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Sunday, 19 February 2012

Comments

I have no idea where farts come from either and I prefer to keep it that way,


I'd be in jail by now if I let on.

I found this story very familiar.
My wife once owned a Labrador with exactly the same trait except that he would stink out one corner of the room, move to the next and so on until everyone had to evacuate and move to another room.
Labradors are crazy, be glad you got a Terrier!

Terriers are owner centric and loyal beyond reason.
They also simply will not give up,

With a good owner these are good things, and with a bad owner not so good.

Sort of like an older high powered Porsche ( you want me to go off the road backwards right now ? Ok fine, what next master? )

Brilliant with a brilliant owner, stupid beyond belief with a stupid owner, and kind of problematic if you are not paying attention.

Gotta love them.

It's as wrong to judge a singer by his or her position on the charts as it is wrong to judge a photographer by his or her popularity. I don't know much about Houston, but I do know that Madonna was and is an incredible talent.

Dear Mike,

I have been reading TOP for quite a while now, and I am really enjoying it. You are a great writer and editor, and the mix of topics, authors and commentators makes TOP a great place even for a relative beginner in photography like me.

However, I don't get how you could post today's combination of comments. I absolutely understand your lack of understanding for the hype surrounding the passing of Mrs. Houston. But after having read today's post completely, I was, to say the least, astonished, how you could merge the discussion of aspects of commemoration of the dead with a discussion of Lulu's farts.

I'm not much of a Whitney fan either, but your research skills seem to need work. Your claim that her biggest hit of the '80s hit #13, and that she never got into the Top Ten, is glaringly wrong. "How Will I Know," "Saving All My Love for You," "Greatest Love of All," "Didn't We Almost Have It All," "I Wanna Dance With Sombody (Who Loves Me)," "So Emotional," and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" were all #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart between 1985 and 1989 -- and there were a few other Top Ten hits in the same time period. I got this information in two minutes by looking at AllMusic.com's chart history. Where did you get your information?

As for all the hubbub over her death, the American public is obsessed with celebrities, especially doomed ones, and loves to get sentimental about people when it's too late to do them any good. This is really all you need to know to understand why Whitney Houston is getting more attention from her death than Sonny Rollins ever will, even if he is a million times more important to the history of 20th century music than she is.

From one dog lover to another, I have to tell you that that is one of your most enjoyable posts ever.

I was shocked but not surprised to hear about her passing. On hearing the sad news, the prices of two of her albums went up by £3 on iTunes. Sony have sinced apologised. They claimed it was an error

I wasn't shocked or surprised about that.


Whitney, Madonna, Mariah...all crap...Keith Richards is god:)

When dogs move after farting it's not because they're embarrassed but because they can no longer bear to live in an atmosphere of their own creation.

......but her death is significant because she had touched many lives through her fame and so many felt they knew her."

Therein lies the problem. How someone can feel like they know someone just through their fame boggles my mind. Most of the time people don't even know the people they live with, so how can they presume to or feel like they know someone from a few songs, a few videos, a movie or two, and her public battle with various sorts of addictions?

Sven, they comments weren't merged; they were clearly separated from one another. Had Mike compared Ms. Houston's flatulence with the dog's, it might have been a different story.

Mike, did I read it correctly that you called Ms. Houston "a fox"?

I knew my own now long dead dog was getting on into comfortable middle age when she stopped caring and reacting to her own flatulence. She'd just lie there and let rip, then carry on snoring.

She lives on for myself and my two young children (only my daughter can just about remember the dog, my son was not born before she died but convinces himself he can remember her). Whenever "someone" lets go, it is always Piker who is blamed. Poor old thing, but she was fairly guilty when she was alive.

I had an English Bull Terrier many years ago whose farts should have been used as a base for some kind of chemical weapon they were that noxious. Digby would let rip and then look down his long Roman nose at you in utter disgust as if he was blaming you for the offending smell.

His most endearing habit was whenever we had female company and they were wearing a skirt he would sneak up behind them and stick his head up the skirt and apply his cold nose to warm flesh. The resulting shrieks only encouraged him.

Soooooo..., um, Billie Holiday? Charlie Parker? Non-recovered addicts, both, when they died. I gather we should also ignore them? Not to mention all the other great musicians who suffered from addiction at various stages in their lives, but finally overcame it. Had they died before overcoming their addictions, what would your attitude toward them be? Miles Davis? John Coltrane? Dexter Gordon? The list could go on and on.

