Wednesday, February 20, 2013

This reminds Me of Something Personal

"The inability to accept that Houston, as free as any man, engaged in the drug use that destroyed her voice and killed her, is parcel to an inability to accept the full humanity of women as a class. Houston's handlers capitalized on that inability and sold her as goddess of femininity. America bought this. Thus the pairing of the patron saint of ladyhood with the patron saint of unreconstructed niggerdom could only be explained by magic and time travel."  _Ta Nehisi Coates

This is some dead bullseye pop culture analysis right here, and explains something that I've occasionally tried to understand myself.  My stepfather is one of those who remained convinced of Houston's  innate purity in spite of all obvious proof against it, and he was of course also one of those who believed that the outwardly 'ghetto' Bobby Brown was solely responsible for her personal failings.  I have always understood the most basic reason for this attitude.  Dad has 'a taste for chocolate' that he is only half-consciously aware of.  (Which is fine of course.  Certainly North Platte will afford him no opportunity to cheat on Mom in this particular manner.)  But the larger cultural issue discerned by TNC here;  that Houston was portrayed as a 'Magic Lady' instead of a human being, was certainly a part of my stepfather's feelings as well.

And in case you're wondering, 'the Bodyguard?', where Whitney Houston falls in love with a rugged middle-aged White manly-ass knightly protector?  Yeah, Dad loved the shit out of that one. 

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