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Guest Opinion

Fame and Fortune Just Do Not Mean Much

The Harris County Journal of Hamilton, Georgia

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I do not anticipate ever being famous, or amassing a fortune, and perhaps that is a good thing.

As last week came to a close, we learned of the death of pop star Whitney Houston.

Houston had a unique sound and I enjoyed some of her music. She was also an accomplished actress. I think she turned in a stellar performance in "The Bodyguard" with Kevin Costner.

The last few years had not been kind to Houston. Personal issues along with rumoredabuses'ofdrugs and alcohol took their inevitable toll. Her vocal talent had suffered and so had her health.

Even as her death was reported, allegations surfaced concerning use of prescription drugs and alcoholic beverages, an often deadly mix.

While the investigation continues into the circumstances of her death, Houston has become the latest of a long line of victims of their own success.

Whitney Houston - dead at 48.

HOUSTON is not the only star to meet such an end.

The death of Michael Jackson was recently revisited as his doctor, Conrad Murray, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

But even before Murray became associated with Michael Jackson, the pop singer was already in trouble amid allegations of child molestation and drug use.

I remember Jackson as a child actor and singer, and enjoyed much of his music. But the issues of fame and fortune took their toll. As he aged, Jackson's music took on a darker character and he became a mockery of the star he had been.

: Michael Jackson - dead att'SO.

HOW ABOUT actor John Belushi.

Belushi's humor and acting ability were enjoyed by many people.He was perhaps best known for his performances on "Saturday Night Live", "Animal House", "The Blues Brothers" and more.

Belushi died after a speedball injection.

Speedball is a combination of heroin and cocaine - a potent mixture.

John Belushi dead at 33.

Chris Farley was an accomplished comedian, voice impersonator, and known prankster. He was also featured on "Saturday Night Live" and starred in "Tommy Boy" and "Black Sheep."

But fame and fortune took its toll on Farley as well. He was found dead with an autopsy determining the presence of morphine and cocaine in his system. Farley also sufr fered complications from obesity.

Chris Farley - dead at 33.

HOW ABOUT Jimi Hendrix?

I am not a particular fan of Hendrix, but there is no denying his success. Starting as an aspiring guitarist and singer-songwriter, Hendrix became wildly popular, appearing at Woodstock.

But like Jackson, Hendrix's music and performances began changing before Woodstock.

After a late night party Hendrix was found dead in his girlfriend's apartment.

The investigation determined Hendrix had taken a lethal dose of Vesparax. Jimi Hendrix - dead at 27.

FAME and fortune alone do not necessarily result \n death by drug and alcohol abuse, as there are success ful people that do not suej-cumb to those issues. But for those who do not have strong character, fame and fortune can prove to be little more than eventual sorrow.

I am fortunate to see so much good done by so many people who are unlikely $o ever achieve fame and fortune,

I know people who tireT lessly serve others in their community and beyond. could name some, but it would be a tediously long list.

I also know people who have achieved the dubious success of fame or fortune. But for the most part I find them to be hollow inside; selfish and self-centered.

Fame and fortune - you can keep it - along with all the problems that go with them.

In the end, fame and fortune will never replace good and true friends. They will never replace the good feedings that come from caring for and helping others.



Copyright 2012 The Harris County Journal, Hamilton, Georgia. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: February 16, 2012



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