Sunday 19th February
My usual and first choice for TV viewing is the news channel; BBC news 24 in preference to Sky, but in desperation even Al Jazeera will do, or the best cure for insomnia ever invented – The Parliament Channel. But last night all that was on was Whitney’s funeral. I did watch for a while, but it went on and on, and in the end just bored me. Why on earth would anyone want their funeral to be live on TV; but maybe nobody bothered to ask Whitney. She died quite young so had maybe not considered the question; how many of us seriously do. We may express a preference for Cremation over Burial, or for a non-religious ceremony, or even a bio-degradable coffin, but all that most of us can hope is that these minimum requirements will be met, and that whatever relatives are in charge actually show some respect for the only person who matters, but is unfortunately not around to lay down the law. Poor Whitney, I wonder if she would have wanted all this glitz and showbiz singing, even if most of it was very gospel tinged. Was she in her own quiet thoughts that religious or is it just taken for granted, especially in America, that everyone is a true believer. I am not sure what is meant to be achieved by all of this posturing and praising not only the Lord, but almost making her out to be a saint for our times it would seem. Am I alone in believing that this is all so over the top; she was only a singer after all. But maybe this is a black American thing which us white people, especially this side of the channel, just cannot tap into. I mean pastors with microphones and all the weeping and wailing seem so overtly melodramatic to me. But maybe that is part of the Faustian accord you enter into when you become part of the Star-making machine, not only is your private life ripped apart for all to gloat over, but even in death you have to be a star. I just wonder where Whitney the woman is in all this, the mother, the daughter, the frail and broken star whose comeback last year was almost a joke, with commentators delighted to discover that her voice was in poor shape, and fans were walking out half way through her concerts. I just wish they would leave her alone. Maybe it is all a part of a grand marketing strategy to resurrect her, even in death, so that above all else, her records will still sell, and all the vultures can carry on feeding, just like they are doing with Michael Jackson.