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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb 15, 2012/ 22 Shevat, 5772

What really killed Whitney Houston

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The heartbreak of Whitney Houston’s death does not seem to be primarily a story of drug or alcohol abuse, as it is currently unfolding.

The so-called “teachable moment” about combining booze and drugs, it seems to me, misses the point. The more important question is: Why do people medicate themselves to such an extent? And even more compelling, what role does the public (and its drug dealer, the media) play in these unravelings?

We get a glimpse of the answers in one of the many reels that has been replayed the past several days. It shows Houston and her daughter arriving at an event. Perfunctorily, they stop for the usual red-carpet paparazzi fest. Houston looks uncomfortable but plays her part, smiling into the abyss of flashing lights.

”Hey, Whitney, over here!” “Over here!” “Hey, Whitney!”

It is painful to watch. You can see her struggling to cooperate, but the love they wanted wasn’t there. You can only give what you have. Beneath the halfhearted smile, Houston looked empty, exhausted and drained by the insistence of her audience. Maybe self-medication played a role, but the scene was a metaphor for what surely has been at least part of her internal struggle: the curse of fame.

I’ve watched this particular video clip over and over, thinking, no wonder she would numb herself. It isn’t human, this experience. “Do not adore me,” she must have said to herself. “I’m just a girl from Newark.”

Of course, these weren’t her true fans. These were the parasites that coagulate on the souls of the talented. Her true audience might have said, “Leave her alone. Can’t you see she’s only human?”

The incredible voice that came to Earth with Whitney Houston ceased to be her own once Clive Davis put her on an album cover. Which is not to pity the wildly successful. Who doesn’t want to be discovered, to live the big life, to have a shot at something extraordinary? But the cost is dear, especially for the phenomenally gifted.

This is why the famous congregate. In the company of others similarly blessed and cursed, it’s the only place one can be normal. A good friend told me that Jackie Kennedy would watch people through binoculars because it was the only time she could see them behaving naturally. Otherwise, on the street, they were always reacting to her — staring, pointing, gasping. She wanted to see people as they really are. (We could have told her she wasn’t missing much.)

Most of us can’t imagine what that level of fame is like. And really, who wants it? Apparently, nearly everyone. The popularity of reality shows, and the extent to which some are willing to go in exchange for even fleeting recognition, is something bordering on pathological.

Houston’s fame was of a higher order, based not only on real talent but also on something she gave to her fans. When she sang the word “you,” and pointed to the audience, it was easy to feel she was talking to — you. When she wished us joy and happiness, it was easy to believe. And when above all this she wished us love, well, we fell for it. The love was mutual. That she was also beautiful seems less important. There are lots of beauties out there, but there’s not a single one who can do what she could with a song.

Houston honored her pact with her fans, but fame in our time is different than it was when she first hit the scene. Now there are no limits to expressions of admiration or the invasions that fans, critics and voyeurs permit themselves. Every hand holds a phone, every phone a camera. If you have a power cord, you have a forum. If you are Somebody, you belong to Everybody.

The final verdict on Houston’s death is yet to come. Toxicology reports could take several weeks. But we have a pretty good idea of what killed Whitney Houston. The immediate cause of death might have been drugs she took that day or the cumulative effects over time. But the real cause was a deeper one that first struck her soul.

There is sufficient history of the talented who met similar ends to comfortably conclude that fame is a risk factor for substance abuse. Fans may pay the bills, but they also siphon the spirit of the adored. It isn’t just lonely at the top. It can be deadly.

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