Sunday, February 12, 2012

The death of Whitney Houston - so many questions


On the eve of the Grammy Awards, fans around the world are mourning the death of singer Whitney Houston.  I was at a movie theatre last night when I heard the sad news.  Given Houston's struggle with substance abuse, my first thought was that she had died of a drug overdose.  The circumstances of her death, however, remain unclear pending a coroner's investigation.  An autopsy has been scheduled.

All we know for certain is that Whitney was found unconscious in a bathtub in her room on the fourth floor of the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.  Paramedics were called to the scene, but efforts to revive her failed.  She was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. on February 11, 2012.  Beverly Hills Police Lt. Mark Rosen declared that there "were no obvious signs of criminal intent." 

Until more information comes to light, the star's tragic demise will be shrouded in mystery.  There are just too many questions.  On the surface, things were looking brighter for the troubled songstress.  She was in the midst of a comeback and she had an ABC television movie in the works.  CNN reported that a music executive who was staying on the floor above Houston's suite had seen Whitney swimming in the hotel pool with her 18-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown.  The music exec said that mother and daughter looked very happy.  Other news sources, however, tell a different story.  They report that two days prior to her death Whitney appeared dishevelled and confused.  She was sweating profusely and she smelt of alcohol. 

Whitney Houston was only 48 years old and she will be missed.  Born in Newark, New Jersey on August 9, 1963, she was the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston, the cousin of Dionne Warwick and the goddaughter of Aretha Franklin.  What a pedigree!  No wonder she had such a magnificent voice.  Imagine being able to say that your godmother is "Lady Soul" herself. 

After learning of Whitney's passing, a distraught Aretha said in a brief statement, "It's so stunning and unbelievable.  I couldn't believe what I was reading coming across the TV screen."  Many others are shocked and saddened.  Through the years, we watched the painful decline of a great talent.  It was a decline that began with her disastrous involvement and abusive marriage to Bobby Brown.  She was swept into the whirlwind of his drug-addled world and she could not escape from it.

I went to a Whitney Houston concert here in Toronto back in the 1980s when she was in her prime.  It was at the old CNE stadium and I will never forget it.  What a voice!  How beautiful she was!  It's a shame that someone with so much talent had to end up in such a terrible state!  Rest in peace, Whitney.  You'll be singing with the angels.

- Joanne

Mitt Romney and The Donald


Real estate tycoon Donald Trump is supporting Mitt Romey in his bid to win the Republican nomination for president.  I've tried to imagine a phone conversation between the two men,  Maybe it would sound something like this . . .

TRUMP:  Hey, Mitt, how are you doing?  Donald Trump here.  I called to congratulate you on your win in the Maine caucuses yesterday.

ROMNEY: Thanks, Donald.  That was a much-needed win.  Santorum was gaining momentum.  Last Tuesday, he won in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado.

TRUMP:  Don't worry, my friend. You're gonna be the next president.  With me on your side, you can't miss.  I'm backing you one hundred per cent, Mitt, and Donald Trump doesn't put his money on a loser.  That's not how I became a billionaire.  Santorum's having his moment right now, just as Gingrich had his.  He'll fade away.  You'll be the one still standing when it's all over.

ROMNEY:  I sure hope so!  Thanks for the words of encouragement, Donald.

TRUMP:  My pleasure.  Just think of me as your Trump card.  Now let's repeat our favourite phrase again!

ROMNEY:  Oh, I'm so excited!  I just love repeating that phrase.  It makes me tingle all over.

TRUMP:  Okay, then.  Together now. (Romney joins in) YOU'RE FIRED!  YOUR FIRED!  YOU'RE FIRED1)

ROMNEY (sighs contentedly): Aren't those the most beautiful words in the English language?  Boy, I really feel good now.  I'm pumped!  I can't wait to take on Obama!

TRUMP:  That's what I like to hear - enthusiasm.  So what is your first priority, Mitt?  The economy?  Making war on Iran?  More tax breaks for the wealthy?  What are you thinking about?

ROMNEY:  My first priority is making sure Barack Obama doesn't get a second term.  My chances of defeating him are better if the economy doesn't do so well.  He'll get blamed and I won't.  Once I'm president, of course, my policies will improve America's economy.  I'll cut jobs in order to create jobs.  That's what I'll do!  No pain, no gain.  That's what I always say.

TRUMP:  Good for you!  This is war!  That pinko is ruining this country.  We have to return to free enterprise and fiscal restraint.

ROMNEY:  That's for sure!  The free market always works best.  We shouldn't let anything interfere with it.  That's why we have to stop Obama.  He even stole one of my ideas (ahem) - that is - before I realized how wrong I was.  I'm afraid it was a lapse in judgement on my part.

TRUMP:  Oh, you must mean the health care law you enacted when you were governor of Massachusetts.  I'm glad you've seen the light. 

ROMNEY:  Don't worry, Donald.  Once I'm president, ObamaCare will be history!  Pronto!  The sooner the better!

TRUMP:  Now you're talking!   That's the spirit!  Well, I have to go now.  I've got another business deal to work on.  But before I go, I have to make a comment about your hair.  You are so lucky to have such a full head of hair and that touch of grey on your temples looks so distinguished and presidential.  But if you start to develop some bald spots, I'll be happy to send you to my personal hair stylist.  He'll give you a great comb over.

ROMNEY:  Well, my hair is still pretty thick, Donald.  If I should start losing it, I may take you up on your offer.

TRUMP:  All right, then, Mitt.  Goodbye.

ROMNEY:  Oh Donald, one more thing before you go.

TRUMP:  What's that?

ROMNEY:  Can we say "you're fired" together one more time?


- Joanne