Warning: Dated reference ahead.
His name was Mike. Mike and I worked together for a short while in Vegas-I don't remember much about him, except that he had been in jail; he loved when Christians would bring pocket New Testaments to the prisoners, as those little pages made the best cigarettes.
Mike was racist in a regular, matter of fact manner, and in the course of 'work chatter' one day we had this conversation:
Me: "Okay, Mike-suppose you are the last man on earth, and have to choose between Whitney Houston, who is beautiful but black, and Rosanne Barr, white but not beautiful...who would you choose?"
He hesitated for a second before he said,
"Um, Rosanne Barr."
Me: "You're an idiot."
There has been some debate/conflict about Governor Christie of New Jersey having the state flags lowered to half mast in honor of Houston. I joined in a conversation on another website, suggesting that it was a class move, that she deserved such an honor for her life and career. Others felt that she wasn't deserving due to her trouble life and manner of passing.
I also suggested that I wouldn't be surprised to see President Obama and his family attend her funeral-some things are above politics; if this had happened when he wasn't running for re-election, he would probably still attend out of respect for Houston. I was shouted down by others saying that EVERYTHING is political.
No, it's not.
Much of the world exists outside of the stinkpot of politics. Politics is an evil which becomes necessary, intrudes on our lives intermittently; we put up with it every few years because it is all we have in voicing our opinions as to how we should govern ourselves. My opinion is my vote, as is yours. That it has become such a dirty enterprise is a shame-I may have to have a moist towelette ready to wipe my hands as I leave the voting booth.
Far afield, and now I return: it is sad that Whitney Houston had a troubled life and death, and I hope that her family will be comforted as they sit in that memorial service, hearing how she touched many lives with her talent.
May she rest in peace.