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Is Beyonce Big Brother?: A Reflection on the VMAs

I watched the VMAs last night. I wasn’t planning on it; it just happened. I follow Taylor Swift on Twitter (who doesn’t?) and she was tweeting adorable pictures like this and I felt like, as a self-proclaimed pop culture aficionado, I should be aware of whatever was going on last night. I mean, what if there was another twerk-gate and I missed it completely? What kind of American would that make me? So I realized it was about to be on, turned the channel from Doctor Who (Vincent and the Doctor never gets old, you guys), and braced myself.

The VMAs are about as prestigious as the Dundees, but sometimes you get some good performances out of them.

Last night’s Video Music Awards (which doesn’t even make any sense. Why is it not Music Video Awards? Ugh. Kids.) were all about Beyonce.

Sure, Jessie J and Ariana Grande and Sam Smith all killed it, T-swizzle’s performance was super fun, but it was all leading up to the longest medley ever, performed by none other than Queen B.

Guys, I love Beyonce. I do. I’m getting a little tired of her nonsensical R&B songs with no real chorus but whatever. She’s Beyonce. I’m giving her a pass for a year or so.

Her medley, therefore, was about 80 percent boring, 10 percent 'Drunk In Love' and 10 percent 'XO.' I…I actually turned it off during her medley (NO WAIT BEYGENCY I DVR’D IT AND FINISHED IT LATER OK?). And I never turn off a Beyonce performance. I’m just saying, it was boring for at least the first 45 minutes. Oh, it was only a 10 minute performance? Huh.

Toward the end (when it started getting interesting) home videos of her, Blue and Jay Z scrolled by on the screen behind her looking all family-like and cute.

And Her Royal Highness Blue Ivy Carter was IN the audience you guys. She was THERE. (Let me just tell you, she could wipe the floor with North West the Person.*)

Jay Z and Blue Ivy came up to present Beyonce the Vanguard Award which is some kind of lifetime achievement award or something that has a legacy of like, four whole years, that MTV is trying to make a thing to prove they can be serious even though the commercials were half for condoms and half trailers for awful, and I mean, truly, truly awful low-budget teen dramas. But it’s adorable that they try.

The thing with Beyonce is, I know I’m being manipulated emotionally. I know that. Do you think I haven’t connected the dots that amid rumors of divorce she’s showing adorable home videos and bringing her whole family, one of whom she rarely posts full-face photos of, to a meaningless award show where for some reason Jay Pharoah is still trying to make his Jay Z impression happen (even though Jay Z is actually there)?

No. I know I’m being manipulated emotionally, but it’s like I don’t even care. I’m enjoying it.

I mean LOOK AT BLUE IVY. Look at that gold dress and her little afro with a barrette in it and her calling Beyonce ‘mommy.’ Look at her do the single-ladies hand:

Am I the only one just now realizing Kelly was there? #poormichelle 

Beyonce might be Big Brother. I’m not really sure. It’s probably a logical conclusion. She’s controlling the popular opinion of an entire country, maybe even the world. If she told us to go to war with like, England, in the name of Blue Ivy because like Prince George hurt her feelings or something, you don’t think we would be all over that? You don’t think Barack and Michelle owe her a favor or two?

I’m getting off track. I’m just saying that all you need to know about the VMAs is that in lieu of anyone taking mics from Taylor Swift or defiling a foam finger, we got like 20 minutes of Beyonce brainwash. And I’m not sure I’m even mad about it.

What was your favorite part? (I mean really. HOW much did Jessie J kill it?)

*Trademark Suri’s Burn Book

Puffy Paint, Exposed Bras and Beyonce: The Mrs. Carter Tour Recap


First things first, on this Tuesday morning: I SAW BEYONCE IN REAL LIFE ON SATURDAY NIGHT. I mean sure, I had to pay a hefty sum to do it and stay in my seat like 75 yards away from her but she was THERE. And it was every bit as incredible as I'd hoped.