I don't get getting all weepy about someone I've never known, either, but neither do I write someone off as worthless just because they suffer from something as terrible as addiction.

Isn't this the same Mike that raves about Billie Holiday? and many other "addicts". I do too btw. So I am not sure if I am hearing hostility from one in recovery? I have a close friend in recovery and runs a sober house. Hostility is never a part of her life in recovery.
I am not nor ever was a WH fan, What really puzzles me is how you (and others) can elevate the role of pets to something more than pets, let alone combine the observations in today's post.

Whitney had a great voice, but I didn't care for her music. Voice and music are not equivalent, at least to me. I mourn her passing as one of the human family.

This past August we rescued a poodle-terrier mix from the pound. What a dog, what a personality, I can understand your love for Lulu. We love Rocky. (As in flying squirrel, not Balboa.)

The dog fart thing has another side however. My father always blamed our miniature French Poodle, Jo Jo, because Jo Jo always hung out around Pop's chair. Well, Jo Jo seldom passed gas. We know this because one day he actually did! We were considering calling the HazMat Teams from EPA. It was the worst thing you've ever imagined. It was his revenge for being blamed so many times for my father's farts. LOL

Mike, not that Wiki is the be all and end all, but the first two paragraphs in this link on Whitney, containing some of the same facts I've heard about endlessly in the news lately, pretty well sum her popular success... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitney_Houston

For one, she is the ONLY artist (male or female) to have ever placed 7 consecutive songs at number one on Billboard. And her album sales are similarly impressive.

I like your writing Mike, but I am disappointed with this post. Whitney Houston deserves more respect as a human being than being downgraded alongside your dog farts upon her death.

Our 10 month old Catahoula, Malcolm, was a world champion farter. He could clear a room room with a single emission, until we switched his dry food for a brand with no soy and no wheat. The air in our home is much more pleasant now.

The only thing I miss about his former behavior, is his surprise when he let one loose. He'd jump up and spin around, looking for the unseen attacker. I don't miss it enough to go back to the other food though...

The primary thing we have to be grateful to Whitney Houston for is driving the endless stories about Steve Jobs off the news.

I too was somewhat baffled by the transition of today's post(s). Ultimately, the dog fart piece seems more "complementary" to your preceding post, rather than a change of subject.

FWIW, I think Whitney an incredible voice and talent- although one (like Madonna's) I could never ever appreciate. And it was certainly disheartening to see her embrace an addict's lifestyle with as seemingly much fervor as she did her professional life. It not only cost her a considerable part of that gift, but more sadly, perhaps a bit of herself as well- to the end she still had an addict's affect.

Perhaps we lost a teachable moment here in not emphasizing the "after" aspects of her life as a precautionary warning. Or perhaps, in this instance, the masses do, in fact, have it right by not harping on the obvious.

That's the thing about the "western" world's idea of entertainment: it's just a business. (Sport by paid players is also part of that entertainment business.) If the participants can grab media attention, almost at any cost, they appear to do so. After all, it's their livelihood, and what puts food on the table for their families.

Viewed in that light, we realise that all the publicity material, calculated to make us think we "know" the person, is a mere construct. Whatever happens to that person affects their friends and family, but not me.

My friends and family are those whom I know. Some of those, are individuals I've had online exchanges with over many years. We've not met face-to-face, but I still know that person.

Jeez Mike, she is dead.

I'm not a Whitney Houston fan, either. But my chief objection is to the overbearing hype that the press seems to find irresistible. Now, on the other hand, had Ms. Houston been a terrier, I may have found it easier to be interested.

Mike,

I couldn't agree more with you about singing not being just about technical prowess or skill. But that's the where the hoopla is, sadly enough. And that's why all those singing competitions do nothing for me.

Think about it. Would Billie Holiday ever have made it past the audition the way she sang with her easy, almost lazy drawl? Would Jackson Browne make the cut, and he's one of the most emotionally resonant singer I can think of -- though not vocally the most impressive. What about Lou Reed or Tom Petty?

In a word, it's not about vocal prowess. Think Celine Dion and Michael Bolton. Cringe. Shiver. Shudder. Yeah, say no more.

