I have been having an appetite for writing lately. To draw out all my shitty titty opinions on this and that. I know that right now all I write about is celebraties and people but I’ll talk about art some other time. I can art, I swear. I swear!
I have been lurking on YouTube for no good reason. My suggestions section: I’ll list the topics right now. Whitney Houston, club kids, homosexuality, Lady Gaga, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Michael Jackson, primitive technology, video games, Britney Spears, and K-pop. I’m a little gagged there’s no YuGiOh videos in there, but whatever, let’s move along.
I was watching some silly Whitney Houston parodies from MADtv. You better know I love me some MADtv. The actors weren’t afraid to serve high-drag. To act insane is what I mean. So from there, I was met with an old interview with iconic value. I have watched this interview many a time before. It was the legendary, ground-shaking, infamous Whitney Houston/Diane Sawyer interview.
Yes I’m gonna link it right here so you can watch. But y’all know how greedy American’s are with their copyright and all that bullshit. Let’s just say I wouldn’t be surprised if this video got taken down in the future.
In case this is taken down, lemme mention the credentials in case y’all gotta torrent it or something. This is the Diane Sawyer Primetime Whitney Houston interview on ABC in 2002.
First thing’s first… I’m not a Whitney stan. She’s got a great voice and she was one of the best of all time but we come from different worlds. I don’t connect to her art on a personal level. I don’t even own a CD of hers. I wasn’t even an adult when she was in the height of her career. I genuinely don’t know much about what she did with her life.
I’m really making this post because I wanted to say one thing. Diane Sawyer was, and maybe still is, a demon. But it’s brilliant. Let me tell you why: she made Whitney seem human.
I’m a stickler for psychology. It’s strange how normal people like me perceive celebrities. It’s almost like they’re walking, talking, fictional beings. They put their whole lives and existence up on a pedestal – naked, vulnerable – for anyone to gawk at. And perhaps more so, for anyone to judge. For some reason, that seems OK. It seems acceptable for me, or any of my friends, to see someone on TV and assume something about them. In our heads, they’re like fictional beings. What we say is meaningless. What anyone says is meaningless. Or so it seems… When one opinion is voiced from the souls of millions, it reaches the celebrity. And this is how this interview came to be.
Back in 2002, people were talking about Whitney being anorexic, losing weight, and doing drugs. People were saying she was throwing her life down the drain, what had happened to Whitney Houston?! She was making second guesses about herself and her abilities. She was overwhelmed. Onlookers, despite this, still expected something from her. A performance, a polished look, a smile. As if everyone deserved to see Whitney at her best. As if it was a right they earned. As if she really wasn’t a person at all, but a photograph of a single instance where a beautiful, talented person had their life together. The bar was set based on that. If she dipped too far below the bar, the fans, the press, and the people, were taken out of the fantasy. The fantasy that this perfect human exists. That’s pretty much what drag is, a play on this ideology. In reality, it’s a sickness to believe that someone is capable of maintaining a flawless reputation. Diane Sawyer is the human embodiment of the sickness.
Watch the interview. Diane starts off by practically relaying to Whitney everything the press has asked about her. “Is she sick?” Diane says. And Whitney smiles and says “I am not sick, Diane. I am not sick”. This is an indication of the tone for the rest of the interview. For a half hour Diane throws stones at Whitney, so to speak. Some of them hit her and some of them miss. That’s what the press was doing. Throughout the interview Whitney remains diligent and cooperative. She behaved this way because deep inside she knew she wasn’t the one to blame. Everyone’s life is crazy, and fucked up, and mean. Her life only seemed to be an exception because it was exploited. At least, that’s how I interpret it.
So, Diane Sawyer, demon in a suit. I can’t assume anything because I’m not in her body. I do not know if she interviewed people using these tactics because of the final result, or if because she really was nosy and mean-spirited. What I do know is that the demon of society manifests in Diane Sawyer in many of her interviews. It’s disturbing for me to watch because I love it so much. Humans crave chaos. In a sick way it’s satisfying to see the “perfect” people crumble under the pressure that weighs us all down. In another way, it’s humbling, because it reminds us that we’re all human. There’s a whole lot of smoke and mirrors celebrities use to mask all the bad parts, and it’s becoming more refined. The ego wants perfection, so naturally, everyone adheres to the smoke and mirrors. The way I see it, that shit needs to stop. It’s making people crazy. Millennials are the most depressed and anxious generation of all time. And I believe the media has something to do with that. Everybody’s beautiful, everybody’s wonderful: the TV says. How fucked up must it feel to know that you aren’t beautiful or wonderful, but everybody else is? It’s a lie that’s intended to be empowering. It’s a lie nonetheless.
So, what am I trying to get at? I’m thinking of what to patch together myself. It’s complicated. A part of me hates watching celebrities get bombarded with personal questions, because if I were in their shoes, I’d be mortified letting the whole world know my dark truths. A part of me says, dear God, YES! I’m so happy seeing this person fail at life right now because I’m failing at my own too! Not saying I’m not happy when they succeed, but it seems like they’re succeeding all the time and that’s frustrating to compare myself to. If they’re succeeding all the time, what am I doing wrong?
Personally, I yearn for a time where we didn’t have YouTube, celebrity interviews, social media, and instant access to information. I wish the only access I had to these people was through real interactions. I wish I had to talk to people and physically get up and search for information. I don’t learn things from real-life experience anymore. I see and read things off a computer screen and have my instant gratification. It’s so fucking unlike anything in the ecological world and it’s making me sick. I’m afraid that each new generation will be less and less human as a result. But, what can a person be other than human? I don’t know. I might find out if I live long enough.
…Why y’all gagging? I bring it to you every time. I have nothing more to say.