For those of you who care very little about this experience (I don't understand you, but I accept you just the way you are), here is the quick roundup based on my predictions for the show:

BEYONCE BY THE NUMBERS: Number of outfit changes: approx. 9. (I know there were at least 8 but I think even more than that. I started to keep count but was too busy dancing to keep up.) Number of hats worn as part of her outfits: 2 (I was surprised by this. Who wears hats? Well, Beyonce does. And she was pulling. it. off.) Number of minutes we sang "to the left, to the left" before the song actually started: I predicted 3, and I'd say this was about accurate. One of the guys who got to sing this in the microphone actually screamed it in like a manic fit and I was afraid he was just going to spontaneously combust out of sheer excitement. Other lucky attendees included two angelicly-voiced children and one painfully tone-deaf girl. Number of "how y'all doin', Nashville?"s: She technically broke this up and said "Nashville," [screams] "How y'all doin?" But I think that still counts as 1 out of 2. Number of wind machines: I think 2 was accurate but it could have easily been more. UPDATE: My husband reminded me that there were at least two on the 2nd stage as well, so this brings the total up to AT LEAST four.

As you can see below, my friend Taylor and I did not skimp on the puffy paint. We were the only ones in a sea of 20,000 people wearing puffy paint shirts (Period. Not even small children were wearing these. Can you believe that? Kids today.). We were simultaneously proud and embarrassed, so I think the puffy paint did its job. Note that Taylor is 800% more artsy than me.

mrs carter tour puffy paint shirts

If you can't tell, mine says "Beyonce 4 President," and hers says "Who Run The World? BEY."

As we walked in to the venue and made our way to our seats we were impressed with the diversity of the crowd. Small children, adults, black people, white people, gay people, straight people, moms, teenagers. Basically all your kinds of people. I mean, everyone loves Beyonce, you guys.

We were also impressed how low the bar some women apparently set for the amount of clothing that counts as acceptable concert-wear was. Many women were just wearing fuchsia bras with like half of a denim jacket over top, but only buttoned once underneath the chest so as to give the necessary amount of boost. We learned that showing midriff is apparently back in, jumpers --while not convenient for bathroom-going purposes--are now all the rage, and that I apparently have a low pain tolerance because most women we saw were wearing like 6-inch heels. To a concert. Which requires standing. For hours.

The opener was named Luke James, who I chose to describe as a cross between Usher and Mr. T., due to his abs, gold jewelry, Mr. T haircut and shirt that he had ripped into a vest mid-song. I can't remember a single one of his songs, mostly because they all ran together and I had trouble picking out a chorus at all, but people seemed to like it when he warbled long notes at us (especially the high pitched ones), accompanied by nothing but some tracks and a drummer.

That was over pretty quickly and we proceeded to wait nearly an hour for Queen B to come out. But she's Beyonce and I was getting the privilege of paying an exorbitant amount of money to be in her remote vicinity so she can do what she wants. Plus maybe Blue Ivy needed a juice box or something. I don't know.

Beyonce Mrs Carter Tour Set

During this time it came to my attention that I am woefully out of touch with hip hop and R&B these days. Seriously the whole arena at one point erupted in cheers followed by dance moves I could never do on the first note of some song that I later found out is called like Birthday Song, sung (term used loosely) by someone I've never heard of. It was clear something was happening there that we were not a part of.

Finally she emerged and proceeded to blow our minds with her insane talent for two hours. There were huge LED screens, interlude videos that made no sense but Beyonce still looked pretty in, flying between stages via harness, dancers whose legs moved about as if independent from their bodies, basically all you could want and more.

I won't do a play-by-play because I have already written about 800 words and I'm still talking, but suffice it to say it was probably the most fun concert I've ever been to. She dances like no one I've ever seen and of course she sings amazingly. And she's someone who has so many hits that almost every song is just a dance party to a song you love.

mrs carter tour

My favorite part was probably after she flew to the other stage (closer to us) and sang "Irreplaceable", "Love on Top" and "Survivor." I mean come on. Dream team of songs. Plus we got to hold our fists in the air and pretend like we were survivors like Beyonce which I totally did because I will do whatever Beyonce asks me to do without question (hold my first in the air, put my hands up, snap, repeat after her…you name it).

