New Jersey Governor Christie wants flags in his state lowered to half-staff in honor of Whitney Houston.
Maybe that would have been a good idea if she had died in 1993, at the peak of her singing career and before she became the poster girl for substance abuse and self-destruction. But now? Before the release of toxicology reports that might point to drug overdose as the cause of death? After years of continued, self-directed, damaging behavior that destroyed her amazingly beautiful voice? After changing from "role model for singers chasing their dreams" to role model for "live and die like the disfunctionally famous"? For a singer whose answer to a televised interview question relating to her alleged crack use was something like "crack is cheap; I make too much money to use crack"?
Misplaced sympathy and inappropriate honor, Governor.
We should grieve for her death, feel bad for those who were close to her, learn from her mistakes and in some way (but not that way) honor and celebrate the part of her life that inspired our lives.
Flying the flag at half-staff should be reserved for leaders, heroes, unsung heroes and others of similar stature.