"Soooooo..., um, Billie Holiday? Charlie Parker?"

I would much prefer if Billie Holiday had lived as long as Lena Horne and if Charlie Parker had been able to have a creative autumn to his career like Coleman Hawkins did. There's nothing to celebrate in their early deaths either. Both of them died pathetic deaths. Billie had 70 cents in the bank and was arrested in her hospital bed. Bird had to beg on the streets and would pawn his horn for dope. What's so romantic about that shit?

For that matter I wish Jimi Hendrix was an old man signing autographs on Stratocasters today.

Mike

what I dislike most about the Whitney Houston hype is that it's so insincere. everybody wants to be upset that she passed away. where were all these Whitney fans for the past 20 years? I went on facebook the morning after she died, and was shocked to see how many of my friends were big Whitney Houston fans. who knew!?! especially the ones who were born in 1993!

"Of the dead, nothing unless good" said Diogenes, about 2500 years ago, quoting Chilon.

A simple rule, and easy to follow. Tsk, tsk, Mike.

My suspicion is that most people don't care. This hyped-up situation has been driven by the entertainment industry and not by the fans. It was more apparent with Michael Jackson dying.

In the immediate aftermath, nothing happened. People weren't in the streets crying, masses of people weren't lined up at the gates of Jacko's mansion...Some people were probably sad, some people might actually have been inconsolable, but most people were simply ambivalent.

If you can remember, think how the first 48 hours felt after Jacko's death (before the media machine kicked in) versus the first 48 hours after Elvis died, Lennon died, Sinatra died, even when Marvin Gaye died! "The King of Pop" died and the world didn't stop!

For 20+ years the entire entertainment industry has gone completely overboard in favoring spectacle over substance. The end result is that no one has any real "staying power" and the industry has lost its "history".

This leads into...
I would hope Madonna would be able to elicit some response from the public when she dies. Even though I don't care for her music, she is one of the very very few post-70s artists that has managed to maintain a multi-decade career in the industry. What is more astonishing is that she is a SHE! There aren't many women who have had multi-decade careers in the entire history of pop/rock/etc. That must count for something.

I got a big kick out of today's column. Loved it.

There's an episode of the British detective series Touch of Frost, where Inspector Frost is asking an elderly neighbour lady some questions. Her dog in on the couch with Frost. At one point, the dog farts, you hear it clearly on the sound track. The lady says, "I'm afraid she has a touch of flatulence", and Inspector Frost replies, "She's not selfish with it, is she?", and the two of them have a good giggle over it.

I don't get the cult of celebrity worship. It sails right over my head, way over. The entire singer/actor celebrity culture that surrounds us just seems like some huge con game to keep us all busy so we miss all the important things going on. Almost like propaganda. Or "the opium of the people". Am I too cynical?

When one of them dies, the media treats it like some important moment in our lives. Is this a substitute for people not having their own actual real life? What is this really about? The poor woman had a miserable life and died young. It's a personal tragedy for her and her friends, I have no doubt, but what's it got to do with me or you.

I found the comments about Whitney Houston snarky, highly (lowly?) snarky. I was not a major fan of her music, but I thought her voice a tremendous musical instrument. And it left me wondering about what it is in the possession of great talent, especially in music, which results in so much self-destructive behavior. And that is a tragedy for all of us.

On the other hand, as one who lives with three dogs (border collies, which are most certainly superior beings) I did love the dog fart tails (please forgive, I could not help myself). Fortunately, my border collies are largely free of such behavior. However, in my declining years, I may not be.

It also brought to mind the observation I had made many years ago about Packer fans. It is the mistaking a backed up cheese fart for an intellectual moment.

LIke other readers, I was struck by the juxtaposition of topics here. My immediate suspicion - knowing that MJ is meticulous about his writing, and not without self observation - was that it was a kind of test of commenters sensibilities. What affects people most. The tragic death of a popstar they were aware of, but never knew personally, or the antics of someone's dog that they never knew either. Wherethe affections and sympathies lie. But I could just have been daydreaming it...

Tried to write this in a more diplomatic way but failed. What..really? Whitney Houston AND dog farts? Come on. Open a window, Lulu's right this time.

Hey Mike, I don't understand the the sentiment around WH's death either but I wasn't a teenage girl when she had her hits. Maybe something there.....