Other highlights for me: "Get Me Bodied," "Crazy In Love" (though I was disappointed at the lack of Jay Z in this performance--you are married, Beyonce. This means you get to tell your husband to put his married pants on and do things he doesn't want to do and this should have been one of them.), "Run the World."

Did I leave anything out? If you were there, what was your favorite part? If not, what is your favorite concert you've ever been to? (And did you make puffy paint shirts?)

Operation: Beyonce BFF, Phase 1 [Or, "I'm going to her concert."]

Beyonce News Logo

Click the logo above for more Beyonce News posts. (Yes, there are more.)

Friends, Romans, readers of my blog:

Saturday I am going to see THE Sasha Fierce herself LIVE IN CONCERT at the Bridgestone Arena.

I know, I know.

It's really an honor just to be in the same building as her.

It's kind of snuck up on me a bit--which is the reason you have not heard about it incessantly in my Twitter feed--but I am super excited all the same to pretend I know parts of the Single Ladies dance and do the hand gesture with all the moms in the audience when she sings it.

Sure, the tickets were expensive and we're kind of poor, but SHUT UP DAVE RAMSEY IT'S BEYONCE OKAY?

The only downside to the whole thing was that Beyonce was our "if she comes to Nashville, we're going, no matter how broke we are" artist, so once we successfully got tickets we moved on to Justin Timberlake.

Well, guess who decides to stroll into Nashville in the SAME three month period? None other than ol' JT himself. Totally rude of him.

Since we just bought a house, we let Ramsey win one this time and had to pass. So this concert had BETTER be good. I'm missing "Cry Me A River" for this.

I'm not worried though, obviously.

I'm secretly hoping that Jay Z will shirk all of his new album responsibilities and come out and sing Crazy in Love with her and little Blue Ivy will like do the Dougie in the foreground because they just love Nashville so much but you know, whatever, it's just an idea, I haven't really thought about it that much.

Unfortunately Beyonce has now taken like an Unbreakable Vow with Pepsi or something so we may be forced to support my soft drink nemesis.

SIDEBAR RANT: No, Diet Pepsi is NOT okay, waitress. Don't even try to act like it's the same thing. When we were in Orlando last month, I ordered a Diet Coke, the waitress nodded and left, and then another waitress walked up and said "Diet Pepsi?" and I had to look around like UH who ordered that crap and then have the sinking realization was for me and then sheepishly raise my hand, drenched in shame and anger. I couldn't send it back at THIS point. What would that have sounded like? "Uh actually I ordered Diet Coke, and your co-waitress--who must, by the way, take a sick pleasure in viewing others' misfortunes--knew darn well you didn't have Coke but must have figured, 'meh, it's basically the same thing." Well, let me tell you, she is NOT qualified to make that judgement call okay? So please take this sludge away from me." …yeah, that probably would've been too intense. I ended up also ordering a water.

One of my best friends and I will be there rocking homemade puffy paint shirts (DUH) as my husband graciously refrains from trying to distance himself from us (hopefully).

Here are my predictions:

Costume changes: at least 6 Wind machines in the floor of the stage: at least 2 "How y'all doin' Nashville?"s: 3 Pepsi logos: 8 infinity-trillion Minutes we have to sing "to the left, to the left" before the song starts: 3 Girls born since 1998: A LOT

If anyone is interested in reading a recap of the show, let me know in the comments. We all know I am a seasoned concert correspondent now that I went into the bunker for you on the Biebs concert. I'm willing to be that again. Y'know. If you want.

What song would you want her to play the MOST? I think "Love on Top" will be a winner, I love "End of Time" and "Get Me Bodied," and I'm hoping for a Destiny's Child medley. Fingers crossed.

