Skip to main content


THE WHITNEY HOUSTON EFFECT

When a celebrity dies, especially those superstars who are recognized across the globe, the world stops for a moment. And when his or her death occurs under bizarre and mysterious circumstances, especially after years of public struggles and making questionable decisions, the world starts to analyze the crap out said famous person's life. Topics brought up by the media hounds are immediately discussed, tweeted, speculated, and debated in the days that follow. What could have been done to avoid this?...This was bound to happen...Let's remember her for her talent and not her troubles...Why do celebs think they live by a different set of rules and standards?...

This is NOT one of those nit-picking pieces.

Instead, what I'd like to focus on is a particular reaction fans (and anyone with an iTunes account) have as a result of a celebrity's (notably a popular singer's) demise.

When Michael Jackson passed away nearly three years ago, his stock in music went up, so to speak. His greatest hits collections sold out in stores. His name instantly soared to the top of the iTunes charts. Radio stations put him on heavy rotation. And clubs and bars blared his discography throughout the night (I had been in San Francisco at the time and couldn't escape "Thriller").

I am guilty of immediately hitting iTunes shortly after I heard the news about Whitney Houston (My where-were-you-when moment: I was at the gym attempting to burn off a pizza dinner and did a double take when I walked past a jogger's TV screen on his treadmill). I wanted to fill in any blanks I had in my music library. Shockingly, I didn't have her boffo single, "I Will Always Love You" (on sale for 69 cents) or "How Will I Know," taken from 1985 debut album.

When you get down to it, it's simply a matter of Don't Know What You Got Till It's Gone. When someone who has given us so much -- someone who has been associated with certain aspects of our childhoods or adolescences -- is suddenly ripped out of existence, we rush to collect all the things that remind us of who they were, what they meant to us. We resort to our younger selves, waxing nostalgic on times we now cherish in hindsight.

I'd like to think that I certainly knew what I had before it went away. Every once in a while I'd press play on "So Emotional" while huffing and puffing on the elliptical machine or add "I'm Your Baby Tonight" to a party playlist so that my friends could get their 1990 on. And thanks to the 13 Going 30 soundtrack, I had fallen in love with "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" in 2004 all over again. Whitney was always there, even up until the fall of 2009 when I was blaring "Million Dollar Bill" from her last album, I Look To you.

Now, listening to "Run To You," "I'm Every Woman," and "Queen of the Night" the morning after The News made me, like most of you, revisit snapshots from my pre-teen years. And with such reminiscing comes the realization of just how distant those memories have become and how damn old we've gotten. Inevitably, we're also briefly getting a glimpse of our own mortality - definitely a moment to stop and think.

And with that, I leave you this (a very telling moment comes in at the 2:10 mark):



Forever Wanting to Dance With Somebody,

H.P.M.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Class of '98 Turns 40

We are the Class of '98.

We're a little too old to be Millennials, yet too young to be GenXers. As of now, half of our lives has lived in one century while the other half lives and moves forward in another.

For us, Cabbage Patch Dolls were the 80s, Tamagotchi was the 90s, and Napster was the dawn of the 00s. We grew up with cassette tapes and Saturday morning cartoons. We came of age with CGI dinosaurs and the rise of the Frappucino. And we approach middle age with memes, reboots, and viral videos all designed to distract us from middle age.

We were too young to fully understand the words "Challenger explosion." We were too young to appreciate the fall of the Berlin Wall. But by the time places like Waco, Oklahoma City, and Littleton pinged on everyone's radar, we started to grasp how scary the world could be.

Our adolescence was defined by jagged little pills, prescriptions from Dr. Dre, and the fact that some of us were naughty by nature. We learned that nirva…


13 Things You Probably Didn't Know About 'The Golden Girls'

When one nostalgically binges on all seven seasons of The Golden Girls like me (I swear I have a life), you pick up on a few things. Certain patterns appear as you continuously witness the consumption of countless cheesecakes inside a fictitious Miami kitchen and hear one St. Olaf story too many.

Here's what I noticed after playing my DVDs of this 80s classic over the past several months (and if you're already familiar with the following factoids, excuse me for underestimating your fanaticism)...

1. Actor Harold Gould, who played Rose's long-term boyfriend Miles Webber from Season 5 to Season 7 (and throughout most of the short-lived spinoff, The Golden Palace), also appears in the first season as Arnie Peterson, Rose's first serious beau after her husband's death.

2. The same can be said for Sid Melton, who played Sophia's deceased husband Sal (in flashbacks and dream sequences). He also appears in a Season 6 episode as a jester in a medieval-themed restauran…

Just Because: 9 Music Videos That Take Place in Laundromats

It's one of the biggest music video tropes that's rarely explored in pop culture.

The public laundromat has become a go-to location for artists when making a music video for a single they wish to sell to the masses.

But WHAT IS IT about a space where ragtag groups of strangers gather to fluff and fold their delicates? Is it the obvious metaphor of dirty versus clean? The scintillating possibility of people stripping off their clothes for a wash?

I was feeling a little nostalgic (as usual) and took a look at some of the vids that have fallen under the spell of spin cycles over the past 30 years...

"EVERY HEARTBEAT" / AMY GRANT (1991)

Back in the early 90s, the Christian pop tart followed up her massively successful "Baby Baby" with "Every Heartbeat," a personal childhood favorite of yours truly (the Body & Soul Mix, of course). In one of the two vignettes featured in the video, a laundry-toting hottie attempts to flirt with a young woman who re…