Deep Thoughts

A Tay–Bey Melee

November 29, 2017

View as Single Page
A Tay–Bey Melee

The celebrity battles of the 21st century tend to be fought most fanatically by foot-soldier fans who assume that they will in some way benefit from their idol’s triumph.

There’s a lot of magical thinking these days about how the good fortune of some individual celeb will somehow benefit the mass of her co-ethnics. For example, in The New York Times on Tuesday:

Can Meghan Markle Save the Monarchy?

By IRENOSEN OKOJIE

I’m a black British woman who never cared about the royal family—until now.

One of the stranger culture wars at present is being waged by fans of pop diva Beyoncé who are excoriating rival pop diva Taylor Swift for her “silence” on partisan politics: In other words, Swift hasn’t gifted us with her denunciation of the president like most of our other moral role models in the entertainment industry. For instance, the editorial board of The Guardian of London recently proclaimed:

‘The Guardian’ view on Taylor Swift: an envoy for Trump’s values?

Other publications have been more frank that what really bugs them about Swift is her excessive whiteness.

Personally, neither lady’s music is of much interest to me, but they do both work extraordinarily hard for their fans.

In turn, Swift’s fans love Swift, while Beyoncé’s fans not only love Beyoncé but hate her rivals for her. Thou must have no strange goddesses before her. It’s not enough that Beyoncé triumph, but all others must lose.

“It’s easy for the entertainment industry to play upon fond hopes that some superstar’s fate is entwined with your own.”

Beyoncé, for example, has won 22 Grammy awards in her career, which stretches back to the last millennium, but that is far too few for her fans. Beyoncé must win all the prizes. For example, after the Grammy Awards show last winter, The New York Times headlined:

#GrammysSoWhite: Will Awards Face Race Problem?

Beyoncé lost three major awards to Adele, who praised “Lemonade” in her acceptance speech.

It has become standard practice for white winners of Grammy awards to apologize in their speeches to the black losers.

Simply put, the Grammys, like America, have an inclusion problem, our critic writes.

Dude, it’s the Grammy Awards. The Grammys have always been lame because the most interesting music is made by guys too young to vote for the Grammy Awards.

In recent years, however, the critics have decided that all previous rock critics going back to the first rave over the Velvet Underground were “rockist,” which is the same as racist (and sexist). Instead, in the name of diversity, the critics now believe they should all worship the same female pop stars who make nine figures annually (and thus don’t need the critics).

All this racial grievance-mongering paid off in the new Grammy nominations announced on Tuesday, with Beyoncé’s 47-year-old husband, Jay-Z, getting eight to bring his career total to 74. The NYT reported:

With all major awards shows under scrutiny for how they incorporate diversity, the Grammy nominations are striking, as minority artists dominate the ballot in nearly all of the most prestigious categories, including record, song and album of the year….

The nominations this year all but guarantee that a nonwhite performer will win at least one of the major awards, which would reflect the current pop market but has been far from a given at the Grammys. At the 2017 awards, for example, the awards were criticized when Adele beat Beyoncé for all three top trophies.

Now, Beyoncé is not some edgy outsider ignored by the mainstream. She’s a 36-year-old superstar who has been immensely rich for, roughly, ever. As Newsweek headlined this week:

Taylor Swift Isn’t the Highest-Paid Female Musician, Beyoncé Is

According to Forbes, Beyoncé made $105 million over the past twelve months versus only $69 million for Adele and $44 million for Swift, those losers. (On the other hand, Beyoncé earned only $54 million the previous year to Swift’s $170 million.)

What’s really going on is that Swift is very slender and very blond, while Beyoncé is not quite as slender nor quite as blond. Granted, Beyoncé is awfully blond for a black (she’s a Louisiana creole of color on her mother’s side). Indeed, back in 2011 she briefly went downright transracial in what appeared to have been an attempt to look like Scarlett Johansson.


Comments