Beyonce faked the Star-Spangled Banner.
So they say.
I’m not a big Beyonce fan and I think her music–and her attire–is less than tasteful. However, the claims that she is a fake all seems specious to me. If you’ve ever had to perform anything outside in the cold in front of lots of people who are waiting for inspiration then you know the problems and complications that can evolve–often issues out of your control. I get that you might want to prefer perfection over authenticity. I get it. I completely understand.
What I can’t figure out is why people are so “outraged” over it. Really?
So Beyonce faked the national anthem. So what? Many of the same people who are upset about it also watch professional wrestling. Do they know that is fake too?
The world is filled with fakes. Donald Trump is a fake. Does that make all businessmen fake or even all of Donald Trumps business transactions fake? John Edwards is a fake. Does that make everything he says untrue? The Seattle Mariners last three seasons have been fake baseball. Does that make the major leagues fake?
I know lots and lots and lots of pastors who are fakes and phoneys. So do you. Does that make the gospel a fake?
I think there are a couple of things at play in the scuttle about BeyonceGate.
- One, our culture is so toxic and sick that it stays in a perpetual outrage about something. The opinion makers of this world peddle in outrage because it sells.
- Two, we are a performance culture. Above the content of the national anthem or the momentous nature of the event we hold the quality of the performance above all else. In the year 2013 style always wins out over substance.
- Three, there is an undercurrent of hatred for successful people. No one is more successful than Beyonce so when she is less than perfect we ridicule. To keep this in the political sphere for a moment, many people voted against Mitt Romney precisely because he was so successful in the business world.
Beyonce is not a fake, even if she did lip sync the anthem. She is authentic and can really sing and she has the chops to prove it and has proved it. She is not the same thing as, say, Lance Armstrong who is a legitimate fake in what, might arguably be called a fake sport.
The real fakes in Washington D.C. have titles like Senator and Representative, not the performers at the inauguration.