Saturday, February 18, 2012

Moved or Manipulated, or does it matter.

Those experiments at Princeton University which measure the coherence of randomness during public events  capturing  wide public attention must have gone crazy this week.

I don't watch reality TV shows.  As a matter of fact,  I barely watch anything on television anymore.  However, just this week I was captivated by two live performances aired on network TV. Like polar opposites, the yin and the yang , Niki Minaj's Grammy Awards performace and Whitney Houston's funeral service played havoc with my emotional center, reminding me of music's power over the soul.

To clarify, I was horrified by the performance of "Roman Holiday" on such a widely watched network presentation of the "best" in popular music. Nothing short of a "Black Mass" using the stage to deify Minaj's alter ego.  I was frightened. The devil , if he truly exists, had cast his minions for his cause on prime time TV.

Being a performer, casting lots for the adulation of the public eye, is a career path frought with stresses which can tear holes in even the strongest of talents. Last weekend I was discussing Whitney Houston's demise with my former husband who is both a singer and a spiritual man.  I was shocked when he said that these highly emotional, black performers with deep roots in the Gospel Churches are foder for the Devil's lair. In retrospect, I think he is right. What more powerful tool could Satan need than a pricelessly beautiful voice, of God's creation. Ply it's owner with the fuel of fame, tempered by a shakey self image and the elixors of courage, drugs and alcohol, step right in and take over. However, sometimes even the devil  gets thrown a curve ball when the irony of good takes center field. Such was the case at Whitney Houston's funeral.

Her faults forgiven, and her loving nature praised, Whitney's funeral service became an international stage where the power of Christ, working through the community of the church, was aired publicly. The message of her music, if you missed it during her life, was broadcast loud and clear through her death. And the message was to" love one another as I have loved you".  It was a celebration magnified by the power of music. I was taken to a pure time from my own childhood where belief was strong and God was a personal companion. And, for the cynics amongst us, I did not feel manipulated. Something pure and Holy spoke to me this afternoon as a voyeur in that Black Baptist church in Newark. I'm fairly certain I was not the only one.

So devil take the hindmost. At least for today, you have lost.