Beyoncé’s Othello Moment: It Was Not That I Did Not Care, I Cared Too Much

220px-Beyonce_Knowles_with_necklacesI know that many people are not bothered by the lip-syncing of the national anthem at the Inauguration — or at least not as much as some of us. I must confess that I am still ticked about the deception at a ceremony with a great deal of symbolism for the country’s democratic traditions. For constitutionalists, the ceremony represents the fulfillment of our commitment to peaceful transfers of power. For that reason, I was less than thrilled with Beyoncé’s effort (after weeks of silence) to rehabilitate herself at a press conference yesterday. Her public relations people appear to have read Othello and adopted the defense that Beyonce is not lazy or spoiled but “one that lov’d not wisely but too well.”

Many fans (including myself) do not want to listen to her sing at the Superbowl which appears to be important enough to her to actually perform as opposed to the inauguration. The press conference was meant to show that it was not that she did not care about the Inauguration but cared too much. I was not convinced. Indeed, I felt she doubled down on the lie.

Beyoncé began by singing the National Anthem at the press conference. This thrilled the largely enraptured reporters with the celebrity. No one asked why she could do that at a press conference but not the Inauguration. She however offered a spin that seemed well-constructed by her press people. First, she insisted that “Well, I am a perfectionist. I practice until my feet bleed, and I did not have time to rehearse with the orchestra.” Well, if you are such a perfectionist, how about showing up for rehearsal or taking the time to prepare. You clearly had the time for a press conference before a football game.

Then she added: “It was a live television show, and a very, very important, emotional show for me, one of my proudest moments. And due to the weather, due to the delay, due to no proper sound check, I did not feel comfortable taking a risk.” Really? Clarkson, Taylor and others are huge performers and yet made it to rehearsal and sang in the elements. They also viewed this as an important day. Indeed, the importance of the day is to have authentic performances — not pretend singing for a pretend event. She was not asked to lip-sync. She was given his honor to sing. That is particularly the case when it is our national anthem.

She then added “It was about the president and the inauguration and I wanted to make him and my country proud. So I decided to sing along with my prerecorded track, which is very common in the music industry. I am very proud of my performance.” Well, it was about the President until you lip-synced the anthem. It is common in the music industry until it is discovered on shows like Saturday Night Live –and then the performers are ridiculed like Ashlee Simpson. If she is proud of her performance (or non-performance), she appears alone. What she gave Americans is the thrill of watching her pretend to sing.

Once again, I know many people do not care. I do. I think her decision (and the Marine band’s decision to go along with her) is an utter disgrace. Her press conference (which seemed to lack any serious questions from reporters) sounded like the confession of a diva: you got to see me and no one promised you a real live performance. Like many, I will be grinding my teeth as Beyoncé sings live at the Superbowl because a “perfectionist” takes the time to rehearse for a football game.

Source: CBS

48 thoughts on “Beyoncé’s Othello Moment: It Was Not That I Did Not Care, I Cared Too Much”

  1. Mark,

    Poppy was working for the company before he got out of Yale. Intensive, but well-shielded career before his military time. Used his contacts there many times. Suggest Russ Baker’s book for a fascinating and horrifying tale.

    He used CIA to arrange Watergate. The billionaire oil magnates and the boys of NYC finance did not trust Nixon. Fascinating man. Terrible nation.

    1. Much better sources than Russ Baker:

      Colodny, Len and Gettlin, Robert. Silent Coup: The Removal of a President

      Hougan, Jim. Secret Agenda: Watergate, Deep Throat and the CIA

      Davis, Deborah: Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and the Washington Post.

      and a review of Baker from Jim DiEugenio, author of Destiny Betrayed (one of the more careful, and accurate, books on the coup against JFK)

      I certainly would not want to exxon-erate Poppy Bush of any claim, but it’s also important to strive for accuracy among the errors and disinformation infesting these topics.

      fun fact: Obama is a distant cousin of Bush, Cheney, Kerry and ex-Senator Brown (R-Mass.), on Obama’s mom’s side (obviously). Obama’s first job after Columbia was Business International, a company that had been used as a CIA front.

      Whether or not some pop star lip synched or sang live could not be of less importance.

  2. Who’s Beyonce and should I care?

    The “President” is just lip synching for the military industrial intelligence complex. It’s true for Obama (first job after college was CIA front “Business International”), it was true for Bush the Lesser, it was true for Bill “Mena, Arkansas” Clinton. It probably wasn’t true for “Poppy” Bush, since Bush 41 understood the deep politics of how the three letter agencies worked, having been Director of Central Intelligence.

    The inauguration is just theater, a spectacle. The illusion of democracy is a powerful means of control. Brave New World. The generals and spies are not voted in or out of office.

    I think a hike is a better idea for this Sunday than watching the televised gladiator contest.

  3. Show up on time, rehearse and sing. If you cannot do that stay home.. I really don’t care about Beyonce but the lying and the sanctimonious excuses really get under my skin. By the way Ms. B. the recording wasn’t that great so…….

  4. mespo,

    Well … guess I just wasted all those years in the Conservatory and all those hours and hours of practice … could have just payed the man behind the curtain to do it all.

  5. Hey, hey. That is what I call civil discussion.

    From calling it frivolous, SOP, a dishonor to the ceremony, to the President. to proof of our being sold out, to do you expect anything real today—you are naive. etc etc..

    The best one? Ie the one that resonated most with me?
    One phony performance in a phony ceremony for a phony President.

    I would have preferred to hear Tom Waits.lipsyncing “Hold On”, or a capella with only his guitar. We have dishonored our flag as a nation so many times, so singing its honor seems truly phony.

    To all believers in our former greatness, there is a book called “You can’t go home again”, by the original Thomas Wolfe. And the title applies to all of the past. We have only the present to deal with. Whose Koolaid are you drinking now? Mythology was a recent blog here. And propaganda a series. Are we learning anything.

    Sceptic? You bet your sweet that I am.

  6. I think that they ought to get a new citizen, someone who has just been given citizenship, to sing. Not some Hollywood titty with no first name, last name.

  7. Come on, it’s show biz. Anyone who thinks any of it — from the talent to the agents to the production — is real or anything approaching real has to get their eyes opened. It’s just supposed to entertain and amuse And you must never, ever pay any attention to the man behind the curtain.

  8. I have to also agree beyonce’s act was dishonourable. She should have came forward later and apologized, or at least explained why she did it and without the corporate PR double-speak.

    Yet, the crass person in me sees so much of a co-relation between the singing and what many of the pols on the hill hiss over their forked tongues the symbolism was a form of art in itself.

  9. … and, if one reads the remarks here and on other threads … Beyoncé left her host, the guy who asked her to perform, in a position of ridicule. Not exactly the manner in which one should repay the honor of the request.

  10. January 20, 1961, the day of John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, was a bitterly cold day in Washington; yet, Marian Anderson sang TWO verses of the Star Spangled Banner LIVE at the inauguration.

    Now THAT was a singer.

  11. Nal said:

    Beyoncé’s lip-syncing is appropriate for an administration that pays only lip service to civil liberties.

    Truth and nothing but the truth…

  12. Jim – Our country’s democratic traditions are a joke — they are no longer true in any sense. It is all smoke and mirrors for the masses. I baffles me why this bothers you so much given the entire system has been sold to Mammon and ego.

Comments are closed.