Friday, February 17, 2012

Of Della, Demons, and Dying Divas

So the report from the computer doctor wasn't all bad. Della isn't terminal after all. I did, however, manage to short circuit half of her memory and her keyboard in the unfortunate coffee incident. This means that  Della is not only menopausal, but senile and mute as well.

Don't drink and blog people. Don't drink and blog.

I'm currently awaiting parts to arrive by mail so Mr. Scottish Thrift can play doctor. In the interim, he has kindly offered the use of a small silver contraption which he calls a computer. I call it a timely reminder that Della the demon possessed laptop wasn't so bad after all. I've named him Winky, in honor of the Popeye face I use to read his tiny screen.

In other news, Whitney Houston has passed away.
Just thought I should mention that for my Siberian friends.


Now folks, in the two years that I've been blogging, I have pretty much stayed away from posts of opinion. (Walmart lamentations not withstanding...) I don't voice my opinion because I'm a neurotic people pleaser who really doesn't want to be known as Pot Stirrer on Wheels.

But sometimes... sometimes... I just can't hold my tongue. 
Today is such a day.
 I'm sorry in advance if this is less than people pleasing.

Let me say up front that I'm a huge respecter of talent. I also understand that the death of certain public figures can bring sadness in the hearts of fans. Even though she hasn't made a public appearance in years, I'll still feel blue when my favorite actress and singer passes away.


I get it.

What I don't get is how folks trade simple admiration for a gift well used into fanaticism. What I don't get is the obsession with celebrity to the point of idolatry.  

Yes, I know Whitney isn't to blame.  I also know that  she isn't the first star on the receiving end of overkill, and she won't be the last. I'm too young to remember Marilyn Monroe, but I do remember Elvis Presley and  Michael Jackson.

This isn't about them. It's about us. 

For whatever reason, Whitney Houston was not only given an incredible gift, she was also allowed to shine in the spot light because of it.  Was she talented? Without a doubt. Was she more talented than the average good singer? Yeah, probably so. (Although more fame doesn't necessarily mean more talent.)

But folks, that's where it ends. Whitney Houston  was an entertainer.  She didn't contribute more (or less) to our society or our nation than millions of people who walk among us every day.  Yet to hear the media, one would think that we had lost a national leader. The flag will even be flown at half staff in her home state.

Really?

Have we completely forgotten the significance of a flag at half staff? It's a symbol that we are a nation in mourning, not that we have lost a pop star.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't recognize the death of Whitney Houston. Play her music.  Lament her loss. Remember her gift. If it blessed you at all, then thank the God who gave it to her, but really folks, our culture needs to get a grip on the whole idolatry thing.

Because that whole idolatry thing? It really has a grip on us.

Of course, that's just my opinion on the matter. What's yours?

59 comments:

Barbara F. said...

Yeah, you're back! Thanks for your visit and kind comments, I sent you an email ;).

I love your new header.

I agree about idoltry. I always loved Whitney's music. It was a large part of my life as the 80's was one of my favorite decades. I did a quick little post when I heard, said a prayer, and even cried a little. I am a mush, really. But that is the extent of my fan-aticism. xo

At The Picket Fence said...

Amen sister! :-)
Vanessa

Debbiedoo's said...

I have to agree with you 100%...and I really adored Whitney back in the day. Not understanding the flag flying at half staff at all. I love when you speak your mind:) btw I am staying with GC as long as they let me!

FABBY'S LIVING said...

I just got a poll about this flag thing by Chris Christy on the mail...geeezz! Heroes die everyday in war and I don't see flags going half way for them, at least I haven't heard of it. They don't want to receive the heroes with a parade, but I bet they would to a movie star, or singer. Priorities are screwed up this days. Poor Whitney, so sad, but buttom line, she killed herseld, she was a junky! Great post! Have a lovely weekend.
FABBY

Amy Kinser said...

I totally agree. It's amazing to me how celebrities are held in such high regard. I appreciate their talents, but that's as far as it goes.

Love your opinions!!

The Polka Dot Closet said...