I don't know crap about Whitney Houston and couldn't name one of her songs if you asked me to.

I do know that she was a human being and, like all of us, must have had her share of problems and hardships. None of us can judge from the outside what it was like to be her, and none of us should judge from afar the reactions of others who were touched by her in some way.

The post seems completely out-of-character.

Man you got sh*t for this eh? I'm with Sven on this one.Btw(for what it's worth,not much I know) I own no WH but I own Billie H,Charlie P an a whole sting of blues guys going way back(before Muddy W etc).As Miss A Franklin would say Respect.The girl is down already,let her be.

I wasn't going to comment on this one, not a W.H. fan myself, but your reply to Andrew hit a nerve.

I agree with Andrew, kind of snarky, but you really took it down another level with your reply. I guess you haven't know to many addicts yourself. Addiction is a terrible thing, not a moral weakness as you implied with your "The only good one is a recovering one." comment.

Addicts aren't good or bad IMHO and I have known more than a few, both recovering and not. Some folks make it some folks don't. You might consider showing a little more sympathy for folks with a terrible disease.

There but for the grace of God, go I.

Mike, couldn't agree more with your sentiments about a has-been singer who apparently stymied herself long ago.

And the self-avowed "passionate" who inevitably go on to exhibit a depth of understanding equivalent to a kindergarden wading pool.

I read that her recent trip to Australia was an utter disgrace. Incapable of even standing upright on stage, let alone singing.

And while we're on that theme, the next group of stars I have even less time for are the scientifically illiterate who start regurgitating, "passionately" of course, propaganda about "global warming" or "raising awareness", before quickly vacating the field in a four turbine kerosene guzzling 747.

There's absolutely nothing "...so romantic about that shit", Mike. It's only sad. As was your writing her life off, "Ms. Houston was just another addict." Really? That's the most you can give another suffering human being? Another addict? That's sad.

Thanks for writing honestly, whether about WH or dog farts. I too fail to comprehend the ado about WH, as if she had found the cure for cancer or did something important. She sang songs, squandered her talents and gifts, and now she's dead. Guess it's been a slow news week.

There was some discussion in the press down here of Ms. Houston's melisma (we have our moments of erudition). A letter to the editor claimed that the Catholic Church banned melisma at some point, but was contradicted by a following letter which said that Plainsong was very much melismatic.

Ms Houston really did very little for me, but I don't mind the odd Plainsong from time to time. The melisma thing seems to have been her schtick.

What I hate - with a passion - is the use of the word 'philosophy' in corporate-speak. Some marketing drones spend - what - 20 minutes doing what they believe is thinking, and come up with an insult to the greatest thinkers in history. A pox on them all!

James Rhem

On the button. I burst out loud laughing, to the consternation of others in the office.

Whitney Who? - oh, Stoned.

Mike,

I agree that addicts should not be celebrated. However, if we stopped celebrating druggies and drunkards, would there be any celebrities that we COULD celebrate? Just sayin'

Out of all the pop singer, I think she is or was the best singer. I remember her song. Yes probably a copy (but the original sang very bad may I say). Also may be only 1 other song that is really good but so what. But I just think she is special. I do not care DP, MC or even Madonna.

Perhaps Body guard is the movie I went with my wife then girl friend. Hence, she is special to my family. A bit bias I guess.

God bless her and I agree with her co-actor in Body Guard, use her restored voice and the God may admit her even though she went so wrong later in her life.

P.S. The brits who told me immediately jumped into race issue ... I do not get it and do not want to get it. May be some do not want to destroy a good memory.

If you think the hoo-ha over Ms. Houston's death were bad - and even in UK the obsequies were covered by all 3 main 24 hour news channels, interminably - you should have been in England when the clothes-horse "Princess of Hearts" croaked. Several commentators were moved to describe the crowds following the funeral cortege as "pilgrims".
As for Whacko, I'd better say nothing.
Roy

This post has confirmed what I've always thought - there are people people and dog people. I'm one of the latter and so responded to your story about Lulu. The people people have responded to Whitney's death. I think your post was clever in that it managed to engage the two main subsets of Western humanity!

The real lesson should be that those who lead an addict's lifestyle, tend to die an addict's death as well. No amount of talent, fame or money changes that.

