Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Is A Contact Sport

When I was a little boy, I heard the song One Moment In Time by Whitney Houston. It was so lovely. It was so moving that it instantly became one of my favorite songs the year it came out. A lasting memory from my youth is watching the 1988 World Series on television. When the series concluded and the network wrapped up the game and year's coverage, viewers were treated to a final montage featuring the participants, LA Dodgers and Oakland Athletics set to that Whitney Houston song. Years later while in college, I turned off my TV set having just watched another thrilling Duke versus UNC men's basketball game when One Moment In Time came on the radio. I was a little boy all over again remembering not only those baseball images, but others from that year and my youth as a whole.

After news of Whitney's death hit the world, so many people took to social media to express their thoughts. I had just been researching youtube the night before trying to find a song of hers which I remember hearing on WKDI-FM, the student radio station at which I worked when in college. I could not recall its name, but remembered calling the on air DJ to ask what it was called. The person told me, but I have since forgotten. I did recall it was Whitney who sang it so I started typing in lyrics. After a few attempts I found it! I listened to it a few times and was taken back to my college years. I was a bit sad as I reflected on my dreams at the time. I thought of what my mentality was as well as my aspirations. I thought of how much my dreams had changed and how I had changed. The next day, I learned that Whitney had died. I enjoyed her music, but did not feel as strong a connection as many people on social media. I did think of her daughter, family, and songs. Like most everyone else, I thought of what the organizers and producers of the Grammys would do, if anything, the following night during the televised ceremony. In the end, my feelings for what took place were similar to those shared by Beth Bernstein in this blog entry which I am posting here. She touches on love being a contact sport and unfortunately, not in a good way. She touches on an aspect of the human condition which has always made me uncomfortable, the deep connection which goes beyond fandom and enters well into the realm of hero worship rivaling or more intense compared to that of a family member. She discusses the dark undercurrent of what viewers were offered when they tuned in to watch events unfold which were clearly mixed in the message delivered to consumers and especially that which was delivered to girls and women. I found Beth's words to be powerful and moving. I shared this link on Facebook and Twitter, but wanted to do so here as well because this gives me an opportunity to express my thoughts more freely than in just 140 or 420 characters. Thank you for reading this entry. Thank you to Beth for writing and permitting me to share it too.

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