Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

    **MATERIAL ON THIS SITE IS COPYRIGHT PROTECTED. For permission on reprints or reusing this material, please contact the individual authors. For sharing the actual post, please use the share buttons.

  • Blog Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 90,980 hits
  • RSS April’s Blog: A Writer’s Journey

    • Evil Parents and Rotten Kids
      A-ZE is for Evil Parents and Rotten KidsI present you Jimmy Kimmel's annual "I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy" video montage. It's an artful mixture of cruelty, humor, and ghastly awe. My favorite is Drawer Boy. Now there's an ax murderer in the making.Which is your favorite?
      noreply@blogger.com (April Gardner)
  • RSS Barn Door Book Loft

    • A Warm Welcome to Caryl McAdoo!
      It's a pleasure to welcome Caryl back to our Barn Door Book Loft today. She's an enthusiastic and vibrant author, and I'm sure you'll enjoy her interview! Caryl, can you tell us a bit about your family, and what it is like where you live?May I first say thank you for having me visit today? I so appreciate the opportunity!Well, as many gra […]
    • Sing a New Song by Caryl McAdoo
      BlurbPersistent faith brings redemption and reconciliation. Propelled by blind love, Mary Rachel Buckmeyer defies her father to elope with Caleb Wheeler. The newlyweds run off to California then partner with his cousin in his dry goods business.Unbeknownst to the young bride, her new husband sends his kissing cousin ahead. He wants his love and his new wife’ […]
    • Detours by Michelle Levigne
      A Tabor HeightsnovelYear OneBack Cover Blurb:A year in the life … Roommates Bekka, Kat and Amy had a lot in common: Theater students, pursuing writing careers, supporting each other in crises and heartaches. Amy kept breaking up with her boyfriend. Kat never dated a boy more than twice. Bekka was too busy with part-time jobs and writing to even want a relati […]
  • RSS Clash of the Titles

    • COTT brings you "Entrusted" by Julie Arduini
      If you enjoy a sweet romance in a quaint village, you’ll love Julie Arduini’s debut novel. She fills the town with delightful and insightful characters. The story has a good balance of humor, wisdom and love. Buy this book, wrap up in a warm blanket with a cup of team, and snuggle in for a great read.                                                          […]
    • 2015 Olympia Winner!
      by Michelle MassaroGood morning, lovers of the written word! We have some big news to share today: The Olympia has a winner!******Please give a virtual hand to Kelly Goshorn!!BioKelly Goshorn is an aspiring novelist currently masquerading as a virtual assistant and a Target cashier who believes everybody needs a little more love and romance in their life. Ev […]
    • February Release Feature, plus FREE novella!
      What a wonderful debut! It's a story of redemption and forgiveness and love. The author, Jessica R Patch, sucked me in on the first page. I couldn't put it down. I can't wait for her next book to be released. Wonderful writer. Highly recommended read, especially around Christmas time, but could be read anytime. It's that good.             […]
  • RSS Little Bits Blog

    • Chloe's Decision 
      As I stated last week, November is NANOWRIMO. I'm working on the next Stones Creek novel. It's the story of Chloe, Noah Preston's sister. She comes to Stones Creek with her two children. If you would like to read her pre-story simply subscribe to Sophie's Special Emails. No more than twice a month will you receive an email with special co […]
    • Remembering Fudgsicles
      It is November and thus NANOWRIMO, National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to begin a novel and write 50,000 words during the month. Since this occupies most of my focus for these four weeks I will be reposting previous articles each week this month. Fudgsicles, how long has it been since I’ve had a fudgsicle? I’m not sure, but they came to mind when […]
    • Are You Teachable?
      What? You think you know everything? I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but no one knows everything. Oh, there is one, Hashem. He's omniscient. But no one else is. Even Yeshua (Jesus) isn't. He doesn't know the hour or day he will come again. Some people rejoice in learning something new. I tend to be one of those people. I read about […]
  • RSS Living Our Faith Out Loud

    • Book review: Historical novella Acres of Dreams by Sharon McGregor
      Acres of Dreams book reviewSharon McGregorShort Historical InspirationFrom the Publisher: Katy is a nineteen year old girl sent to Canada by her family in the late 1890s to find a suitable husband. Katy has other plans however--she wants a career, not marriage. During the round of social activities arranged by her sister, she is drawn against her will toward […]
    • Emma Right, Children's books, Kindle Fire giveaway
      Synopsis Of While Princesses Sleep, Book 1 of the Princesses OF Chadwick Castle Seriesby Emma RightWhile Princesses Sleep: Princesses of Chadwick Castle Adventure, Book 1 (Princess Castle Adventure Mystery series) is a tale of two royal sisters who are princesses.1. While Princesses SleepThe Princesses Of Chadwick Castle Adventure is an eight-book series set […]
    • Debra L Butterfield's Carried by Grace
      About the Book: A waking nightmare descended on our lives. “My twelve-year-old daughter had put a chef’s knife to her chest and threatened to kill herself. Her step-dad was sexually abusing her. I felt swallowed by darkness — like Jonah in the belly of the whale. This can’t be happening.” A family member... a friend... someone you know has sexually abused yo […]
  • RSS Nearly Brilliant

