You own a Whitney Houston CD? More than one?

About five years ago, while waiting for a flight, there was a huge commotion at the airport.

Half-mast for Whitney Houston? Turn that sucker upside down…

Huge. People were running. People were excited. People were confused. Whitney Houston was in the terminal.

A person waiting for the same flight, trying to make small talk, asked what I thought of her. Without thinking, I said, “Isn’t she dead?”

Well, as of February 11, 2012, she is. She is one of those beloved celebrities who self-destructed in front of a worldwide audience, becoming a butt of jokes that quickly ran out when she passed away.

That her poor decisions – over more than a decade – directly led to her early death have been glossed over as we must now mourn a celebrity death for the mere sake of mourning… what exactly?

The Daily Mail ran an interesting story two days after her death that detailed the extravagant lifestyle of Houston, a true libertine who was anything but niggardly with her fortune:

By the end, Whitney Houston had thrown away every last scrap of the poise and beauty that had made her the ultimate diva of her generation.


Leaving a Hollywood nightclub two days before her death, she was drenched in sweat and disoriented, a wad of mint chewing gum visible in her gaping mouth.


Blood from a cut trickled down her leg. But the lady herself, surrounded by party-loving hangers-on, didn’t seem to notice.

This was a woman who, despite at least three attempts at rehab in the past eight years, appeared fully in the grip of drug addiction: wired, wrecked and out of control. Inside the club, it is claimed, she nearly came to blows with a partygoer who she felt had ‘got into her face’.


So why could nobody save Whitney Houston? In truth, having spent almost two decades destroying herself, she was past saving.

er voice, with her signature, high-octave power note, had been pitifully diminished by years of abuse, particularly the smoking of crack cocaine. The soaring vocals had become a soft, whispery falsetto. 


‘She don’t want to come, my soprano friend,’ she told a booing concert audience in London in 2010. 

The years of material plenty were behind her, too. She was reportedly once again ‘flat broke’, even though she should have had a fortune well in excess of £100 million.


Indeed, despite earning up to  £20 million with a colossal 50-date global tour only two years ago, she was reportedly this month reduced to asking her great benefactor, Clive Davis, the music mogul who ‘discovered’ her, for hand-outs yet again.

Fortune tried to gloss over these monetarily unpleasant facts, but failed to address the point that Houston’s personal decisions in life contributed greatly – okay, entirely – to her early death. What has happened in the shadow of her death – a complete refusal to acknowledge that it was her personal decisions that contributed to her demise – and the quick deification of her is a reminder of the vast sickness within our society. 
That a turgid, bloated white governor of New Jersey would find her death an event worthy of lowering the US Flag to half-mast for, well, that’s just another indicator of the madness of Black-Run America (BRA). 

Today, flags in New Jersey will be lowered to half-staff in memory of Whitney Houston and there are new details on funeral services for the legendary singer. 

Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Alicia Keys will sing at Whitney Houston’s funeral service. And, Houston’s ex-husband, singer Bobby Brown has been invited to attend the service.

Police in Newark will shut down streets for six blocks around the church to keep the public away.  There will be two staging areas for memorials.

Today, flags in New Jersey will be lowered to half-staff. In issuing the order, Governor Chris Christie says, “Houston leaves a legacy that will be cherished for years.”

But, the governor has been criticized by people who feel flags at half-staff should be reserved for service men and women or first responders.

Opinions here in the Garden State differ. Some are dubious about bestowing such an honor on a performer.

“I totally agree with that. (It) should only be for first responders. And (it’s) out of respect.”

“It boggles my mind that they can even consider something like that, but that’s the world we live in, everyone’s got to be so P.C. and make her into some huge ordeal.”
Others say it’s a fitting tribute to a legend.

“She was the greatest singer in the world, why not?  I mean she was an icon.”

“No, I think it’s okay. I think times are changing. She was kind of like an icon you would say.”

Christie has ordered flags at half staff over 40 times in his term, including for saxophonist Clarence Clemons, and for every soldier who’s been killed in action, or first responder killed in the line of duty.

 An icon? A legend? Only to the drug-dealing world who considered her an easy mark and profited mightily over her habits that contributed to her early death. Lowering the flag to half-mast to Whitney Houston is a bizarre act that illustrates the madness of 2012 America. 

But, this event is not without precedent:
Christie’s decision has been widely criticized — 77% of USA Today readers called it “inappropriate” in one informal and unscientific poll. But he has strongly defended the order, hailing Houston as “a daughter of New Jersey” who should be honored for her “cultural contributions.”

For decisions like this, there is a federal “Flag Code,” which stipulates only that the flag be flown at half-staff to honor deaths of certain public officials, adding that governors can honor members of the government or military from their state.