Hum, I had not thought about it, I do know that when a program talks about her I change the channel, there is nothing else I need to hear, I guess that would be over kill. Yes, I have thought the same way when movie stars support a political candidate, most of them do not even have a high School degree, so why should we consider their opinion at all! Flags at half staff...No. I really feel that Bobby Brown killed her, women and their men, such a bad influence.

Glad we don't have to have a funeral for your computer... Now That would be worth flags flying at half staff

Carol

Kathleen said...

I could not agree more. I don't get all this fuss over celebrities, dead or alive. They're just people, that's all. People with a talent and sometimes they use it well and other times they mess up. No, why on earth the home town should lower the flag I do not know! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who feels this way.

On a more positive note - I'm glad you are back with us and Della can be fixed.

Hope you have a lovely weekend.

Chatty Crone said...

Love your new pictures. And I agree - I think she had talent and I feel bad for her - but ...well I hope she is at rest.

sandie

Denise at Forest Manor said...

Hi Debbie,

I'm so glad you're back, even if it's with Mr. Winky. :) I'm sorry Della's been in the computer hospital, but glad it wasn't terminal.

Now about your opinion poll, I totally agree with you. I usually stay away from opinion posts, too, because I'm afraid if I ever start talking, I may not be able to stop.

Whitney was popular when I came of age, and I remember enjoying her songs, and thinking she was so cute and wholesome looking. I do think her ex-husband is a rotter for starting her on the path to self-destruction. But I guess that's an example of how we need to be strong enough to say "No" and not allow someone to do that to us. What a sad waste of a life and talent.

I agree with you and the others about the flag at half staff. Ridiculous. How is it that we've allowed a bunch of egotistical, self-important celebrities to have such an impact on our country? It makes me so angry to think about what a mess our children are inheriting.

Thanks for the post. It's nice to know that others share the same opinion that we do at our house.

Have a great weekend!

Denise

Sonja said...

You said it so well Debbie. Whitney Houston is but an example of how absolutely GOOFY we get over elevating people to status they never were meant to hold. Heroes are NOT the likes of what Hollywood heroes are elevated to.

I saw a clip of Whitney speaking about loving Jesus, and how she gave her heart to him at an early age. To me... she is such a sad story, as she never conquered her demons, and yet in her heart I believe she knew Jesus. I hope we see Whitney whole and singing at her peak when we all get to heaven. I think we will.

Nevertheless... such a good strong point you have made in this blog. I agree wholeheartedly. I gre up close to Hollywood, and the false hopes and dreams that people gave their lives for was so evident to me as I grew up.

What we REALLY need, is a fresh dose of just who our GOD is... not the people He has created, be they good or not so good. HE is where I want my heart to dwell. How off track we can get in this world, looking at what gets lifted up all around us. I love Fernando Ortega's song... 'Give me Jesus'....Our answer!!

Thanks for this.

Shanee @ LivingLifeSouthernStyle said...

Amen girl! I am so fighting the urge to hop on my soapbox and let it fly! I am sorry that Whitney Houston has passed, she was talented and I enjoyed her music. I am more than a little annoyed that we would fly flags at half staff for her passing. It is sad that the world is so saddened by her passing when we have men and women that die daily facing much worse than the "pressures of fame" for all of us to enjoy our freedom and for the most part we don't ever know their names.
Hopefully Della will be back home soon!

Jo's This and That said...

Thanks for sharing Joann

Sandy said...

My sentiments exactly. She was talented and gifted but the time of idolizing celebrities has got to end. If more people got as excited about Jesus Christ as they do famous singers and actors the world could be a better place. Whitney was a perfect example of how empty life can be without Jesus in your heart, even when you have all things the world considers valuable.
Blessings~

Crickit said...

I also totally agree with you! It is very sad when those gifted with beautiful voices are turned into idols and that people actually worship the ground that they walk on. They are people just like you and me.

I am sad over Whitney Houston's death especially when it looks as though she succumbed to a drug overdose like sooooo many before her. I will be praying for her family that somehow through her death, those who don't know Christ will come to know Him in a personal way.

