I know it’s supposed to be good news. That after Goddess knows how many years, Whitney Houston has finally emerged from her cracked induced psychosis and decided to leave that piece of gap-toothed sh-t she’s been married to for much, much too long.
Good news, absolutely. But I’m more haunted than I am happy, more pessimistic than I am relieved. Because while there is always hope for new beginnings, some things you just can’t undo. Like the ravages of too many years of drug abuse taking the form of Elvis on top of the smile that once charmed an international following. And the voice that was a national treasure now just a raspy, flailing whisper of greatness, cut down too early by toxic attraction and fame that came too early.
Take away the pipes, the fact that Whitney can sing and Britney can lip-sync, and what you get are two very similar stories two decades apart.
Like Whitney, Britney was an overnight sensation, a girl who played up a virginal image, who lived in a box without the luxury of privacy to truly grow into her own experiences. Whitney was always sold as a choir girl, an angel who could move mountains, a pop superpower who could not show her soul, who at one time was rejected by her own people.
What we didn’t know then was that Whitney didn’t want to be sweet nor did she play sweet underneath and when she finally could, with Bobby as her spark, years and years of suppressed wildness erupted into scandal, ushering in a decade of debauchery, the consequences of which we are seeing today.
And then there’s Britney. Similarly stereotyped, similarly stifled, until one fateful day, one fateful Federline encounter, a hundred bags of Cheetos later, her inner redneck could not be controlled (nor her overactive womb for that matter), and the result is a promising career derailed – not by motherhood mind you, which is of course a beautiful thing – but by the disastrous influence of her very own Bobby Brown, with even less to offer than a New Edition punk gone solo. And to top it all off…children in both cases. For Whitney, a daughter already showing signs of trouble and for Britney, two previous examples who haven’t exactly been privy to the best in paternal parenting.
So is it really farfetched then to think that Britney’s misguided compass will head in the same tragic direction?
Pray Goddess in her case she has a Clive Davis of her own, and bless his heart that he is continuing to champion Whitney even after she’s abandoned him time and time again.
Have a look: Whitney at a gala event just the other day, pulled together and hopefully clean but that sag, that bloat, the unmistakable signs of greatness gone awry – as a child of the 80s I’m too heartbroken to be a bitch and, right now, too disconsolate to be an optimist.