Inauguration week continues, and one can’t help but enjoy seeing all the political pundits discuss President Obama’s inspiring speech that he delivered to the millions and millions of people watching across the United States on Monday.
I mean, that’s all that matters, right? Presidential Inaugurations only come around once every four years, so the general public, as well as the media, waits on bated breath to hear what the president has to say. And that’s the way it should be.
Oh wait. Hold on a minute. You’re telling me that’s not what they’re talking about? They’re talking about… what? Did you just tell me that the only thing people got out of the Inauguration was Michelle Obama’s attire and whether Beyonce was lip syncing? Are you kidding me?
What kind of nation have we become when an R&B singer overshadows the president at his own inaugaration?
Alright, so the last thing I want to do right now is begin discussing fashion. So let’s focus on the other thing.
The country, the news, the Twitterverse — everyone, basically — has been abuzz with one single earth-shattering question — did Beyonce Knowles lip-sync the Star Spangled Banner during the Presidential Inauguration?
Why don’t you make your own judgment?
It’s pretty amazing. In my quick survey of news outlets, you have some people saying that she did lip sync. On the opposite end, you have people saying that she performed live vocals.
And then, you have some people who said that there was a combination of both — that she did sing, but pre-recorded vocals were also filtering in through the speakers.
Here’s my input to this national controversy: who gives a shit?
Beyonce Knowles has been performing live she was about 17-years-old as a member of the girl-group Destiny’s Child. Since then, she’s probably given hundreds of live performances across the world, in all different kinds of venues. In fact, in two weeks she will be highlighting the Superbowl halftime show. And typically, those are quaint, elegant performances where nothing memorable ever happens.
Everybody knows that Beyonce can sing. She’s won Grammys. And even though she is freaking gorgeous, she has never been labeled as somebody who became famous because of their looks. The girl’s got pipes.
However, despite all of her experience, I highly doubt that Beyonce has ever performed on such a grandiose stage before than she did during the Presidential Inauguration. The entire nation was watching. She was singing our national anthem during one of the most presidential events that our country possesses. To say that it was a pressure-packed scenario is an understatement.
So, that all being said, can you even blame Beyonce if she wanted a back-up plan to avoid her screwing up? After all, there’s nothing more embarrassing than botching the National Anthem. Many have done it. Christina Aguilera didn’t hear the end of it when she omitted a line from the song during Super Bowl XLV two years ago, and that was during a sporting event (albeit a big sporting event.)
Therefore, if Beyonce screwed it up during the Presidential Inauguration, that is something that would have left a black mark on the rest of her career. Shit, I think anybody would have lip-synced.
And I’m saying this without even actually knowing definitively whether she lip-synced or not. Maybe she did sing live. Who knows. But I do know that if she did lip-sync, then I understand it, and thus have no problem with it.
Plus, Obama liked it.
And that’s all that matters. Barack approved. Although Michelle may have disapproved while she sat watching that kiss in her fancy new red Jason Wu red gown.
Yep, I went there.
So, continuing this discussion of African-American celebrities — did anyone catch the Australian Open last night? That’s tennis, for anybody who is wondering.
Serena Williams squared off in her quarterfinal match against a fellow American female and 19-year-old Sloane Stephens. Stephens burst onto the scene last year, and because she is black, she has drawn unfair (and borderline racist) comparisons to a young Serena.
And with that, Sloane Stephens became an overnight sensation, and we now have a brand new face of American female tennis. Also, as expected, her Twitter followers more than doubled — from 20,000 to 50,000.
It wasn’t a Katherine Webb-like increase (who went from 5,000 to 200,000 in hours), as Stephens already had a respectable following. She was the 29-ranked female tennis player coming into the match, after all. But the match represented the very first time that 31-year-old Serena Williams, in her 16-year professional career, that she had ever lost to a younger American player.
Being the true teenager that she is, Sloane Stephens, when asked during her post-match interview how many text messages she had, responded by saying she had exactly 145 messages. She knew the actual number. She also uttered aloud that she “hopes to have more Twitter followers.”
Can you imagine past athletes saying that?
Do you think Lou Gehrig’s famous speech would have been as poignant if he said something like, “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth, and I also hope more people follow me on Twitter…”
“…Hashtag, they’ll name a disease after me someday.”
In all seriousness though, it’s nice to have some quality, young American talent in any sport, let alone tennis — a game that has been craving a prominent native fan-favorite since the days of Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras. So color me a fan.
And by “color,” I do not mean to insinuate any racial undertones.
All I’m trying to say is that she’s a dark horse in the remainder of this tournament. Damn it.
What I mean is that for a sport that has been long deprived of a superstar American athlete, Sloane Stephens may be the black swan that we’ve been waiting for. Shit.
Fine, I’m racist.