Terra said...

Your thoughts are well expressed, and I am glad you have a temporary puter fix to keep you blogging. I am having a book and soap give away on my blog today.

Dayle said...

As a former opinion writer, I don't mind stirring the pot and you hit the nail on the head. Our devotion and admiration has become idolatry. I'm sorry Whitney died. I'm also sorry for the men and women who die in uniform and hardly get noticed. Whitney was a great singer and entertainer. She was no hero.

Debbie said...

Hello! I am glad your back, no matter what kind of computer you are on, lol. I am ALWAYS eating and drinking when I am on my lap top. Drives my hubby wild. I don't think I will tell him what happened to you, haha.

As for the whole idolatry Whitney Houston thing, I just couldn't agree more. How America has elevated actors/actresses, sports figures, and entertainers into the category of "heroes" I just don't know, but they sure have. It is just flat out wrong. And gives such a bad impression to the young people today as well. It isn't enough that they are paid INSANE amounts of money for what they do, but they are treated as if they are like I said, "heroes"... Flying the flag at half staff is just ridiculous. I hadn't heard that. It is insulting to those who have given their lives for this country in my opinion.

As for Whitney herself, I LOVED her. Her voice could just not be beat by anyone in my opinion. I just find the whole thing sad. I have read many things about her life and she always professed to be Christian. She was just sooo weak. Satan got a hold of her and she just could never beat her own personal demons. And unfortunately for her, her weakness and failures were right out there for the world to see and critique. I am with Sonja I think she might very well be singing in the streets of heaven today, and I personally sure hope so. But as much as I enjoyed her, I felt bad when I heard it, and prayed for her family, and that was about it. Oh wait, that isn't true. I also went on utube and listened to a couple of her greatest hits. "I will always love you," "I love the Lord," and "I believe in you and me." How I loved her voice.

Hope you have a good week-end!

HUGS

Christine said...

I'm glad your comuter is able to send this post.

Sarah said...

Well said. I agree. Don't understand the media barrage over this.
Glad you're back.

Maryann said...

Could not have said this any better myself.
I did not know about the flag being flown at half staff...what does that say about us as a people and what we value...very sad

Gaby said...

Way to go, people-pleaser. I'm the same way, though. There have been a couple of posts that I have sweated and sweated and prayed before I posted. I have honestly missed the whole idolatry of Whitney thing because I change the channel, station, etc when they begin to talk about it because...I'm just not interested. She died. It was sad because she was young and she had such an unhappy life. The end. People die everyday and people who have had a much greater impact in the welfare of people in the world so... Anyway, glad you are back, Della or no Della!

Denise said...

Bingo! You hit the nail on the head! I read your post to the husband and he said "She is exactly right!" (Then we discussed your writing talent. We're both amazed at your ability. Thought you'd want to know).

On a more important note, glad Della will get revived and your sweet Lotsa Hair is letting you borrow Blinky. It just wouldn't do to NOT have some WOW!

Sonja said...

I want to add a P.S. to what I wrote above. The truth is, I have no idea whether Whitney Houston was a christian or not. She said she loved Jesus, and was His child from an early age. I watched her and listened to her voice at her peak, and with everyone else, at the grocery store lines, saw the tabloids of her decline through the years.

I am so glad it isn't me making those calls. God knew her heart, I didn't. I hope she really knew Him. It's for sure, she lost her way along the way.

One more sad story of fame and fortune and... emptiness.

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

I totally agree with you! She had an incredible voice, a gift from the Lord. She became a successful singer, a star, but she was a failure at what the Lord gave her the gift for, how to use it. It is sad that she let the devil win, and in the end, the Lord took her home. Another sad thing is that before she died, a lot of her "fans" were talking behind her back, looking down their noses at what was going on in her life, and not trying to help her. Aretha Franklin said at her comeback concert people were rude to her, but Whitney kept trying to sing with the heckling, etc. I wonder how those people feel now, are they included in the idolizing now?

I hope people will learn from her mistakes, but it didn't seem to help when Michael Jackson and all the other celebrities who died of the same thing.

