|This past week, the
hip hop community put one of their beloved artists to rest. Aaliyah Dana Haughton, 22
years old, was put to rest in a wonderful funeral that brought together people from all
cultures to pay respects to the entertainer.
Unfortunately, on this glorious day. Some "journalist" by the name of Rod
Dreher decided to post an article in the NYpost about how excessive the funeral was.
Here is the article in its entirety, we here at Gyeah.com would like to
apologize in advance for this man's ignorance and overall ruthlessness on the subject at
hand. Everyone, take heed:
SURE, HER DEATH'S TRAGIC - BUT THIS
IS TOO MUCH
By ROD DREHER
August 31, 2001 -- RIGHT, so we're
all sad that Aaliyah is dead, and no one begrudges her a proper send-off. But a
traffic-snarling, horse-drawn cortege in honor of a pop singer most people have never
heard of? Give us a break!
Something like that is due a public figure of great distinction. President John F. Kennedy
received this honor, as did Princess Diana and Mother Teresa of Calcutta - all deserved,
by virtue of their position in society, extraordinary service to humanity, or both.
Great artists can merit such high
distinction. In 1824, Lord Byron had 40 empty carriages in his funeral cortege from London
to Nottingham, a sign of high respect from the British aristocracy.
Byron was, of course, one of the
greatest poets of his age. One of his most famous verses could be recited by an admiring
eulogist as tribute to Aaliyah: "And thou art dead, as young and fair /As aught of
mortal birth; /And form so soft, and charms so rare, / Too soon return'd to Earth!"
Byron shares with the Brooklyn-born
songbird an interest in the agonies of romantic loss. On her latest album, Aaliyah trills,
"Hey sexy baby / Why'd your girl leave you in pain / To let a fine man like you go /
She must be insane."
That quatrain, is, alas, unlikely to
win Aaliyah a place alongside Byron among the immortals.
To her fans, though, the young woman
who once declared, in song, "I'm-a make it hot like fire, oooh-oooh," is already
a secular goddess. Declares the Aaliyahonline.com site: "She's like Princess Diana to
our hip-hop community."
Well, that explains a lot. Diana's
funeral, the horses drawing her coffin wading through tears up to their bridles, was the
epitome of modern celebrity worship, which manifested itself in a ghoulish saturnalia of
But it doesn't explain everything.
Diana was the future queen of England, mother of a future king, and one of the most
recognized women in the world.
And Aaliyah? Most people - including,
I would wager, 99 percent of those whose holiday-weekend travel will be delayed by her
slow-moving equine hearse - first heard the singer's name in connection with her death.
A public funerary gesture as dramatic
as a horse-drawn cortege befits the dignity of very few people in anyone's lifetime. The
family of Aaliyah, a beloved daughter but undistinguished singer of forgettable pop songs,
does the poor woman's memory no favors with this tasteless gesture.
Uneducated guesses, and overall ignorance
appear to be the level of criteria set to become a journalist for the NYpost. I have never
in my life been so upset with any article in a newspaper, until I read this.
My biggest complaint with Mr. Dreher is
his appreciation for the word called tact. Does this man even know what this word means?
In a time where the family & friends, fans, and the city are grieving for the loss of
a loved one. He has the audacity to put an article in the paper that questions the overall
worth of Aaliyah. As if her tragic death wasn't enough, we have to here someone say that
because she didn't do "such and such..." she doesn't deserve to be put in such a
detailed funeral. Since when did Rod become God, and decide for all in what way people are
to grieve over a loved one.
Mr. Dreher also makes an ass out of
himself and says that he's willing to bet "99 percent of those whose holiday-weekend travel will be delayed
by her slow-moving equine hearse". It would've been much more appreciated had he bet his life, because we'd
then be discussing how overblown his funeral is. Aaliyah was a very well known figure. She
has had three albums, worked with many artists, and has had a film under her belt that
expanded her audience as well as gained her many new fans. I mean, just look at the number
of people that gathered in New York....obviously someone new of her. I think it would have
been better had Dreher said, "I had never heard of her, so I have no interest in her
funeral". However, he stated that many people were as ignorant as he was about her
music. He then had the nerve to take segments of her music and dissect pieces of her music
to prove his half-assed point. He then went back to use famous poets of yesteryear and
compare his lyrics to that of Aaliyah's. That's like comparing Michael Jordan's game to
Kevin Garnett. They aren't even in the same league. HOWEVER, each of them have their own
group of individuals who adore and cherish everything they do. Why is not ok for them to
show respect to the artists/person they cherish the way you honor the person you do? I
mean personally, I think it was a horrible thing that happened to Princess Diana. But she
wasn't my country's princess, she wasn't my mother, she had done nothing that effected me
in anyway. So I didn't care much for her funeral. I'm not going to be an ass and say that
it was "too much". It was just right for the people that cared about her. Is it
such a crime for Aaliyah to have the same done for her by her fans? I don't think so.
This entire article is an opinion of an
old racist man that would much rather be suited for a discussion within his home. However,
he decided to put a slight smudge on the death of the R&B (not pop as the dumb
ass repeated many times.) Side
note: as a journalist I think its your job to get the
entire facts straight before putting the information to print.) entertainer. She was loved by all who adored her, but because Mr.
Dreher never heard of her...she was not worth the time to slow down traffic for a few
hours in ONE day. Because he didn't know her, she was an undistinguished singer, though
everyone who met her said she was one of a kind. I'm truly sorry Rod Dreher that you feel
that way, but I promise that when the next prominent Caucasian poet, entertainer, or what
have you pass away...we will keep your article in the back of our mind. Then, we will tell
you how unimportant they are to us on the day of their burial.
My final comment on this piece. The funeral was a
wonderful thing, and I believe that if the fans and family wanted it to be handled in that
way. They have every right, nothing tasteless about it. The only thing that showed
complete lack of taste, was the creator of this article.