Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Not a Hero or a Leader

The flags are flying at half staff and I wanted to know if the President or Vice-President had died. I suppose a hero from Afghanistan or Iraq wars could have died, some young woman or man who saved a battalion or captured an insurgent camp and was wounded could have died and warranted the flag at half staff. No, the flags are flying at half staff because of a drug addict.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed Whitney Houston's performances and her singing, but the woman who died this week was no longer than stunningly beautiful goddess of song and theater but a drug addict. She was a famous drug addict, someone who fought with her husband, Bobby Brown, in public (he was a philandering so-and-so), and was often caught on camera as a ranting mad woman, but she was a drug addict just like the homeless drug addicts doing their business in the street (heeding nature's call and scoring more drugs). She was not a hero and she died because of her addiction to drugs. That is nothing worth celebrating.

Celebrate her life, not her death or her slow decline into drugg addled madness and social and personal suicide. Remember her accomplishments, but there is no need to celebrate her death because she died a drug addict.

I don't think many people get that. She was a drug addict and drug addicts eventually get their wish and they die. All this boo-hooing and national mourning for an entertainer is on one hand admirable and on the other a travesty of what it means to be a hero.

Whitney was born talented and privileged and wasted both in her quest for more drugs, better drugs, and more better drugs. Everything she was and could have been were wasted because she couldn't handle success, or for whatever reason committed slow suicide.

Where were the half-staff flags for John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Guy Williams, and dozens of other actors who fought in the wars and came back to Hollywood to play heroes -- and a few bad guys -- and died as a result of cancer, old age, and myriad other diseases and complications? Where are the half-staff flags for the men and women who died of AIDS before it had a name and was thought to be a plague against homosexuals? Where are the half-staff flags for the thousands of quiet heroes who make a difference every single day to uncounted millions of people? Where are the half-staff flags for mothers and fathers everywhere who worked hard, gave their families the best lives they could, and died?

There are none because those people haven't been valued enough. I can see the half-staff flags to this day when Dr. Martin Luther King died. I remember seeing phots of the flags at half staff when John F. Kennedy died that November day in Dallas. Those men deserved the flags at half staff; Whitney Houston does not.

The world has turned upside down because an entertainer died a drug addict. Yes, she was a wonderful actress and singer and she was a beautiful woman. Too bad she didn't value herself enough to stay away from drugs. Whatever demons drove her to the oblivion of drugs, they should not be honored or celebrated. Remember her life and remember that she died a drug addict, a wasted life that should be honored quietly and with humility, but not with the flags at half staff. The death of a drug addict is the death of hope and life, its ugly tentacles dragging the person down to the depths of despair, lost to the promise of what they could've been.

Mourn Whitney Houston quietly and remember it didn't have to be this way. She could have used her talent and her beauty to go with dignity like Audrey Hepburn, who gave her life and her talents to the children of the world and succumbed to cancer. There was someone worth celebrating.

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