While I have no interest what someone does for recreation in their own time, I am dismayed at those whose seek to be that way all the time. But the sad fact is only an addict who wants to change has a chance. And not all of them make it. That is the real tragedy.

I agree with darr. Completely.

You should have saved the flatulence story for Madonna, when her time comes.

I'm not big on pop, but American fascination with fame has always interested me: on tv, I saw the car coming into the funeral home and people were yelling out at it, as if they expected a response from the coffin?
I'm assuming they realised this was not the rope line at the Grammy's, but I could be wrong.

I know it's your blog, and your opinion but I'm very disappointed in your post regarding Ms Houston's death. So tell us how you feel about W. Eugene Smith, his life's work, his addiction and his tragic ending.

Plus One for the Whitney Houston post...those of you with decent memories will remember her being written up ten to fifteen years ago as the worst misuse of a decent voice. The critics were unanimous in savaging her for many years for her bad pop selections and marginal stylings. In the song: I Will Always Love You; the part they always show is her basically 'yelling-singing'. Ick! A powerful voice misused means nothing. The hand writing was on the wall when she got attached to Bobbie Brown, and then stayed. Such is life...

I have friends in real economy melt-down trouble, as I am as well. Sparing emotions for an idiot songstress who squandered her breaks is not in my abilities. As well as gangsta sports people who are broke, and any other manifestation of this mayhem. The outpouring of emotion on the 24/7 news cycle is just more footage of the fall of Rome. It reminds me of the old Seinfeld 'bit' about the idiocy of cheering for a sports team of people you don't know, who weren't raised in your city or even live there: you're basically cheering for the shirt!

Funny about the farting dog tho, it must be a terrier trait! We are still reeling from the loss of my Mom in 2011, and her 13.5 year old Jack Russell about three months after her. Even if Digger was sleeping and she farted, she jumped up and scooted around like she couldn't understand what was happening! Funny!

You are right about terriers tho, it's terriers for me forever, even mixes. Smartest dog ever. My Mom who was part raised on a farm always said you have to get a dog with a little terrier in them if you want 'em smart! I don't think we even trained any terrier or terrier mix we even had, they just sort of understood English after a couple of weeks. The Jack Russell could be a little bit TOO much terrier at times, but missed every day!

I also fervently wish Jimi Hendrix was an old man, Mike Bloomfield too.

I'm a weekend musician, never toured, but Ive played with people who have. Some of them missed fame by the slimmest of margins. One was in a band with both Neil Young and Rick James simultaneously. In retrospect, maybe they are alive now because they missed that hoopla. Hearing their "war stories" helps me understand how dope can take performers down. Seems in some cases, talent can be a curse, coming with a physic pain. Didn't W. Eugene Smith have some demons?

Regarding dog farts, the doofus mutt we have doesn't know where they come from either.

I agree Mike, though the proximity of the two topics might have been avoided after a moments reflection. The fuss over a dead junkie/drunk reminds me of the fuss over Diana, the dead clothes horse. To those who knew them their deaths were a cause for private sadness. For all others is it nothing more than morbid, recreational hysteria, to which the media are happy to pander.

WH squandered her wealth, her talent and her life. While her death is a sadness, her legacy will be to be remembered as an example of how not to cope with fame. There is certainly nothing to celebrate.

Have to agree with all comments about WH ... the phenomena of celebrating the lives of those who are 'celebrities', whether their fame is justified or not, is indeed, confusing.

As to Lulu and the farts ... as a life long dog owner (though I haven't had one with severe flatulence since living with a boxer when I was young) you had me laughing so much I cried. The under appreciated aspect of owning a dog: making you laugh.

Ever read "Hotel New Hampshire"?

In the past, when a celebrity falls from grace and into the well of addictions there was a collective judgement of the people that this was a BAD thing. The downfall of Holiday, Parker and Hendrix (or Joplin, Morrison, and Presley) was not displayed to extract the last few cents out of their celebrity (I'm not saying they wouldn't have, particularly Elvis, he was a reality show star long before they came around)cynically marketed to the masses. WH's talent and career are forever marred by choosing to sell her abuse problems for TV ratings. Had she died like Holiday, I might find it a tragedy, the only tragedy I see in this is how this is how we turn a blind eye to it's reality.