Additionally, is there anything you want me to report back on that I didn't cover in my predictions above?

Beyonce and Jay-Z Go to Cuba and Apparently That's Bad

Beyonce News Logo This week in Beyonce news, The Zs got a lot of flack for going to Cuba to celebrate their 5th anniversary, which evidently is a big no-no according to the State Department.

1) Who else is shocked it's been five years since they got married? I swear time goes faster for celebrities. Every time I see a rare paparazzi photo of Blue Ivy carter she's aged like 6 years.

2) Doesn't the rest of the country know who they are? They are Mr. and Mrs. Beyonce Knowles Carter, dang it, and travel sanctions do not apply to them.

If anything I would think this would help our relations with Cuba and maybe even bring democracy to the country. I don't know, Beyonce is powerful. Her most recent song is literally called "Bow Down." I'm willing to bet those girls she wrote the song for who are all thinking they're better than her but totally aren't did exactly what she said.

Beyonce cuba

Plus, did you see her hair in that news clip? It screams "Y'all shut up and let me sunbathe wherever I please; I'm Beyonce effing Knowles. Also I look like an Egyptian goddess."

They are also best friends with the President of this great nation of ours and his lovely wife. Like it even matters where they go or what they do. They could moon Kim Jong Un right in the face and no one would even be mad about it.

In fact I bet we would win countries over in that very instance. Maybe half the world wouldn't even hate us anymore.

So media, State Department, I say to you: let it go. You aren't going to win this one. The worst you can possibly do is make them pay a fine anyway, and they probably won't even have bills small enough to pay it.

Jay-Z will be all like, "Uh, can you break a 10-thousand? Oh, you've never seen a 10 thousand dollar bill before? I forget only super best friends of the 'bams get to carry them. That's what I call them. The 'bams. We tight like that. We bowl in the White House. Anyway just take this 10 thousand and keep the change. Buy yourself like a banana or something." and then they go sell another billion albums, do karaoke at Sasha and Malia's slumber party and rock Blue Ivy to sleep with a song they just wrote.

I mean honestly. I'm not saying anyone is above the law, but come on. Aren't they?

On a semi-related note, what celebrity should we send in next to negotiate with North Korea? I vote anyone but Kate Gosselin.

Hey Girl, Happy Balumtine'th Day

In honor of Valentine's day (and also stealing ideas from other blogs I read), I present you with my very own Hey Girl photo, featuring my husband, Craig:  



Those bowls ARE awesome. So sweet of him to notice.

Happy Balumtine'th Day everyone!




BEYONCE NEWS briefs for anyone who cares:

1) Her documentary "Life Is But A Dream" will premiere on HBO this Saturday night. Please tape it for me if you have HBO. (What? No one owns a VCR or uses the phrase "tape it" anymore? 2013's got nothing on 1996.) You can rest assured I will be exhausting all my resources (and friends who are tired of me mooching off their DVR) to ensure I get to see this thing.

2) Our favorite diva songstress is gracing our city with her presence come July, and thanks to the fact that I qualified for a presale and have a birthday in June I've already cashed in my present for, we will officially be there, y'all. And this time I won't even be on the very last row sitting against the wall like we were for T-swizzle. No no, my friend. Section 105, sucka. Let the countdown begin.


What are you doing for Valentine's Day? (Or how are you boycotting it?)

Beyonce News: The Greatest Week of All Time

 Disclaimer: I know it's Monday and I'm usually not a Monday poster, but I really just could NOT hold it in any longer.


Guys, this has been a monumental week in Beyonce news. I almost can't believe my luck. It's like she knows my duty to report to the people all things Beyonce. It's days like these that really remind us why we do what we do, you know?

So as you probably know, Beyonce announced last week that Destiny's Child is BACK and going to put out an album. In fact, it is already out to preorder. So THIS IS HAPPENING. Not just speculation. If you pre-order it, it will come.

