Beyonce’s Super Controversy


cjones02092016

I spent the entire day with the intention of drawing a cartoon incorporating Puppy Monkey Baby. That Superbowl commercial was more creepy than stupid. I just thought it’d be ridiculous in a cartoon. I still might use it (and a colleague beat me to it and I’m sure more will tomorrow which will make me not do it).

But as thrilling as Puppy Monkey Baby may be, it’s not important.

There were several controversies coming out of Superbowl 50. A lot of people were angry that Cam Newton failed to display more grace as a loser because he only spent three minutes answering questions after the game. His critics and Broncos’ fans want him to be more of a sportsman like their hero, Payton Manning. Manning, the sportsman who stormed off the field after his 2010 Superbowl loss to the New Orleans Saints, failing to congratulate their quarterback Drew Brees. Manning also gave a shout out to Budweiser after the game right before his big man hug with Mr. One Percenter, make my employees suffer while I live in a castle, Papa John.

The ridiculous didn’t stop there. Even left-wingers found something to get upset over. NARAL, a pro-choice group was upset over a Doritos commercial. A baby in what appears to be the third trimester exited the womb during an ultrasound chasing a tossed Dorito. The NARALers were outraged that it “humanized” a fetus. Prolifers were rejoicing the snack-hungry fetus was depicted as a human being. If fake entrapment videos aimed at taking down Planned Parenthood doesn’t seal your argument, then a Doritos commercial will. No one seemed concerned over a premature birth or that the baby will need an incubator, not cheese-flavored corn chips.

The other controversy circling above all the micro controversies was Beyonce’s performance. She made a political statement, wearing very low cut shorts, a militaristic-style jacket that some viewed as a shout out to the Black Panthers, and her dancers formed an X. Uh oh. Black people not knowing their place. We came for the mellow and boring grooves of Coldplay. Coldplay never threatened anybody. There’s never been a mosh pit at a Coldplay concert. Only very sensitive people.

I’ll be honest. I didn’t really catch the political statement at the time. I couldn’t hear the lyrics. I thought the jacket was a tribute to Michael Jackson’s Superbowl performance, and I was really distracted by her legs. I was distracted during last time’s halftime show by Katy Perry’s legs. I really think the NFL needs to continue with this theme, but I digress.

Do you want to know how to upset conservative white people? Put a black person in front of them with an opinion. Give them a spotlight and you just ruined Christmas, America and more puppies than Puppy Monkey Baby’s mad scientists could dream of violating. Rudy Giuliani and Rush Limbaugh led the national white guy freakout saying she was criticizing cops and endorsing violence.

Some people made a comparison by saying nobody would accept a dance troupe in white robes and hoods. I agree that nobody, outside of Limbaugh and Giuliani, would like that. But maybe it could be as amusing as Springtime For Hitler if done properly. But that comparison sucks. The Black Panthers weren’t about oppressing white people. It was about black power. At the time, and still today, most power belongs to white people. It seems a little stupid to be upset when people get upset about being oppressed.

I don’t find an image or reference to Black Power, the Panthers or Malcolm X offensive. All made statements that needed to be heard. From the look of today’s climate of police shooting unarmed black men, poisoning the water of a black city, and getting upset at an empowered black woman during halftime of a football game, those messages still need to be heard.

I’m less offended by Black Power than I am at the white environment that created it.

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10 comments

  1. Hi Clay,
    Picked up THE WEEK mag at local library yesterday then to online edition today and there is
    your Beyoncé toon. I had signed up for their 10 daily political ‘toons earlier. Pleasant surprise to
    see you in two different venues in one day.
    That whole Beyoncé thing was over my head until I read your blog.
    Over my head, also, until explained about that creepy commercial…no chuckles from me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I watched her performance, I remember seeing an x. I don’t remember a line from her song. I do remember thinking I don’t know any of her songs except single ladies. I don’t remember seeing black berets on the dancers. If it was a political statement, it was not effective.
    After the Black Panthers organized, the amount of lynching and murders dropped.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They wore berets. They were kinda hard to see. I didn’t notice at the time. I don’t think the jacket was a symbol of the Black Panthers. They never wore jackets like that.

      Like

  3. People are over thinking. Those meanings and symbolizisims didn’t exist until people assigned them. Everybody chill.

    Oh, and since when did a black beret mean Black Panther? They wore them, sure, but so what? Heck, I wear one daily and I’m no BP, nor do I sympathize. Geez people.

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  4. Coldplay is NOT boring. And by saying that only sensitive people listen to Coldplay, does that by contrast mean only insensitive people listen to Beyonce? I have bought most of Beyonce’s recent albums, though to me she has become far to corporate in her sound. On the album “Beyonce” the songs average 4.5 writers, the high being two at eight and the low two at two. That seems a tad excessive. I did not see the half-time show, but to me there is nothing wrong with giving a shout out to the Black Panthers, an organization created by the mistreatment of African Americans by the system in this country. People getting pissed don’t know or don’t care about history. True history, that is, not the history presented in Texas approved texts.

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  5. I cannot agree with this idea that the Black Panthers did no harm, that it should be okay to honor them while in a venue where this singer was hired for entertainment, not to stir things up with a highly polarized piece, just because Beyonce is a celebrity black woman with a voice to add to the #blacklivesmatter movement. The Black Panthers were a pro-military, separatist group, of which my family, being bi-racial, has been a target of it’s violence. I have seen very different takes on peoples reactions to the performance, outraged to elated you-go-girls! to I-don’t-care, but I have to wonder if the movement as well as the state of our culture in the US, is not pushing us all in a direction of further separatism instead of inclusion, discord instead of discussion, and ultimately one voice only ever being right because everyone else is implicit in the problem (this goes for everyone, I’m not pigeon holeing here). I don’t believe that’s how it works if any of us want to make any lasting change for a brighter future. My question is this: are we fighting for a future of equality, fairness, and respect for one another as human beings regardless of color? or are we fighting for a future of separation, violence, distrust, and hatred? To me it’s starting to feel more like the latter, and far less like the former every day. Beyonce’s performance wasn’t the cause, but it’s certainly made me want to voice my thoughts. We need to all be more pro-active, we must raise our voices, but most importantly I believe we must lift our communal hearts up out of this cesspool of blame and anger. There are serious, terrible events going on every day, often without us ever being explicitly aware. People are dying, unjustly, without rhyme or reason. By guns, and badges, and life-giving water. Something needs to give, or we’re all going down in flame. Celebrating those that add to that fire is not progressive, it does not add value. But acting with love and kindness and respect can be a balm to this country’s soul. and we desperately need healing. Ultimately, while I respect your opinion, I do not share it. Thank you for adding your voice.

    Like

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