Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Curse of Fame

When I heard the heartbreaking news of Whitney Houston’s death; I was shocked! I’m sure many of you were too! This is one of those events that you will always be able to recall where you were for the rest of your life. Let me say, from the onset, that my condolences and prayers go out to her family and loved ones.

In the mists of this tragedy I wondered if many of have thought about the reason why we live. The process of life dictates that we are born to die. In my ground breaking novel “Just a Season” I referred to this earthly period of existence as the “Dash” that will be place on our final marker - between the beginning and end dates of our season.

Now the more important point here is that each of us will face this quandary and will have a dash because we are only here for a short period of time, which is “Just a Season”. Therefore, what we should strive to accomplish is to make sure that while here you increase the equity within your dash. As the great Richard Pryor once said, “this is the ultimate test!”

As we get a glimpse from the footage concerning Whitney’s passing we have to ask is this the price of fame? Kathleen Parker wrote an article this week where she said, “It is painful to watch. You can see her struggling to cooperate, but the love they (meaning the fans) wanted wasn’t there. You can only give what you have. Beneath the halfhearted smile, Houston looked empty, exhausted and drained by the insistence of her audience. Maybe self-medication played a role, but the scene was a metaphor for what surely has been at least part of her internal struggle: the curse of fame.”

I tend to agree with her as she went on to say “the incredible voice that came to Earth with Whitney Houston ceased to be her own once Clive Davis put her on an album cover. Which is not to pity the wildly successful. Who doesn’t want to be discovered, to live the big life, to have a shot at something extraordinary? But the cost is dear, especially for the phenomenally gifted.”

We’ve seen this time and time again. There was Michael Jackson, Hendrix, Pryor, Cornelius, and so many more who in all the splendor lived a life cursed by fame. The famous or the great leaves us far too soon. There is always someone leaving us to transition to the afterlife. If you pick up a newspaper and read the obituary, you will see the faces of those who’ve gone on. But in the case of stars, rich or famous people we act as if it was not suppose to happen. I will remind you; “that we don’t know the minute or the hour”.

Actually the interesting thing is that most of us can’t imagine what that level of fame is like or why anyone would wants it? Frankly, the answer to that would be just about everyone. The popularity of reality shows, and the extent to which some are willing to go in exchange for even fleeting recognition, is something bordering on pathological.

When you look at Whitney’s life, her fame was of a higher order, based not only on her extra ordinary talent; it was more about the relationship with her fans. When she sang and pointed to the audience, it was easy to feel as if she was talking to you. When she wished us joy and happiness, it was easy to believe because when she wished us love we felt it. The love was a mutual connection. Now, I’ll say that she her beauty almost seemed less important.

There is sufficient history of the talented who met similar ends to comfortably conclude that fame is a huge risk. Fans may pay the bills, but they also siphon the spirit of the adored. You’ve heard that it is lonely at the top. What this means, basically, if you are somebody, you belong to everybody. Now that her season has come and gone – she belongs to the ages. Whitney I forgive you, love you, and may you Rest in Peace for all eternity.

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspectives!

Whitney Elisabeth Houston’s Obituary

"Just a Season"

Legacy – A New Season the sequel is coming!

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