An American esthetic


Hey, I survived registering a bunch of students yesterday! Barely. Spending hours trying to be on and enthusiastic with young people is sometimes tough for this old guy. I’m usually used to having time for my eyes to go black as my soul recedes into the void for recuperation, so I emerged from my day of brightness and light feeling drained. But it was worth it.

Part of my recovery technique was to sit back and watch something on the TV, and this time I tuned into Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé on Netflix. It was non-stop intellectual stimulation, though, and got me thinking.

Remember Nirvana’s “Feels Like Teen Spirit” video? That one tore down that common American experience, life in a public high school. The bleachers, the cheerleaders, the marching bands…all just a framework for ennui, melancholy, dismay. I loved it, still do, but it’s not exactly optimistic.

Beyoncé takes that same framework and turns it into a fierce celebration of music, dance, HBCUs (man, a lot of the dialogue is about the power of education and community), the black experience, liberty, and womanhood. The interludes where they show the process of creating show were exhausting — so much work and talent went into assembling a complex show. Beyoncé is a genius.

This is the America I want to live in.

“The charge on you is to make this country more than it is today.”

Maya Angelou

That’s the opposite of “MAGA” — it’s looking forward rather than desiring to return to the past.

Comments

  1. waydude says

    Not really a fan of her music, but to learn about experience outside my own sounds good, it’s on the list.

  2. Rob Grigjanis says

    So, did Beyoncé earn her hundreds of millions? And does the future you want to live in include rich arseholes trademarking their kids’ names so that they can make even more money selling tat packaged with said names? Barf.

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