    • Book Review: Storm Clouds Rolling in by Ginny Dye
      The first book in a series.  Carrie Cromwell has grown up on a Virginia plantation so she is used to the comfort of a privileged life and she’s an independent thinker. Slaves have always been a part of her lifestyle, but the older she gets the more she questions whether slavery is right or wrong. The story gives us both sides of the slavery issue including t […]
    • Book Review: By Eastern Windows by Gretta Curran Browne
      A unique historical romance that focuses on a male main character, Lachlan Macquarie. The book begins in Scotland with Macquarie as a young soldier, then moves to India where he rises through the ranks of the English military. He meets the love of his life, lovely  Jane Jarvis who has been raised in India but the happy marriage is short-lived. When tragedy s […]
    • Book Review: Susanna and the Spy by Anna Elliot
      Susanna Ward’s grandfather cut her father off from his inheritance years ago because he disapproved of his marriage. When  her father dies, she is forced to see work as a governess. Ok. This is not the newest plot in the world, but it’s a mystery and therein lies the different. Her grandfather meets with a mysterious death which a stranger indicates might ha […]
  • BLOG NEWS

    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
  • Second Monday: Sophie Dawson

  • Tuesdays – Promotion in Motion

  • Wednesdays: Life of a Writer – April & Positivity – Lisa Lickel

  • Thursdays – Luther’s on board

  • Fridays – Revolutionary Faith, Devotions by Elaine

  • Saturdays – Janet Perez Eckles

  • Sunday – Reflections Book Reviews

  • Blog Authors

  • The Barn Door

  • The Barn Door Book Loft. Free Books! Book Giveaways.

  • John 3:16 Marketing Network widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox! Not seeing a widget? (More info)>

Observations on the Aftermath of Whitney Houston’s Death

Posted by Ben Erlichman on February 16, 2012

Whenever a celebrity dies, especially one of the caliber of Whitney Houston, or Michael Jackson, or Larry King–wait…he’s not dead yet? Oh, he just kind of looks like he’s dead. My bad.

Whitney Houston

Anyway, there’s a predictable pattern of reaction from the media, from social networks, and from other celebrities. It’s horrible, but true, and most of it infuriates me. Here are two of my observations regarding Whitney Houston’s recent passing:

1. The media was well-prepared–too well-prepared. I think we all know by now that major media outlets have obituary files and footage already picked out for most of the world’s major celebrities, so all they have to do is pull out that file, mash together that footage and have the anchors/reporters practice going through some of said celeb’s lifetime highlights, low periods, and everything in-between before going on live and presenting the obituary.

That means that these news outlets not only have those files and footage, but that they update them regularly, and they also probably prioritize them based on who they think is going to croak first. In a way, this is a totally heartless and cold approach to the death of an important person, but if you stop and consider it, isn’t that kind of news exactly what everyone is supposed to get? Even-tempered, unbiased reporting of the facts?

I still don’t think I like it, though.

2. Idiots used Whitney’s death as a chance to advance their own agendas. This is the reason why I felt I should write on this topic today. I’m flummoxed at some peoples’ stupid behavior in response to Whitney’s death. If you thought the media outlets were bad for being well-prepared for Whitney’s death, you’ll be disgusted at some of the things coming out of celebrities’ mouths and from social networking sites like Facebook.

Two examples in particular really made me fume. Tony Bennett, who, for our younger readers, is a very famous singer/performer from yesteryear, made one of the dumbest comments I’ve ever heard after a celebrity’s death: he said, “I’d like to have every gentleman and lady in this room commit themselves to get our government to legalize drugs. So they have to get it through a doctor, not just some gangsters that sell it under the table.”

Tony Bennett

Look, I’m not going to comment on the validity of his argument. Maybe he’s right, maybe not. But that’s not the point. The point is that he stood up in public and used Whitney Houston’s death to advance his own agenda. Wow…what a way to pay tribute to a friend–use their death to tell the government that drugs should be legalized. How do you think the population would have responded if reputable pastor like Rick Warren (not that he would) came out in public and said that everyone should accept Jesus and live fulfilled lives so they don’t end up like Whitney Houston? The universe, including a lot of Christians, would throw a conniption fit. To sum up, Tony’s comment was poorly-timed, and inappropriate.

