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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Perils of Messing with a Beyoncẻ

In “The Guardian” for 17 Feb of this year, 2016, there is a wonderful and singularly hilarious article written by Amber Jamieson that tells of how a website that disperses such info announced that an anti-Beyoncẻ protest would be held in front of the National Football League offices in NYC.   This was taken seriously enough that the police cordoned off part of Park Avenue in anticipation of a crowd, since Beyoncẻ, already incredibly famous in her own right and for a long time, got a lot of added publicity, pro and con, for her performance during a break in this year’s telecast of that inconsequential football game called "the Super Bowl" or some such, in which she and her backup singers swooped, swirled, and swayed while celebrating "black" pride and the Black Panthers of many a long year ago.

About 30 people, including a contingent from Black Lives Matter, promptly showed up in support for Beyoncẻ, and the article used as its eye-catcher a photo of a lady standing in the forefront of that group while holding a sign that quite naturally for me said it all, since her statement touched on the motto that I have carried on the masthead of my blog here for all 12 years of its existence so far.  Her placard read, “IN THE AGE OF (IN) FORMATION IGNORANCE IS A CHOICE.”

That second  “IN” was parenthesized because the song Beyoncẻ sang was called “Formation.”   I have to admit that for someone as old as me and who has been pretty much outside the loop of youth popularity for just as long, "Formation" wasn’t the easiest song or concept to decipher, and the best that I could make out of the lyrics was that the singer wouldn't mind having fun with a Black Panther of today.

I was interested in this protest because perhaps I was unconsciously recalling what happened with another bigtime singer named Janet Jackson and also after hearing about a "Saturday Night Live" show that appeared a few days after Beyoncẻ's performance and that puzzled and at the same time infuriated some "white" folks when they realized that with that halftime performance and with that SNL show, it was being revealed "for the first time" that though Beyoncẻ is quite light-skinned with other features to match, she is not trueblue "white."  Instead she is carrying some of that awful thing inappropriately but widely called "black" ancestry, and therefore she is for all intents and purposes that undesirable thing called "black."  It was turning out that a number of so-called “white” folk, maybe even most, had never known that, and a certain number of them therefore felt that they had been tricked and, yea, betrayed in some way.

The fact that they ought to have already had some idea baffled me, though not totally.  Not being into her kind of music, I had never paid the slightest attention to Beyoncẻ, aside from noting what I think is her somewhat awkward name, and I would never know who she -- or Rihanna – are, even if one or the other were to come bouncing into the room and plopped themselves on my lap.   I would definitely recognize Mariah Carey, though, and Janet Jackson, too.  Have I left out anyone else who is in their league?

Janet Jackson likewise got into big trouble for a performance at another Super Bowl not long ago, totally unfairly and for race reasons, when a "white" guy named Justin Timberlake performing with her intentionally or unintentionally jerked off part of the apparel covering her chest, and ever afterward Ms Jackson, not Timberlake, was roundly condemned because he, not she, bared one of her breasts on public TV for all to see, and at a football game, a religious event.

Even while most likely I had never studied a pic of Beyoncẻ, I had never had the slightest doubt that, using the unscientific and disavowed "one drop" standard that nevertheless persists to this day and that suggests nothing so much as that African blood is far more potent and vital than are European corpuscles and is a standard still used only as a form of mental shorthand, Beyoncẻ is indeed a member of that gloriously prismatically-hued group that is so wrongly and viciously called "black" and for which I like to substitute the much more appropriate term "Rainbow."   (Never mind the gay people.)  And I'm certain that all the others in my census category thought so, too.  

I  can’t exactly say how that could’ve been the case.   The old saying, “It takes one to know one,” springs to mind, but that is usually said only about circumstances less happy than looking into Beyoncẻ’s appearance and its various subtleties.

Those subtleties are so great that they are probably generic, and that might account for why her likeness has never stuck in my mind.  After having  only now looked through a large number of Beyonce’s photos all on one Internet page, I see the problem.   Beyoncẻ is not in possession of her own face!  Not, that is, in the sense that, say, Whoopi Goldberg is always  easily recognizable in all situations.  Instead Beyoncẻ looks identical to many millions of other women of a certain age range all over the globe, regardless of color, creed, affluence, or attitude.  That shortage of distinctiveness must be a big contributor to her widespread popularity, though I’m also wondering how even her best friends can recognize her from one day to the next.

As for the comedy that I spoke of--

The Beyoncẻ supporters waited and waited for her detractors to show up at the NFL doorsteps so that they could have a debate, and finally a guy wandered into the area reserved for that group.   But he insisted that he was not an anti-Beyoncẻ activist and he just happened to wander by, though, now that he was being asked by eager reporters, he admitted to having reservations to her having made what amounted to a political statement at what after all was a football game, for God’s sake!

A second and a little later a third person showed up in the anti area, both of them there on purpose but failing to carry their outlooks any farther than had the first "accidental" guy.   But that amounted to ALL of the anti-Beyoncẻ protestors, a sum total of three in all of enormous New York City and beyond, with the second of those being shocked, having expected thousands of his kind to be there, though it was determined later that the demonstration had apparently been called into being by only one person instead of by a recognized protest group.
Never mind.  Because there were so few of them, all three of those Beyoncẻ critics got to have their extended statements printed in the media.   The much more numerous members of the pro-Beyoncẻ group didn't enjoy such consideration.

But in her article Ms Jamieson enabled those pro people to get off the last and the best shot  regardless, aside from that sign that I quoted.  In reply to the rationales for attacking Beyoncẻ that the anti people had given, one of her supporters said that this protest had worked out in a way that showed that "It's easier to be racist online than it is in real life."

I believe that Beyoncẻ and all those who all along had known who and what she is would have amened, "Ain't that the truth!"  And if that performance at the ball game was a heartfelt statement made by her and not just a passing fancy of a theme for the halftime, I hope that this Guardian article and that "protest" really made her year.

News item:

So far, police in Tampa and Miami, two places in Florida, have been slow to sign up to make some extra bread by providing security at big concerts a couple of months hence, headlined  by Beyoncẻ.   They claim that at the football game, she displayed an attitude toward police.
Unless their ear drums have already been punctured, because of spending too much time among other cops, I would think they would be more concerned about the integrity of their ears, concerts for the young being what they have been for years, when it comes to the decibels.

I wonder how those officers will be punished for the felony of forgoing Beyoncẻ?  Most likely it will take the form of suddenly discovering that they have ceased to be for real.


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