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Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Destruction Myths of Whitney Houston

Posted by on Thu, Feb 23, 2012 at 11:29 AM

If this seems invasive, remember that our subject co-starred in a television series in which all she did was stumble around and yell at people.
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  • If this seems invasive, remember that our subject co-starred in a television series in which all she did was stumble around and yell at people.
Whitney Houston is tragically dead, and I'm not here to guess at what killed her (drink/drugs/drowning/combo platter?) I'm here to guess at what drove her toward the things that killed her, and if this seems invasive and of dubious morality, remember that our subject co-starred in a television series in which all she did was stumble around and yell at people. (Two wrongs don't make a right, but it's a good start.)

Whitney Houston Destruction Myth #1: She lived her life as a deeply religious closeted lesbian. Rumors about Houston and her ever-present best friend Robyn Crawford date back to the earliest '90s, and proponents of this myth posit a timeline that has Houston seeking to squash the rumors that were torturing her mother and jeopardizing her career by marrying Bobby Brown in 1992. Mythmakers contend that the mindfucking heartbreak of leaving the love of her life for a sham marriage inspired Whitney to become a serious user of the things that would eventually lead to her death.

Whitney Houston Destruction Myth #2: She was a deeply religious African-American woman who allowed herself to be shaped into the the peppy pop doll the world fell in love with via "How Will I Know?" and "I Wanna Dance with Somebody." After years spent playing this "Black Barbie" role, Houston was fed up with "the burden of perfection" and ready to rebel, and had a vast fortune with which to fuel her rebellion. This myth basically casts the whole second half of Houston's life, from her marriage to Bobby Brown on, as one long (perhaps subconscious) fuck you to anyone who bought the Whitney Houston Doll image of the '80s.

Whitney Houston Destruction Myth #3: Like everyone else on earth, Whitney Houston was complicated. Also, partying is fun, Whitney Houston liked to party, and she had the means to make it a second career.

To conclude this cavalcade of wrongness, a poll.


Comments (17) RSS

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Puckerd Poop Chute 1
I think Angelia Jolie did it…
Posted by Puckerd Poop Chute on February 23, 2012 at 12:54 PM · Report this
Vince 2
Whatever the cause, Whitney and Jeezus are doing lines in heaven.
Posted by Vince on February 23, 2012 at 12:55 PM · Report this
Fnarf 3
Whitney was murdered. Nancy Grace says so.
Posted by Fnarf on February 23, 2012 at 12:57 PM · Report this
cosby 4
It must be a slow week for Nancy Grace. No child murders to prey on for ratings?
Posted by cosby on February 23, 2012 at 12:59 PM · Report this
#3: occam's razor
Posted by decidedlyodd on February 23, 2012 at 1:01 PM · Report this
derek_erdman 6
Fame: it's a helluva drug.
Posted by derek_erdman on February 23, 2012 at 1:01 PM · Report this
blip 7
@5 My thoughts exactly.
Posted by blip on February 23, 2012 at 1:15 PM · Report this
I'd never heard myth #1, which is just SO, SO SAD.
Posted by Bethany Jean Clement on February 23, 2012 at 1:31 PM · Report this
pg13 9
Ages ago, I had a friend who lived in New York...who said that he was a doorman for a building there--and said that he saw that Kelly (Witness/Top Gun) McGillis and Whitney Houston were living together as a couple.

At the time, I brushed it off as the ramblings of a starfucker who would tell stories to make himself seem more interesting...but now, in the days of TMZ, that's got to be seen as definitive proof.

Posted by pg13 on February 23, 2012 at 1:43 PM · Report this
chimsquared 10
Why isn't "all of the above" an option?
Posted by chimsquared on February 23, 2012 at 1:52 PM · Report this
Probably a mix of 1 & 3, I seem to recall a true hollywood/gossip story that Whitney was partying WAY before she met Bobby B but they just escalated their habits with each other because money was not a problem and it was ok with your partner. Anyone who thinks this is all Bobby B's fault is extremely naive, high probability that coke was everywhere in the circles she ran with (modeling and music? come on.....)
Posted by g2000 on February 23, 2012 at 2:12 PM · Report this
I think #1 is possible, #2 a long shot, #3 most likely - fueled by her having lost interest in what she did for a living. I don't blame her a bit. That "burden of perfection" link is to a great piece. She made her choices and found them, I don't know about torturous, but certainly boring to live with.
Posted by gloomy gus on February 23, 2012 at 2:12 PM · Report this
I can't help but be reminded of Billie Holiday, dying at about the same age of about the same thing. Lady Day was a lot tougher than "Lady Sings the Blues" and in some ways, Holiday's 'toughness' was what did her in. The 'Reality TV' Whitney certainly was about as rough as Lady Day. In both cases, booze was an enormous—perhaps overriding—factor.
Posted by Robin Landseadel on February 24, 2012 at 7:01 AM · Report this
Bauhaus I 14
I was at the Poe Convention in 1986 (or was it 1987?) in Atlanta and Whitney was there to perform. One of the hotel employees (who was also a friend) told me that she was there in a luxury suite with her "friend." It was the first I heard about her being a lesbian. But there's a funny thing about show people. They can ball people of the same sex and it's kind of considered experimental. That's what's up, I think, with a lot of the rumors one hears about male stars. It's like...."I'm in the arts. I'm allowed to go through phases." I don't think Whitney was a dyed-in-the-wool lesbian, but might she have had a fling with a trusted friend? Why not?
Posted by Bauhaus I on February 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM · Report this
sheiler 15
She was probably bisexual. She seemed to love BB - but I have a friend, someone I know, who was a therapist to Houston's ex-lover. A woman ex-lover. So I vote for #3, it's a complicated mix.
Posted by sheiler on February 24, 2012 at 10:25 AM · Report this
More, I Say! 16
unable to currently find the article, but i read recently that Whitney had some severe performance anxiety, and it doesn't seem far-fetched that she would use drugs to deal with that.
Posted by More, I Say! on February 24, 2012 at 11:38 AM · Report this
I'm with number one. The lesbian rumors date back to the beginning of her career and even Bobbay Brown has hinted he thinks she wasn't that interested in sex with men and he was used as her merkin.
Posted by jussmbdy on February 25, 2012 at 1:55 PM · Report this

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