Monday, January 26, 2009

about those pazz & jop commenters regarding beyonce's "single ladies"

I haven't sent in comments to Pazz & Jop for a few years, but I still enjoy reading other people's. This year's batch contained a few people knocking Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)," mentioning that while they loved the song, they found its underlying message repugnant.

I've long complained about how cynical and alien Beyonce comes across when she attempts to evoke universal emotions, but I've never found "Single Ladies" to be about (in the words of one commenter) "one's duty to get married." Rather than being some "retrograde" (another commenter's opinion) sentiment, I think the song is in the grand tradition of "Respect," "I Will Survive" and other female-empowerment anthems. The guy should have appreciated his woman, should have made some sort of commitment to her, but he chickened out -- he acted like a dog. So she's out the door, and she's bringing her friends with her.

People who know me will point out that "Respect" and "I Will Survive" are the sorts of songs that drive me crazy at weddings. They've become cliches now, no question about it. After the 1,000 wedding it's featured in, so will "Single Ladies." But for now, enjoy it -- and don't feel guilty about it.