Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bookmarks: Whitney Houston

Okay, there's a second piece about Whitney's death that you should probably try to make time to read - Susie Bright's Whitney Houston's death is probably not what you think it is:

I didn’t know Whitney. I don't have the coroner's report in hand; this is all speculation. But I do know artists, from the successful and influential to the poor and unheralded. Artists read all this crap about “The diva did drugs! Bad girl! Boo hoo!” and just wanna throw up.

Women in pop culture are particularly framed with this “poor little prima donna who destroyed her talent” garbage. When great male musicians die, it’s unusual to have their substance issues splayed forth in the obit headline.

Is that what happened when George Harrison died? The Beatles, every one of them, could've given Whitney Houston a clinic in drug abuse. When Keith Richards dies, are they going to lead with “heroin destroyed his career”?

Why was Billie Holliday’s love affair with heroin so tragic, but Miles Davis and John Coltrane … not so much? Why is Sinead O'Conner a nutcase but Van Halen is just a darling bunch of naughty rockers? Why is Madonna's mental state on the front page every day, but not Justin Beiber's? Fuck that noise.


Anonymous said...

Interesting argument, except that drugs didn't really destroy the careers of the Beatles, Keith Richards, etc, in the same way they did with Whitney, Winehouse, etc. There are plenty of male artists who, when they die, it will be said that drugs contributed to their demise - Doherty being the most obvious. It's just that the last two examples have been women.

Laura Brown said...

Davis and Coltrane may not be viewed as tragic, but Charlie Parker sure is.

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