As for the idolatry of celebrities I'll add another thing - it's awful how Americans (including some Christians) let the celebrities influence their way of voting for our leaders!! But, that's a whole 'nother subject, isn't it??

Glad you are back online! We miss you when you are gone, and value your opinions!

Katherine

Denise said...

Amen, I totally agree.

Shug said...

Great Words in this post...I totally agree...thanks for posting this..

Kelli said...

Agree with ya 100%! Great singer but don't understand the great admiration our country has for her. Besides sharing her talent with us, her contribution to society was... Glad to know Della will be back and nice to meet Winkie:)

Knitty said...

I thought about posting the same opinion but didn't get around to it. I knew the media would feed into and off of the crazy public, causing many of us to be sick of hearing her name within a few days.

Lowering the flag for her or any other entertainer not in the service of our country is just plain wrong in my opinion.

It bothers me to hear so many clucking and cooing about her demons, sounding so sorrowful for her when they don't know or do anything for their actual neighbors who might need a little emotional support.

Stop interviewing the "man on the street" about Whitney's passing and what it means to you. I am sorry when anyone dies so young and do feel for her daughter but I don't have much compassion for what she did to herself with drugs and I certainly don't care to hear someone mark their 15 seconds of fame by boo-hooing on camera over someone they never met.

elizabeth said...

I completely agree with you! We have very misguided values in our culture.

The Decorative Dreamer said...

Oh, I have thought so much about this. It is such a shame and evokes so much sorrow! I am sure her family is still in shock and grieving. Let me just say, thank goodness I haven't heard about the flag at half massed thing as that would have sent me a bit more over the edge. Seriously, why, whatever for? Honestly, I have just been plain mad at her! She was given such an incredible gift, not to mention much beauty to go with it too. I have been wrestling with this because I don't like to judge and can see that there must have been so much more to her story that we just don't understand, but still!!! I've never understood the whole worshiping celebrities thing and just don't buy into it. I do find some celebs interesting but not to level that the media seems to think we should. Why aren't they covering the real story here like why it is that even the most successful, rich, influential and gifted people of the world cannot escape the delusions of drug use. Now that is what we should all be focusing on!

xinex said...

I agree with you, Debbie. I love Whitney, love her songs and her voice, one of the best female voices I have ever heard. But flying the flag half staff I thought was for heroes. Sorry about your computer, it happened to me once, messed my laptop keyboards not because I spilled something on it but John sprayed too much alcohol on it to clean it....Christine

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

I just don't watch. Don't give it time in my head. It is sad that she had so much and still couldn't seem to be happy. But, that's it.

Love it when you get on your soapbox, girl. And, I'm so glad Della is repairable!! XOXO t.

Miss Char said...

Standing in line with the others waving my hands in agreement. Thank goodness her mother put her foot down about the funeral, it's not a circus...it's a funeral.

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

I am late to the party...and as you can see by this roll of comments, which I didn't read, you have nailed it!

What gets to me is the message my kids will repeat back to me, "if you die young, even by your own weaknesses, you are a celebrity for life" Those who live their life and walk out their talent until they die of old age aren't glorified as much...what message does it send...."die tragically".

I haven't watched much, I want our Nation to remember the real heroes.

Sorry if I stepped on someone's toes...we look to those who seemed to have it all, and in this world they did, and yet they weren't happy....isn't that the message we need to hear....they were missing something.

We know they were missing a relationship with Christ...if the message pointed that way I would agree, but I feel it points to an idol instead.

Let's not idolize them, let's tell the world it needs a Savior.

Kathleen said...

I agree. It is sad, she had an amazing talent. I don't get the idolizing of any celebrity. Never did, even as a teenager. That being said, don't call during Blue Bloods cause I enjoy my hour with Tom Selleck! :)
Have a good weekend, glad you are back.

no spring chicken said...

You said a mouthful. And I'm so glad that you don't have any manners. ;)

Blessings, Debbie

Ann said...

