long been widely believed that it was Brown who got Houston into the drugs that would prove her undoing. But that story only goes so far, especially in the context of fans and MSM apologists who have an excuse for every one of her missteps. She did drugs because of Bobby Brown. She did drugs because her voice was shot on her 2009 comeback album, and the critics were mean to her. (And how did she lose her voice? From doing drugs!) She did drugs because of the pressure of being in the limelight, due to her movie being due in the summer. (But for someone like Houston, being in the limelight was normal; it was being out of the limelight that was unnatural. Well, that sets up yet another excuse: She stayed at home in her bedroom using drugs all of those years due to her loneliness. Yeah, that’s the ticket!)
For many years, prior to leaving Brown, Houston spread racist blood libels, whereby “the white media” were conspiring to destroy her marriage. And how do I know this? She would announce said charges in interviews with the white media! And the “racist” white media would never challenge her ugly, paranoid racism.
Her racism endeared her all the more to most of her black fans. Typical of their delusional attitude towards Houston was Huffington Post reader Marie Brandon, who got 10 “fan” votes in the first 48 minutes after the HuffPo censors permitted her comment.
She was beautiful, aged gracefully¬, and had come into her own. A celebrity who led a tough road but made us dance and feel good with her voice and song. God Bless you, Whitney, sleep well.
However, not all blacks were fans of her. As vicious as Houston was towards whites, a certain part of the black community considered her insufficiently racist, and even booed her at times for it.
The more viciously she behaved towards the mainstream media, the more sycophantic the latter were to her. But then, the dynamic between her and the media was no different than that between the MSM and ordinary blacks: The more the media suck up to them, the more blacks accuse them of “racism.”
Back with husband Bobby Brown in 2003; apparently, this was at the end of one of her many catfights
Whitney Houston was a mediocre actress. She was ridiculous in The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner. Then again, that was a ridiculous movie. She was passable in Waiting to Exhale, a movie that was badly directed by Forrest Whittaker, which had some good (Gregory Hines, Loretta Devine, Wesley Snipes) and some atrocious performances (Lela Rochon). She was much better in The Preacher’s Wife, a blackface remake of The Bishop’s Wife.
Whitney Houston could have been a great singer. She was hampered by a generation of terrible songwriters and, even more, by her own character. With the exception of her grand performance of “I Will Always Love You,” in The Bodyguard, she belted out songs, as opposed to singing them.
Houston "had to delay 24 hours a concert in Barcelona because of gastroenteritis," February 2005. I never heard of anyone getting gastroenteritis from a crack pipe.
Houston reportedly sold over 55 million albums in America alone, and made at least $100 million, and as much as $200 million. However, she only cut ten albums, including three movie soundtracks and one best hits collection, and 45 percent of her sales were from her first, eponymous 1985 album. She could easily have cut two albums per year, with all of them going platinum.
Last month, Houston was rumored to be flat broke, with music industry friends supporting her. Over $100 million went up her nose.
Police have been barred from announcing a cause of death, but if reports that Houston was binging on drugs and alcohol in the last two days are true, she probably died of an overdose of the two, much the way Judy Garland did in 1969 at age 47.
Like Garland, Houston spent her last years boomeranging between anorexia and obesity, mixing drugs and alcohol, and working less and less. As with Houston, the press gave Garland, who was not a nice person, a free ride. However, Garland was the more talented and hard-working of the two and, unlike Houston, put together a grand career.
Blacks like to say “God don’t like ugly,” but pretty as Whitney Houston’s face may have once been, she was an ugly person.