Saturday, February 18, 2012

Henley on Our Times

This morning in Newark a funeral mass shall be held for Whitney Houston, whose death in a California hotel room last weekend has been above-the-fold news nationwide for the past week. The joy/curse of being a not very bright man is the never-ending parade of things that the world presents to me for consideration that are wholly beyond my ability to comprehend. Case in point, the aforementioned funeral.

Earlier this week, Ms. Houston's family announced that the funeral shall be a private affair. Not only is that a position I understand completely but it is one that I endorse - and not just for this family and not just for this funeral. Newark Police Director Samuel DeMaio was quoted in the Star-Ledger the other day, "I think anybody who does have any love or any care for Whitney Houston should respect the wishes of the family and allow them to grieve without interruption. They are requesting a private service and people should respect the wishes of the family."

Yet, shortly after the family's "Please Respect Our Privacy" decree was issued, Ms. Houston's publicist Kristen Foster ("Wringing every remaining minute out of that job; eh?" one might observe) issued this one:

The Associated Press will be the only video camera allowed inside at Saturday's funeral in Newark. The AP will stream the service on http://livestream.com/aplive. The event also will be available to broadcasters via satellite.

But of course it shall. Here in 21st Century America we need to make sure our priorities are in order and our insatiable appetite for voyeuristic behavior is satisfied. Besides, with all of the ways in which one can watch programming and all of the channels out there, there is a lot of time that must be filled. With Blind Midget Tag-Team Wrestling not bringing the eyeballs to the sets on a Saturday morning the way it once did, the need for alternative programming needed to be filled. For one week at least, mission accomplished.

I mean not to pick on or single out Ms. Houston's family or the people who shall determine that part of their day today must be spent viewing her funeral. One cannot help but recall that on the day that Princess Diana was buried, the world came to a de facto stop, figuratively speaking. What shall happen today is nothing new. It is but a familiar movie. It has played in these parts before. No doubt after this run closes it shall reappear at some point in the not-too-distant future.

After all, the heart wants what the heart wants. This is the Gospel according to Don....

....can I get an "AMEN"?

-AK

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