First, I am glad I was not drinking while READING your post! I would have a screen covered in coffee .... ; / You had me at "This means that Della is not only menopausal, but senile and mute as well."

Now, as for your opinion, I daresay it's the opinion of the majority of people in this country! You remember the "silent majority" of yore? Well, it seems to be back!

Cheers!
Ann

Ann said...

First, I am glad I was not drinking while READING your post! I would have a screen covered in coffee .... ; / You had me at "This means that Della is not only menopausal, but senile and mute as well."

Now, as for your opinion, I daresay it's the opinion of the majority of people in this country! You remember the "silent majority" of yore? Well, it seems to be back!

Cheers!
Ann

Gayle said...

Well said, and I couldn't agree more.

Angel said...

You expressed my thoughts very well (how do you do that?) :)

I agree wholeheartedly. So glad you and your new sidekick "Winky" were able to put out this timely post.

Blessings!

Canadagirl said...

Really truly all I can say is ...ditto. You said it very well, thank you.

I pray you will be all back and running well soon in bloggyland.

But you gave me a BIG chuckle in your words of wisdom..."Don't drink and blog people. Don't drink and blog."

They truly are words of wisdom and I NEED to listen to them but it is sooooo hard. [o=

Blessings and ((HUGS))
-Mary

Mary said...

Here Here!

I had a coffee spill a year ago on my laptop~ it was sad & I was forbidden to drink anything while blogging, emailing, & googling. I managed to get another year out of life out of it before it finally gave up the ghost. I type this while sipping coffee at my new laptop...I'm a slow & thirsty learner :)

Shannon@Cozy Home Scenes said...

I enjoy your humor and writing style, Debbie. I agree with you and the others about the idolization of celebrities. I think we do the same thing on a smaller scale with politicians, soap stars, preachers, etc. and I think on an even smaller scale..... some bloggers. I am like you in that I like people to like me but, I have an independent streak within that keeps me from falling into the people worshiping crowd. The one thing that disappoints me about blogging is that we all seem to jump on the same band wagon because we Must please everyone even if we do not agree with a certain person or view. Thank you, Debbie for being one of the few real bloggers who will say it like it is! I hope and pray that we all learn from these types of tradegies and get back to worshiping the only One that deserves it.--Shannon

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

well first let me say that Della and I have a lot in common...menopausal, senile and mu...oh wait,, okay not the mute bit.
We were totally ASTOUNDED that a flag would be flown at half mast for a drug abuser when men and women who give THEIR lives for our country are largely ignored. It is sickening and disgusting. Yes, she had talent but that wasn't of her doing, drug taking, her doing. So she should be honored for that? We are still shaking our heads.

Kelley said...

My opinion is a big, fat DITTO to go with Della and all the demons and dying divas. Definitely!

Marcia said...

I think all of it is so sad, not just Whitney but sinful flawed humanity which is really all of us. Do any of us deserve a thing? Not really. Is there really any other hero besides Christ? Not really. Yes, there are plenty of men and women of extraordinary valor fighting for our freedom and safety who definitely merit a symbol of mourning such as a flag at half staff and no, I don't believe it is appropriate when it comes to the passing of an entertainer. Is most of humanity guilty of idolatry? You bet, and sometimes we don't even have to look to Hollywood, or our pop culture, it's often in our very homes. Anything that takes the place of God in our hearts is idolatry, so I'm first in line.
Great post, Debbie. Love your transparency.
Hugs.

Sue said...

Amen and amen!
I have kind of given up on media and all that "stuff" so I wasn't even aware that WH had died until a few days later. Such a waste of God given talent, but the fuss our society makes ~ we are headed down the wrong path, that's for sure. A life cut short is always a tragedy, and my heart breaks for her young daughter. But flags at half staff?
As always you say so eloquently what I would like to say! Thanks Debbie!
{and happy to hear that Della isn't terminal}

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Loved the lesson in the above post just couldn't leave a comment. :)

I think America in general has forgotten what true heroes and role models really are. It's quite sad really.

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

I respected her talent but I was never a big fan. All her drug/marital drama turned me off. She wasn't a good role model so I don't get the whole hysteria right now. I mean really flags at half staff? Crazy.