Here’s another dumb thing I saw, this one on Facebook:

Yes, I know this is Steve Jobs and not Whitney.

I used Steve because I saw this meme used after his death first–and also because the one I found with Whitney had a picture of her with her chest halfway hanging out. You get the idea, though, right? Millions “cry” when a celebrity dies, but no one cries for the millions dying from AIDS in Africa, or from ethnic cleansing/genocide, or from hunger.

::Sigh::

I won’t argue with the premise. Yes, the world is a place of a profound injustice, and this does a good job of showing that discrepancy. That said, this is just as opportunistic and inappropriate as Tony’s comment above for exactly the same reason: the author is using a tragedy to advance their own agenda at the expense of the departed person immortalized in their meme, as if subtly implying that somehow, it’s partly Whitney’s or Steve’s fault that millions are dying. Or, at the very least, such memes are made to make us feel guilty about how we react to celeb deaths.

I’m probably not the best example of how to react to a celebrity’s death because I generally don’t spend much time following their lives in the first place. That said, you’re getting my opinion anyway.

When Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson died, and even more so when Steve Irwin (the Crocodile Hunter) was skewered by a stingray a few years back and died, I felt very sad. I didn’t go out and place flowers or notes or teddy bears on their graves (or in front of their chain of Apple stores like folks did with Steve Jobs), but their deaths impacted me (less with Steve Jobs, as I’m only a recent convert to the cult of Apple).

The meme above makes the assumption that we stupid, spoiled Americans care more about a person (who has actually affected our lives in some way) than we do about those suffering and dying around the world. Honestly, I’m sure that is the case with a lot of people, but to use a celeb death as an opportunity to guilt-trip the rest of us, including people close to Whitney or Steve or Steve or Michael, is wrong.

Sorry, but you’re just being a jerk. You haven’t considered how many people those celebs actually did touch in a profound way, who are already hurting at the loss of a friend, family member, or loved one (celebrity), upon seeing your meme, feel guilty and used as a part of a scheme to raise awareness for an issue that most people would already agree with anyway. In other words, your timing sucks because you don’t have the balls to try to promote your ideas in a time of normalcy and instead do it at the expense of someone’s death and others’ grief.

Alright. I’m done ranting. I’d love to get your thoughts on this. Next week, stay tuned for a much anticipated post, probably the second-to-last one you’ll get out of me here at Reflections: Things that Weigh a Thousand Pounds (aka things that I can leg press).

-Ben

4 Responses to “Observations on the Aftermath of Whitney Houston’s Death”

  1. eghamlin said

    Amen! Or in other words, well stated! BTW, I will miss reading your posts. ;)

  2. John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav) said

    From a certain POV – in fact, because of the very nature of POV’s – any reaction we make at all to the death of someone like Whitney Houston, if it’s not directed to the comfort of the family as such, is going to serve our own agendas. Not meaning any negative critique of this thoughtful and truthful post at all, but that includes this post. It has an agenda. Otherwise you wouldn’t have made it.

    And that critique, of course, includes my own reactions both to the event and to people’s reactions to the event, including yours.

    It’s not “agendas” that are the problem. Perhaps the real problem is that events that affect a “nexus” in the world, personal, group, or inanimate, say more about ourselves and about our agendas, and our assumptions that lie behind the agendas, than about the nexus. And perhaps the real solution is to make sure that our agendas and assumptions are sound, and to “season our speech with salt” so that we know how to present what parts of them are edifying at the time.

    I think that last bit is precisely what you were trying to say in the end anyway. :)

    • John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav) said

      A “nexus” – I’m borrowing this tweak on the concept from Babylon 5 – is something that, when it turns, the rest of the world tends to follow in its wake. Ms. Houston had that kind of power for many, many people. Don’t you think that God made possible such concentrations of impact in people, groups or events so as to expose the thoughts of the rest of us? I can cite this ultimate example as an illustration (and hope that it will help make the rest of my own observations make a lick of sense):

      (Luke 2:33 RSV) And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him;
      (Luke 2:34 RSV) and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against
      (Luke 2:35 RSV) (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.”

      Reflecting my agenda inevitably, for whatever it’s worth… :)

  3. jhtwriter said

    I would have used the death of Ms. Houston, but then I have no agenda outside of Christ. But about that meme, could we use a picture of Larry King or some politican and say: “One lives, many cry.” and then use the photo of those suffering and say, “Many dies and no one cries.”

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,247 other followers

%d bloggers like this: