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February 29, 2012

The Rise and Fall: How Some Of Our Most Beloved Stars Fell From Grace

Its no secret that some of the best artists, actors, singers, etc. ever known have rose to extreme acclaim and infamy as the public watched in awe and admiration.  It is also no secret that some of these same brilliant artists have succumb to drugs and alcohol, which ultimately lead to their eventual demise, as the adoring fans again, watched in horror and amazement.  This sick love affair between artists and their fans has been even more fueled by the Internet, where blogs like TMZ and Perez Hilton crucify pop icons on a daily basis.  This coupled with the Twitter and Facebook phenomenon that allows its users to spread news like wildfire has created a culture where even the President of the United States can be ridiculed and scrutinized on a surprisingly disrespectful level.

We all know the cornerstone of the American existence is Freedom of Speech, but at what cost?  I can't help but wonder if some of these same artists that I have in mind, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, etc. were not partially broken down by the public's scrutiny.  Whitney having a very public run-in with Wendy Williams some years ago, along with her one-on-one interviews with people like Oprah and Diane Sawyer, as well as Bobby Brown's "Being Bobby" reality show, also made her a hot topic on the gossip mag/blog scene for years.

Michael Jackson, like Houston, one of the biggest pop stars ever, met a fatal ending at the hands of prescription drugs.  Perhaps they were trying to numb the pain.  Maybe they couldn't take the constant disrespect and mocking at the hands of those that used to buy their albums and look up to them.  We all know that the Hollywood lifestyle is more than just the glitz and glamour and the flashing lights.  In today's age, paparazzi can be your worse enemies and news outlets no longer honor nor respect the greats who paved the way.

In no way do I want to limit personal responsibility in this discussion because no one ever forced either to use or abuse drugs.  The pressure of fame can be damaging, especially when you are pushed into the limelight and forced to be something you are not or even worse, to go against your core beliefs and values.  No one will ever truly know the struggle of fallen icons like Jackson and Houston, but I think we all might need to take a look in the mirror to determine the causes.

Not only do I want to highlight the industry and the negativity that comes with it, but our pharmaceutical companies and health care providers also deserve some responsibility in these occurrences.  One used to think that hard drugs like cocaine and meth would be the leading cause of celebrities that live their lives on the edge, but the main factors in the deaths of Michael and Whitney were both prescription drugs.  If you thought that crack or "partying" would eventually lead to Whitney's demise then you were wrong.  So just as the person who would've sold the crack or cocaine to Whitney would be responsible, why aren't the pharmaceutical companies that create the drugs being held responsible on any level?  Or better yet, the MD's that prescribed the drugs, under their medical licenses?

Conrad Murray has been convicted of the accidental death of Michael Jackson, but what about the real drug dealers of this country?  Who is monitoring them or holding them accountable for the effects of the products they produce?  How many more Heath Ledgers have to die due to the effects of prescription drugs before America takes a look in the mirror and changes its ways?

As I stated earlier, I am all for personal responsibility.  Which is why I find all of these contributors responsible in the rise and fall of some of our most beloved stars.  To see them fall from grace makes my heart heavy, but ultimately restores my faith in normalcy and the importance of being grounded.  The grass is not always greener on the other side and that person in the limelight that you might look up to or admire could be facing demons that you couldn't even imagine dealing with.  So the next time we see our "stars" acting out or exhibiting negative or destructive behavior, lets rush to their aid and get them the help that they need instead of crucifying them and using them for our entertainment and gossip chat.  Besides, they gave their lives to their craft.  The least we could do as fans is honor and respect THAT.

What do you think were the contributing factors to Michael Jackson's and Whitney Houston's death?
Do you blame the pharmaceutical companies that produced the drugs that initiated the fall of these great artists?
Do you hold the doctors who were in charge of their care with responsible for negligence?
Does the public and media outlets hold any responsibility for the deaths of our fallen stars?
What do you think is the solution to this reoccurring phenomenon of stars dying from the misuse of prescription drugs?

1 comment:

  1. When we deal with ourselves first in ALL matters, people like pharmaceutical companies will just come at you harder. If we have evolved, we will be ready for the increased ads and tactics that REAL drug dealers use to get you hooked.

    Conrad Murray and the countless doctors who indulge this current drug culture are responsible for being honest with themselves. We could go deeper into the doctors' lives to discover what it is about our society that encourages these people to go into fields they aren't passionate about.

    The media argument will remain circular until someone chooses to self reflect and be truly responsible.

    The truth is the only solution. That is finding out what is true for ourselves and being responsible to that. We can't be responsible for anyone else until we are responsible for ourselves.


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