17 February 2012
Celebrity death should spark appreciation for talent, not sensation
MSU State News reported
Not even a week has gone by since singing legend Whitney Houston was found dead and submerged underwater in the bathtub of her Beverly Hills hotel room, and already the rumors are swirling.
Everywhere I turn, people are whispering about the tragedy and whether there were drugs involved. When I turn on the TV, it’s all I see. Radio stations flooded with Houston’s hits and tales of past dramas and drug use with her ex-husband, singer Bobby Brown. Coverage of the singer’s death has spun into a vicious media cycle, and unfortunately for Houston and her family, such coverage and societal talk has taken on a negative connotation.
When a celebrity dies, America as we know it ceases to function — especially when an overdose on drugs is the suspected cause. Before Michael Jackson’s death was officially ruled a homicide, it was suspected that he overdosed on lethal amounts of prescription drugs. For weeks on end, the U.S. tuned in to coverage about his death that ran on loop. Similar chaos ensued when British singer Amy Winehouse and actor Heath Ledger were found dead — Winehouse of alcohol poisoning after weeks of sobriety and Ledger from an accidental overdose on sleeping pills. Like it or not, death is the kind of event that makes people turn up their televisions in the middle of a conversation.
Everyone pays more attention to a person in their moment of death than they ever did when he or she was alive — and more out of sheer nosiness than genuine concern for the well-being of their loved ones. Although the celebrity’s work might be praised for a moment, it’s often in a flicker of recognition before people’s attention quickly turns back to the star’s latest scandal, which for Houston was her alleged illegal drug use throughout her marriage to Brown.
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