labay

An analysis of Beyonce’s music.

In Entertainment, Humor, Relationships on October 22, 2008 at 5:53 am

Beyonce all smiles

Beyonce plays pool as the one and only, Etta James

The New Yorker is still one of my favorite magazines albeit they went all weirdo with the infamous Barack and Michelle Obama caricature cover. Time heals wounds. I’m able to forge ahead and forgive the pub for the aforementioned indiscretion.

And so, we wipe the slate clean.

Start over.

With that said, here’s what I thought was a clever and cute entry on Beyonce’s music by Sasha Frere-Jones. I’m for Nos. 1, 2, 8, 10, 11 and most importantly 12 (sorry, this list isn’t numbered so you’ll have to count). The one song amiss is “Upgrade You”, which I love in spite of the reference to Martin Luther King Jr. MLK and pop music shouldn’t mix (no pun intended).

I suppose Sasha omitted “Upgrade You” because it applies more to men. But I’ll share my unsolicited two-cents on this excluded pick anyway: men, marry a woman who’s better than you. Barack Obama even says so.

Ladies, marry a man who’s honest, accountable and good. Knuckleheads need not apply.

Stepping off my soap box.

Read on. – MJ

Beyoncé, for all her traditional behavior as good-looking good girl, is building a catalogue of songs that have little to do with traditional expressions of love or pain. She is most fond of the second person, and her hits, in the aggregate, form a sort of default advice column. She isn’t as interested in her own pain as she is in telling others what mistakes not to make. I’ve made a small list of her key talking points, reaching back to her work in Destiny’s Child:

No, No, No”: Be entirely clear with your partner; vague language can lead to confusion and hurt feelings.

Bills, Bills, Bills”: Money and romance do not mix, so keep separate bank accounts and go Dutch until your relationship is stable.

Bug-A-Boo”: Constant communication can feel more like harassment than affection.

Say My Name”: If your partner is avoiding you, arrange a face-to-face meeting. Monosyllabic answers and lack of affection can be an indication of deeper troubles.

Jumpin’, Jumpin’”: Couples do not necessarily need to spend every night together. Plan one night a week where you are with your friends, and he with his.

Independent Women Part 1”: If you pay for your own shoes, you are more likely to judge your relationship on its own merits rather than as a tallying of goods exchanged. (Get Cameron Diaz to help you count your belongings, if you feel like you’re losing track.)

Bootylicious”: If you are more experienced than your partner, make sure to be explicit about your needs and expectations. Direct questions will save time and decrease anxiety. (Comfortable jelly levels, for example, should be established early on in any relationship.)

Check On It”: If a man shows sustained interested, allow him to get close to you over dinner, or a movie. Leave your options open. If he has a friend, perhaps invite him along; the friend can act as a control group for the evening.

Ring The Alarm”: Fights are not always unhealthy. Sometimes, a blowout can be cathartic and release pressure that might be damaging your ability to communicate. Introduce a sense of play into your arguments—megaphones are fun (make sure your neighbors are familiar with your routine, and don’t call the police), and role-playing can help defuse anger with humor.

Irreplaceable”: If your ex is having trouble finding his way out of the house, provide clear and consistent directions. Men are sometimes challenged by the word “straight,” which has sexual overtones. Suggest that he go left or right, terms familiar from both baseball and driving. Also, keep several empty boxes on hand. (Once broken down flat, boxes can fit horizontally into a closet or under a leaky houseplant.)

Freakum Dress”: Be sure you own at least one freakum dress. If you find one you really like, consider buying several of them in different colors. (Make sure you have a friend who can explain what a freakum dress is.)

“Single Ladies”: If a man values your relationship, be prepared to demand a commitment. Suggest that he signal the value of his commitment by buying you an enormous piece of jewelry, something big enough to kill a hamster with one mild blow.

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