by Chris Haire
I've always been indifferent to Neil Young.
"Hey Hey My My" is a half-ounce of sticky-icky sonic badassery while "The Needle and the Damage Done" is the most beautiful PSA ever composed. That said, he's never been my bag. He's got one of rock's most memorable voices and he's an ace guitarist, but most of his songs lack a solid hook, and he has never put out an album that wasn't one side short of a five-star classic.
Now, that doesn't mean that I don't understand his importance to rock 'n' roll. Whether it's been with Buffalo Springfield or CSNY or Crazy Horse or Pearl Jam, Young has long been one of rock's most essential players.
Which is why on a recent drive into work, while listening to Young's "Cinnamon Girl," I began thinking about what sort of coverage he'll get when he dies. Not much, I suppose.
I mean, it'll make a short segment on MSNBC and the crawl on Fox News, but it'll last one day and that'll be it. Well, that is until the obligatory superstar memorial concert.
And then I began thinking about other rock, R&B, and rap greats, folks who've had even bigger cultural impacts than Neil Young — artists like Pete Townsend or Al Green or Chuck D.
Yeah, I doubt their passings would get all that much of a mention beyond a single 24-hour news cycle. They'd be no US Weekly covers. No wall-to-wall coverage on CNN. And nary a mention by Perez Hilton
Nah, to get that kind of coverage, you either have to be a young star who dies at the peak of their popularity (See Kurt Cobain, River Phoenix) or a train-wreck freakshow (See Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse).
Whitney Houston is in the latter category.
Yes, she had a great voice. Yes, she topped the charts a few times. Yes, she starred in a box office hit. But that's not why the media is focusing on her. The news anchors and the entertainment writers may be puking out purple prose in honor of the late Ms. Houston, but that is not why they are talking about her.
Truth be told, the only reason the cable networks and the tabloids give a rat's ass about Whitney Houston's death is because it'll be six to eight weeks before the toxicology report comes back. That and she admitted on the 2005 reality TV show Being Bobby Brown that her ex-husband Bobby Brown had once stuck his fingers up her ass to "to dig a doodie bubble" out of her butt.
Yeah, that's why we're truly talking about Whitney Houston — and it's not because of her talents or her achievements. It's because of the last degrading decade of her tragic, self-destructive life. (See the National Enquirer's photos of Houston's alleged crack-den bathroom.)
So move along now, ladies and gentlemen. There's nothing to see here but a horrible wreck.
(Speaking shit you don't want to see, whatever you do, do not google image search "krokodill Seriously, don't.")