Lulu and I have something in common.....when I rip off a loud one, I also stand up and look around for someone else to blame...... when you talk about cheese I can't help but think about those triangle swiss cheese hats you people in tundraland wear to the games...."Go Chargers". and I think when there is a slow news cycle a celebrity or quasi celebrity death stays on the front page a little too long.I live in mexico and dog rescue stories abound. the best ones are always the ones with a happy ending.

Think Celine Dion and Michael Bolton. Cringe. Shiver. Shudder. Yeah, say no more.

Agreed!

There but by the grace of God go I... The lesson in I see is that no matter your fame, wealth or power - drugs and addiction can overcome and kill you. Sobering. Our current culture believes that wealth, fame and good looks are all you need, Whitney's dealth reminds us that maybe all that we trust in might not be so great.

Mike: count me among another of your followers, as I usually enjoy big time your posts.

But in this case (and even if I am far from a hardcore fan of Whitney), I think this post is out of place and I found it of poor taste. I am fully aware of the reasons for your dislike of addicted's behaviour, but that does not justify this kind of post, right after the death of a most talented singer.

Sorry, that's my honest opinion.

I was never a fan of Whitney's music but recognized the strength of her voice. Ever since she broke through, I wished that she would make an album of jazz standards, an homage of sorts to some of the greats - Billie, Ella, Sarah, et. al. Pop singing lacks the subtlety and nuance of great jazz singing of course, but for some reason I thought that Whitney more than any other pop singer could give a good go of it. Alas, we'll never see this happen.

p.s. - one of our cats farts. silent. deadly.

Having owned many dogs over the years, I can confirm that dog farts can be deadly. Didn't matter whether it was a purebred yorkie, a shepherd mix, a lab mix, or the current spaniel/beagle mix, when they let go (always SBDs -- silent but deadly), it can clear a room. Some dogs will give you a dirty look, but some are totally oblivious.

As for Whitney Houston, here in the NYC area it has been all-Whitney all the time. The funeral service was broadcast on all the local channels and seemed to be a spectacle in itself. I figure they will release it on DVD in a few weeks. Ditto for the internment. Lots of interviews with fans who were disappointed that the family wanted some privacy and they couldn't attend.

So, in the local news we've gone from all SuperBowl (Giants) all the time, to all Lin (Knicks) all the time, to all Whitney all the time, and now that she's buried, we're back to Lin.

Once a can of worms is open it's very hard to convince them to get back inside. Good luck buddy!

PS, the dog farts thing is dead-on. My Dalmatian used to immediately leave the room upon release....follow shortly by everyone else.

Fans response to a performer's death barely rate notice with me. I did note however that while people publicly lauded Ms Houston and mourned her death we also lost Etta James. She battled her own demons to a standstill and continued to positively influence people's lives in a positive fashion.

"I would much prefer if Billie Holiday had lived as long as Lena Horne and if Charlie Parker had been able to have a creative autumn to his career like Coleman Hawkins did. There's nothing to celebrate in their early deaths either. Both of them died pathetic deaths. Billie had 70 cents in the bank and was arrested in her hospital bed. Bird had to beg on the streets and would pawn his horn for dope. What's so romantic about that shit?

For that matter I wish Jimi Hendrix was an old man signing autographs on Stratocasters today."

I totally agree. You can add to the list easily: Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Amy Winehouse…
You can also add a few other who died young for other reasons - Ian Curtis, Michael Hutchence for instance.
The ones who really depress me are the ones who are gone through no fault of their own, particularly Stevie Ray Vaughan.

I do celebrate those who overcame their problems though and are enjoying a 'creative autumn' - Eric Clapton, David Bowie and many more.
I don't quite understand how Keith Richard is still alive though, I'm glad he is of course, and he sort of gives us an outlier at the end of a bell curve showing what the human body can take…

'No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.'


Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made. ~Roger Caras

"Mike replis: That's very interesting, but her voice still doesn't grab me. To me it sounds technically competent but not sincere or expressive."

Interesting. You just expressed exactly how I felt about Whitney's voice (or Céline Dion's, for that matter).

I actually said, at the height of "I will always love you"'s popularity, "She sounds like she's washing dishes as she's singing. I'm not getting any feeling from it".

People who engage in self-destructive behavior are hard for the rest of us to understand. I once asked someone who knows a lot more than I do. She told me that the only way they can control their lives is to destroy themselves. I'll have to accept that, however foreign it seems.