And as if THAT weren't enough, it was also announced that they are performing TOGETHER at the Super Bowl.

So not only do we get Beyonce at the Super Bowl, a decidedly monumental improvement from the last few years' wardrobe malfunctions and bands with singers who can't carry a tune anymore, but we get Destiny's Child.

I just...the world is finally getting on board with being awesome, you know? It's like our endurance through the years of novelty rap songs, Cher and Madonna's comebacks, and Christina's "Dirrrty" phase were all leading up to this one moment when it would all be worth it.

Sigh. Let's just bask in it for a moment.

It's kind of like Beyonce was just like, "Aw, Kanye, you and Kim are having a baby? That's adorable. I did that a year ago and now I'm fulfilling the dreams of an entire generation with a single performance. So, y'know, your move."

And this is all in the wake of Justin Timberlake's triumphant return to music. OH THE HUMANITY. (Which, P.S., you're welcome for that, you guys.)

Only in the case of Beyonce would any event even come close to rivaling that news.

Is 2013 going to be the best year ever? So far, DUH.

See ya 2012. You live in a world in which Justin is still in baseball movies and Beyonce is still a one-woman show. So two-thousand and late.

So IN YO FACE, Mayans. Maybe this is our reward for living past December 21.

If the President had come to my house over the weekend AND I'd gotten to play Just Dance on Kinect with Michelle Obama AND he had created a new position just for me, the Curator of American Pop Culture, AND Tina Fey wanted to go eat froyo with me and be my best friend, this would still be the best news I've heard all week.

I mean, surely they'll do a medley including Survivor, Independent Women, Bootylicious, and Say My Name, right? GAH I can't wait. Seriously y'all better hush during the halftime show this year.

Finally a reason to attend a super bowl party other than just "food" and "good company." Am I right?

What song do you most hope Destiny's Child reprises?

*Coming up on Beyonce News...still keeping an eye out for the documentary (#beyoncedocwatch2013) and of course reporting back on all superbowl halftime show OR Destiny's Child-related news! Stay tuned, sportsfans!

P.S. If anyone would like to create a catchy newsy-sounding sound effect/intro tune for my Beyonce News series (COUGHforfreeCOUGH), PLEASE do.

Speculations on Beyonce's $50 Mil Pepsi Deal

I've decided that since I talk so much about Beyonce on this here blog of mine as it is, it's high time I just embrace it and make it a thing. So without further ado, I present to you...

Your source for day-old headlines and unsolicited commentary about the world's greatest entertainer SLASH user-of-on-stage-wind-machines.

(These articles now fall into that category, whether she is the main subject or just a reference: Letter to BabyonceBotonists Name Fern After Lady Gaga, Um...who is casting The Talk? )

Today in Beyonce News, you may have heard that she has signed a $50 million deal with Pepsi, which is being touted as "MORE than just an endorsement" because they're going to fund her creative projects or something.

Though I'm not sure how that's entirely different, because I'm almost certain if they paid her $50 million just to be on their billboards and do a TV spot or two, the money would still be used to fund her creative endeavors (and pay for babyonce's ivy league education or…y'know…freelance spacepod decorator business. Whatever rich heirs do in 2032.)

Putting aside the fact that Beyonce probably hasn't drunk soda in over a decade, she has to know that Coke and all its subsidiaries are irrefutably, inherently better than Pepsi and its counterparts.

She's from Texas, dang it. In this case, I consider that the South, and southerners should know such things.

So admittedly I'm a little disappointed in her. But I'm willing to overlook this momentary (50-million-dollar) lapse in judgment in the hopes that something good comes of it.

This probably would have excited me:



But then I remembered I drink Diet Coke exclusively. Seriously, if a fast food restaurant has Pepsi, it's a dealbreaker for me. We will drive to the next Chic-fil-A or Burger King. (Lookin' at you, Arby's.)

So alas, I will not be able to take part in these delightful Beyonce cans.