But regardless of what the official code says, the standards around flag-flying have been fuzzy for years. Most of Christie’s prior orders to lower the flag have honored service members killed in combat, yet he issued the same order after the death of Clarence Clemons, the saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. Frank Sinatra received the honor years earlier.

Our old friend Clarence Clemons, that crazy clapper, got the flag lowered too? Such is life in BRA. 
Some said Houston “transcended race” though she would remark to friend that it hurt her some argued her music was too white:
Houston, Winans said, was hurt that some argued her music wasn’t “black enough.”

“They’re saying I’m not black enough.  I’m selling out,” Houston would say tearfully, Winans remembered.

Larry Elder went one step further, writing:
Whitney Houston died at the age of 48. Most articles about her death said something like, “Houston struggled with drug and alcohol problems for years …” 

But Houston also struggled with something else that black Republicans and black non-Democrats can understand: ridicule and ostracism for “selling out,” or “acting white,” or not being “black enough.” 

Ebony, the black monthly magazine, wrote about the then-27-year-old: “Black disc jockeys have chided her for ‘not having soul’ and being ‘too white.’ … She was booed at the Soul Train Music Awards. … It’s enough to drive a good Christian girl to drink, drugs or at least to cursing. But not Whitney. Though it hurts her deeply, she handles it all with aplomb.” 

Did she? 

After Houston’s marriage to Bobby Brown, and after years of Houston’s erratic behavior and rumors of drug abuse, I spoke to singer-actress Della Reese, a longtime Houston family friend. Reese and I were in the greenroom of a television studio, and we talked about Reese’s career. I told her that my mother remembered having seen a young Reese at a Washington, D.C., nightclub called either “The Cave” or “The Cove.” 

She laughed and said, “The Cave.” 

We talked about then-current Whitney Houston/Bobby Brown headlines. “I have a theory about Whitney Houston,” I said. “I’ve been called ‘Uncle Tom,’ and I know how that feels. I think Whitney was so hurt by being called a ‘sellout’ and ‘acting white’ — and crap like that — she wanted to change her image. What better way to do that than to marry a bad boy? And the drug abuse makes her a flawed person fighting to overcome her demons. Makes her relatable.” 

Reese, a close friend of Cissy Houston, Whitney’s mom, said: “I know the family well. And there’s a lot of truth in what you’re saying.” Reese gave me permission to discuss our exchange, as long as I made one thing clear. Reese said: “The human voice is very forgiving, and Whitney is working things out. And she will come back.”

Only in death did Whitney Houston get to have her come back. Because Whitney spent most of the last decades of her life spending away her fortune on drugs, booze and other hedonistic, self-destructive activities, we’ll have to ask Patrick Bateman to illustrate for us why we should see nothing wrong with the US flag flying at half-mast in her honor:

“Did you know that Whitney Houston’s debut LP, called simply ‘Whitney Houston,’ had four No. 1 singles on it? Did you know that, Christie?” asks Bateman.

She is dismissive of Houston’s allure, but Bateman continues: 

“It’s hard to choose a favorite among so many great tracks. But ‘The Greatest Love of All’ is one of the best, most powerful songs ever written about self-preservation and dignity. Its universal message crosses all boundaries and instills one with the hope that it’s not too late to better ourselves.”

Bale as Bateman then addresses the other girl on the couch: “Since, Elizabeth, it’s impossible in this world we live in to empathize with others, we can always empathize with ourselves. It’s an important message. Crucial, really. And it’s beautifully stated on the album.”

Not convinced.Wait, this story might do it though:

Whitney Houston’s funeral has inspired several of Newark’s gang leaders to call for a day of calm today to honor the Brick City-born pop queen.

The push started after Hykine Johnson — a former high-ranking member of the Sex, Money, Murder Bloods who is better known around Newark by his street handle “HAK” — published a Facebook post Wednesday night, calling for citywide peace on the day of Houston’s services at the New Hope Baptist Church.

“If anyone out there is gang banging lets show Whitney Houston respect by commiting no crimes on saturday ……No shootings No robbing No car jacking basically no crazy (stuff) let us show some respect she helped alot of people in Nj lets show lov,” wrote Johnson, who now works as an author and filmmaker, publishing works intended to show young people the perils of gang life in the city.

Johnson’s message quickly circulated throughout the street community, largely among city and gang leaders connected to the Bloods. While Newark is home to a wide array of street gangs, the Bloods make up the majority of the city’s gang populace.

It was only a few years ago that Newark had its first murder-free month in more than two score.To go one day without a murder, courtesy of Whitney Houston… still not enough to deserve the flag flying at half-mast.

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