I find it a little bit interesting that it seems the whole world has decided WH died of drug overdose or some other form of death by misadventure when it seems no verified information has been released to suggest that is the case. Tellingly, the initial release did not describe her death as from an apparent overdose, which is fairly common in OD situations. What I think has been released is this: She was found in the bathtub of the hotel. There were bottles of prescription drugs in the room. She was an addict (possibly recovered). None of those details suggest the leap top overdose is obvious. She was 48 years old. How many 48 year-olds (or older) on this site also travel with prescription bottles? The bottles weren't described as to which prescription, AFAIK. Nor that they had been used to excess.
Me, I think it's entirely possible that her death may have been brought on early due to past drug use, but was not the immediate cause (as apparently turned out to be the case with Amy Winehouse).
I try not to pay too much attention to pop fads (I wonder about people my age who 'hate' Justin Bieber. Dudes, he's a teen idol. His music isn't for you. Get over yourself). There have always been teen pop stars and ever shall be. Its highly unlikely I'll ever be interested in listening to one. NBD. I din't care for WH's music (though I recall fondly how cute she was when she started out).
She had a terrific voice, but performed in a style/genres I am just not interested. To me, the worst I can say about her is she popularized a performing style that I dislike, that of technique and bombast. Her legacy lives on in Mariah Carey, et al. No thank you.

Patrick

Can't agree with you more heartily Mike and to those who think your comments are cold and misguided should chill a bit. I see no disrespect in your post about Whitney. In all the reports I see on TV(and I try to change channels as much as I can), I find sad to see the reactions of her "fans." Where was the outcry when she was heading down that dark place nearly 20 years ago. They did not rally together to let her know that she has lost touch. It happens with all entertainers, Jacko, Elvis, Morrison...etc

As to Whitney's talents, while she had a superb voice, it was rather one dimensional and was only effective to fans when she reached higher octaves. I gather that was the appeal of hers, but I am not a fan of hers anyways.

Mike about the Toyota you mention. Assuming it is the same as the GT86 we are hearing about on this side of the water you are aware it has been designed by Subaru, hence the flat 4 boxer engine. Toyota commissioned Subaru to design it and both will sell it.

That makes the comments even more ironic. to have a car designed with passion, Toyota had to go to someone else.

As Alfa Romeo say "Without heart we would be mere machines" I would say passion rather than heart myself but then I am not writing the copy at Alfa HQ.

I am 38 years old, a prime age for Whitney Houston fans. I must say that I really disliked Ms. Houston's music. I think she did more turn me off vocal music than any other person, living or dead. She pioneered the vocal acrobat sound that we're now forced to endure with our pop music. I did not wish for her death, but I did wish for her silence. Since you chose to mention her passing, I'm not upset at all that you followed it with a discussion of dog flatulance. In fact, I enjoyed it.

Now I'll go cleanse myself by listening to "Time Out." (Dave Brubeck Quartet)

I think the fuss over a celebrity's death is proportionate to the fuss over a celebrity's life. Both are equally out of whack.

Shameful and tasteless.

Ah yes the cult of celebrity!

Funny how we hound them mercilessly when they are alive, and weep for them when they inevitably meet a sticky end. Why do people need celebrities? As emote-Icons? Hardly surprising the poor saps end up like they do, far better that we all just ignore them and stop feeding their craving for attention.

It's a sad waste to see anyone die young, but when they were staggeringly wealthy and fortunate apart from the curse of their own weaknesses they don't rate highly on my grief scale. Especially when you consider the plight of so many millions in the world who live in permanent privation and fear through no fault of their own.

I'm with Mike. Dog farts and all.

One day, the first dog I ever really got to know - a lordly Weimaraner - and I were standing in the kitchen, just staring at each other, as one does.
I farted.
He looked sorrowful; dropped his head; turned to stare at his *own* backside.

I suspect my guffaw of laughter could have been heard some distance away :)

Am I the only person who thought Whitney Houston's recording of I Will Always Love You sounded like her channeling Carol Burnett's rendition of the Tarzan yell?

Hi. I am referring to the first two comments on Open Mike of 19/02. Why is it that no one has objections to the daily newspaper, not to mention practically every magazine, has a horror / sob story along with a comic strip? Yet when it is part of a blog, there is so much of fuss?

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