The article does say that she will be involved creatively, so who knows what could happen next.

A short film loosely based on the inner turmoil of Destiny's Child (with not-so-subtle Pepsi logos plastered across buildings in the background)?

A vending machine where you have to learn a Beyonce dance move and perform it in order for your drink to dispense? (That one could use Kinect technology and be a triple-cross-promotion. I'm a marketing genius, you guys.)

A Pepsi-sponsored trip to Nashville for Beyonce and family where they show up at my house and we become best friends? What? I don't know. It could happen. I'm giving Pepsi lots of free publicity here, against my better judgment. (Long live Diet Coke.)


Coming up this season on... Beyonce News: The HBO documentary. Guys, this is going to be awesome. Stay tuned for updates on #beyoncedocwatch2012.

Oh, AND the Superbowl performance. GET EXCITED.

She makes it super easy to have an amateur news segment about.

Would you buy a Pepsi can with Beyonce's face on it? Why or why not?

Botanists Name Fern After Lady Gaga

It's what every girl dreams of, really. When we're six years old, we sit on our tufted window seat (all great reveries involve window seats), gaze through the raindrops trickling down the glass panes and sigh, "one day, my prince will come…and I'll be so famous a fern will be named after me." Seriously, is there any higher honor in all the world?

Having stars named after you is for amateurs. Anyone can do that. But a fern? That stuff's real.

I wrote that romanticized introduction to tell you that botanists have named a fern after Lady Gaga.

Their explanation for this nonsense was 1) that this fern, like Lady Gaga, is gender-ambiguous or something and 2) it has a DNA sequence that spells out GAGA. So logically naming it after someone who got prosthetic horns on her cheeks was the next step in this process.

Not only am I surprised that botanists know who Lady Gaga is, but I am also concerned as to what this means for the scientific community and the rest of society.


  1. In the future, are botanists going to have to reference Lady Gaga in a lab somewhere, long after she is remotely relevant? "Um, yes, that's the rare Lady Gaga. It first appeared in 2012, marking the first signs of the rapid decline of any remaining integrity in the field of science, and has been thriving in the pot next to the Cee Lo ever since." [SIDE NOTE: Also already in the mix are Soulja Boy Tell 'Ems and Ludacrises, named by none other than Tom Haverford in Season 2 of Parks and Rec.]
  2. School children will be sitting in their hover-chairs watching a hologram and learning about these green things that used to grow (has no one seen Wall-E?) and be forced to ask who Lady Gaga was. Who wants to be the one to explain that?
  3. Was this a totally rash decision? Will these botanists be excommunicated from the rest of the botanical community due to the fact that they ventured too far into popular culture, playing to the least common denominator? OR will they be hailed as heroes for getting botany back in the news? (Really, it's been too long, am I right?)
  4. I feel like if you're going to name a plant after Lady Gaga it's got to be loud and colorful and oddly shaped. A fern? Really? Those sad-looking (because they hang down) plain old plants that hang on porches across suburbia? Ask one million people what their favorite plant is and you'll get a million answers. Almost certainly none of them will be "fern."
  5. If you want a plant to be awesome, throw caution to the wind and just name it Beyonce. That thing will survive. I guarantee at least 13 percent of 6th graders will change what they want to be when they grow up immediately. And maybe you could even cross-pollenate with a Jay-Z plant (which you'd have to add if you're going to do this) and create (wait for it...) BLUE IVY. HEYO! I should totally be a botanist. Or just a plant-namer.

So…like, what happens now? They just go on calling this plant Gaga or they say "jay kay jay kay you guys, that was good for the news story but let's go back to calling it oeaihfdsoahfoashguiasdfpjo [unintelligible]."

I suppose only time will tell. I for one am going to track down a botanist (because I know zero) in about six months and see if they still know what I'm talking about.

Who do you wish they would name a plant after?

P.S. Today is my husband's and my 2nd anniversary!! He is the best and I'm so glad I married him. Just had to let everyone know. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.