This week, blogs sparred about the lost Whitney Houston, shared some of the newest Fall 2012 designs from Fashion Week, and pondered the impact on older voters of some of the new voter-ID restrictions.

  • As the blogosphere mourned Whitney Houston, some voices of our generation provided sanity. Author Susie Bright cautioned against media’s pigeonholing of the event as just another celebrity drug death: “Statistically, the number one reason that a woman like Whitney, of her age and background, would die at this age is: heart disease. Plain, old fashioned, anyone-coulda-been-affected, HEART DISEASE.” Other factors, contributory or not, were not the whole story, Bright says. And Farai Chideya remembers adoring Houston when she was a teenage star on the cover of Seventeen:“When I looked in the mirror, I did not see Whitney Houston staring back, but as I fluffed my hair and put on my makeup (quite poorly!), she was who I wanted to be. She, in my eyes, was perfection. Now, with her later life and death, she is perfection undone. No one is perfect in the way the media presents celebrities (often later to tear them down); but no matter what life Houston led her talent will go down in history.” Chideya’s ending is its own elegiac song.
  • Minnesota journalist Daughter Number Three grasped hold last week of a currently sticky issue, noticing a letter to the newspaper about the new raft of voter-ID laws: “The dilemma is this: To obtain a picture ID card, one needs a certified birth certificate with the embossed seal (not a copy) and an original Social Security card. In situations I worked with, the adults did not have an original Social Security card or the needed birth certificate. However, to obtain a Social Security card, one needs a picture ID card and a birth certificate. So, you can see the problem. It is not always easy to obtain a birth certificate. And there is the cost, which is prohibitive to some people. . . . [Obtaining the required documents] takes time, and not all people have professionals to assist them.” We can think of some aging parents who might have trouble with these requirements, yet would be FURIOUS if told they suddenly can’t vote.
  •  Did Miss Thistlebottom shame you in second grade—command you not to sing with the other kids? Happily, all those “shushers” who’ve stifled your musical spirit for decades may have been wrong! Click over to NYcitywoman.com to revel in the story of writer Linda Tagliaferro—quenched as a kid—who found her voice in midlife. Singling lessons taught her that by focusing on her breath, she could carry a tune. . .and well. Enjoy her triumph over the Thistlebottoms in her life: Hear below, Taliagferro singing the formidable “Queen of the Night” aria from The Magic Flute. Her article was written to encourage you to go for the joy of singing—and tells you where to find excellent singing courses designed for adults.