P.S. My laptop died for no good reason Saturday. Just decided not to turn on. Hopefully the tech guys and fix her or at least save my stuff. Ugh!

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

I agree with you! There needs to be a grip on it...I like the way you express yourself with typing

Ms.Daisy said...

Amen and Amen again Sister Debbie. I was aghast when Govenor Christie decided to fly our flag at half staff for Whitney because "it was flown at half staff for Frank Sinatra." Embarrassing to say the least. Sorry about your recent disaster and hope she's repaired soon.

~Jean

FABBY'S LIVING said...

I came back to tell you that I'm always so scared when my grandgirls are roaming around my computer with a glass of juice on their hands! I'm glad your compu is in better health, lol! Thanks for your lovely and generous visit sweet lady. Have a happy week.
FABBY

FrouFrouBritches said...

YES! YES! YES, I say! I could not agree more with the Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson idolatry thing. I could NOT belive when I heard Chris Christy say flags would be flown at half staff. REALLY? Does it bother anybody else that most of these stars "we" idolize that die early is usually because of some kind of DRUG? UGH!!!!!! It's infuriating!!! I mean, I cried when Lucille Ball died, but I didn't expect the world to stop turning. Come on people!

Anyway, I am so glad Della isn't terminal! Woo hoo! I love the Don't Drink and Blog line! HA!

SavannahGranny said...

Amen and Amen. We know what the ten commandments teach us about idols. I find it hard to believe Michael Vick will be in the Hall of Fame someday. I just don't get it either.
Hugs, Ginger

Sharon said...

I'm never quite sure how I feel when tragedies like this occur. Mostly I just feel sad.

I agree that our culture is wildly "out of whack" - with the way that we worship the wrong people. Celebrity fever is kinda ugly.

But in Whitney's case, I feel particularly sad. She professed to be a Christian - how tragic that she got so caught up into drugs. How awfully Satan uses addiction.

I pray for all people who are lost. And I pray for those who admire and look up to "role models" that are anything but. Idolatry is a dangerous trap, and it can be so insidious. We must ALL be careful to have NOTHING or NO ONE on that throne in our lives except the ONLY ONE who belongs there. God is all - He is everything.

Anita said...

Wow Debbie you said it so well. Thre are so many wonderful musicians who will never get the chance she had butnthat doesn't make them any less good. I always hate the power that all celebrities have. It's like they become experts about some political issue when in reality...they are entertainers. Period. I did love her songs, but the path she chose should make every young girl who thinks she wnts that lifestyle reconsider the entertainment industry. I have wondered now that her life is over if she would not say that she would rather have been a suburban mom than the mega star she was. I think she would have experienced real love from real people not trying to get something from her. I bet she would be alive, and that is the sad part.

Thanks for stopping by, and I loved your post about love:-)

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Don't know how I've missed all these posts. I think I might rename myself Della, because I am getting too senile to remember where I've been in Blogville. Just caught up on all I missed, and I seriously had a blast! Your wit and insight always leave me feeling so good. Love the idea of your luncheon club, and those table settings you shared were beautiful. I'm willing to bet your luncheon will be a huge success. When I read your Sunday posts, I always wish I could be in your Sunday School class. You do such a wonderful job of getting the point across and giving me some smiles and even lol giggles sometimes. Your W.H. post was expressed so well, and I SO agree with you. I'm sorry about your computer, but glad you're looking at your mug as half full! laurie

Rettabug said...

Amen & Mega Ditto to what you just said, Debbie!

Rettabug shakes her head at the sad state of this world.

Kathryn Ross said...

Speaking as someone living in that home state of the lamentable Whitney, I can tell you that the average Joe's in our state were pretty ticked about this flag lowering thing. My uncle, who is very involved at the Marine veterans detachment was boiling! Wow - the vets vented, to be sure. Deb, you hit the nail on the head with this one - and with plenty of LOL's on my part, too.

Winky? Really? How do you think up this stuff???

Joy!
Kathy

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