I ask the question because Ms. Beyoncé Knowles, the wife of Sean (Jay-Z) Carter (together the richest celebrity couple in the world) showed up on the cover of my Vogue magazine this month, an issue deliciously dubbed “The Power Issue.” And that Vogue cover certainly does raise “The Power Issue” when it proclaims “Beyoncé Rules The World.”
If Beyoncé does rule the world then it would be expected that things in the world are the way Beyoncé wants them to be, but the evidence is quite the contrary (or maybe Beyoncé is in favor of some pretty objectionable things). The evidence is that things in the world are really the way those in power want them to be and that Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z are just in the business of hiring out to put a face on things that makes all of that more acceptable.
Accordingly, there has been much discussion about the moral choices that Ms. Knowles and her husband Jay-Z have made. See: Tuesday, January 29, 2013, Tsk, Tsk: Criticism of Beyoncé’s Lip Syncing . . A Distraction From More Serious Issues And Moral Choices and Tuesday, January 8, 2013, Tsk, Tsk: More Criticism of Beyoncé’s Moral Choices In a New York Times Op-Ed Piece.
This is not the first time Beyoncé has appeared on the cover of Vogue but maybe it is the most troubling in the message being offered.
Beyoncé Knowles: The Queen B, by Jason Gay, photographed by Patrick Demarchelier, February 11, 2013) continue the theme that Ms. Knowles has power, asserting that she writes “her own script.” Here is the feature’s subhead leading into the article (emphasis supplied- visual above):
Chart-topper, glamour wife, style icon, filmmaker, new mom, business mogul—Beyoncé is at the height of her powers and writing her own script.If Beyoncé Knowles is writing her own script then she is responsible for those things she is endorsing and for what she has thereby helped bring about. That's exactly what those (including me) criticizing the moral choices that she and her husband have made have been concerned about.
One of those ill-advised moral choices comes up in the article with some promotional hoopla about the so-called “Barclays” arena in Brooklyn, owned by a real estate subsidy grabber, Bruce Ratner of Forest City Ratner, and a Russian oligarch, Mikhail Prokhorov. The Vogue article mentions the celebrity couple’s connection fronting the arena for those two men right after some chit-chatty language certifying their moral credentials. (Jay-Z is often promoted as a moral philosopher credited with such supposedly honesty-inspiring remarks as: “You can say what you say, but you are what you are.”)
This is the excerpt from the article about the Brooklyn arena:
Here she credits her husband, another entrepreneurial superstar who has proved to be disciplined at navigating celebrity. “Just knowing someone’s always going to be honest and tell the truth,” she says of Jay-Z, “[who] can understand exactly what I’m going through—and I can understand exactly what he’s going through.”That “new billion-dollar home of the Brooklyn Nets, in which Jay-Z is a stakeholder” took a page from the George W. Bush playbook of abuse of the public trust. Bush personally took home $17 million (in the preferential form of capital gains) for fronting for the Texas Rangers stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Arlington taxpayers publicly paid for that stadium to make Bush and his friends their private profit. In addition, Bush and his friends needed only 17 acres to build the Texas stadium, but 200 acres were condemned in an associated land grab calculated to boost their profits. With Jay-Z and Beyoncé fronting for them, Bruce Ratner and Mikhail Prokhorov did the same thing, including the land grab, in Brooklyn and to Brooklyn.
They have figured something out. If you spend time in New York, there’s a chance you will encounter Mr. and Mrs. Carter. There they are, courtside at the new billion-dollar home of the Brooklyn Nets, in which Jay-Z is a stakeholder.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z may nominally support the more populist agenda of the current man in power, Barack Obama, but they've make their money fronting for these George Bush style abuses.
So: Beyoncé Rules The World? Does she really now?
|Above, Jay-Z on the cover New York Times Style Magazine in another promotion of the "Barclays" arena|