The other night in the hotel I caught part of Beyonce’s HBO special and ever since I have been trying to figure out why it was so vile. It is true that is was style without substance, that it was music without musicians, that it featured politics of the shallowest kind, and that it was more Las Vegas show than concert. But even none of these things really get to the core of why it was so awful.
The part of the concert I saw was championing feminism. But that was it’s explicit premise. Implicitly it was really championing materialism of the worst kind. If you believe in yourself you too can be rich and successful and this is the height of human achievement. This was really nothing but Joel Osteen without pants.
Earlier this year I saw Buffy Sainte-Marie. She spoke about how the way we treat others, and not money, should be our defining purpose. There was something not only powerful about her, but subversive as well. You felt as if you were seeing a great spiritual warrior for good.
Buffy Sainte-Marie was, once upon a time, blacklisted by President Johnson for her brave political stances. Beyonce has been invited into all of the halls of power, even the White House, because at the end of the day she rubber stamps the status quo.
During the concert I saw there was a giant sign behind Beyonce that put up words pertaining to feminism. Subliminally it was saying the same thing as Wall Street’s Gordon Gecko: Greed is good.