Dear White People Who Write Things: Here’s How To Write About Beyonce’s Lemonade » VSB

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Dear White People Who Write Things: Here’s How To Write About Beyonce’s Lemonade

Columbia Records

 

Yesterday, to culminate one of the two or three Blackest weeks of my lifetime, Beyonce debuted Lemonade, a beautiful, haunting, brilliant, and Black as all the fucks hour-long visual rendering of her new album. The album, also titled Lemonade, was made available on Tidal (sigh) when the film concluded.

Naturally, this film and the album dominated pop culture last night, and will continue to for the coming weeks. And people who write about these types of things for publications will be compelled to do so. Some of these people will be people who happen to be White. And, if you are a person who happens to be White, and you’re compelled to write about Lemonade today or some time this week, here’s a few tips on how you should go about doing it.

1. Don’t

This is the easiest strategy to employ. If you consumed Lemonade last night and you need to write a news piece about the release, or perhaps something about how it dominated Twitter, or maybe a review of the album itself, please go ahead! Be my guest!

But if you consumed Lemonade last night and you feel particularly compelled to offer an assessment or deconstruction of the appropriateness of the incorporation of Warsan Shire’s words, or how Serena Williams’ twerking signals the beginning of a new post-feminist meta anti-feminism, or why Jay Z seems preternaturally obsessed with Beyonce’s ankles, or how it all connected to #BlackLivesMatter (please, please, please don’t do this), or which messages Lemonade conveyed about Black fatherhood, or Quvenzhane Wallis’s hair, take a step back from your keyboard, take a deep breath, say “Nah,” and go take a walk or something.

Of course, your words and thoughts matter. #WhiteopinionsaboutLemonademattertoo. But at this specific moment, this is when you take your take and sit on and/or swallow it. Instead, use this opportunity to take a step back and consume the dozens of takes and pieces from smart and sharp Black writers and pundits and critics. If you say you can not find one, you are a lie. Because they are literally everywhere. I tripped over a Michael Arceneaux piece about it on my way to the bathroom this morning.

And, if you believe you don’t have a choice in the matter because you work at a publication and you were asked to offer your thoughts on what Lemonade means, guess what? You do have a choice! You can say no! And you could even use this opportunity to be a true White ally and recommend one of your Black colleagues for the assignment. And if you don’t have any Black colleagues, this is when you say “Hey, maybe we should reach out to Alex Hardy or Eve Ewing. They both had interesting thoughts on Twitter last night, and I’d love to see what they’d say in 1200 words.” And if you don’t know any cool and smart Black people like that, 1) REALLY? WHY THE FUCK DONT YOU? and 2) WHY THE FUCK DO YOU EVEN THINK IT’S OK FOR YOU TO WRITE ANYTHING ABOUT THIS IF YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW ANY COOL AND SMART BLACK PEOPLE?

This may seem unfair, racist even. But trust me. It is not. Ultimately, it is for your own protection. Because if you do dare offer a take on what any of it meant, and you get anything wrong — especially if it’s wrong in a specifically tone-deaf, “this White person just went full White person” way —  you will feel the wrath of tens of thousands of perturbed niggas with degrees raining fire, acid, Kendrick quotes, and chicken grease on your face, and it will not be pretty.

2. Wait

After a few days or perhaps a week has passed, and after you’ve read dozens of the smartest and sharpest assessments and deconstructions of Lemonade written by Black people, and you still wish to offer your own analysis, you can go ahead now. Because now, after you’ve consumed and learned from those pieces, you’re (presumably) able to offer a more nuanced and thorough take. Perhaps you can even cite the specific pieces you read, using quotes to lean on when a point is articulated in a way you wouldn’t have thought to.

And don’t worry about writer FOMO, because this is freakin Beyonce’s Lemonade. Which means that, until Beyonce releases a part two — which’ll probably be titled Simply Raspberry Creole Lemonade — Lemonade takes will continue to be relevant.

If you happen to be a White person who writes things and you happen to be reading this, I’m flattered that you spent part of your Sunday reading this. Thank you! Now back the fuck away from your screen, close your laptop, go to brunch, take a walk with some friends, and spend the rest of the day watching the NBA playoffs and Game of Thrones.

You can even drink some actual lemonade! Just don’t deconstruct it.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • axrxi

    youre warning is about 7hrs too late. Le sigh.

    • say it aint so

    • TomIron361

      CPT…

      • Vanity in Peril

        Why you hiding from me in these comments, racist mediocre white man?

        Come bk to the Tubby post and take this proper defeat.

        • TomIron361

          What do you think was the best feature of the Jim Crow period?

          • Vanity in Peril

            Probably when we had bbqs with our latino and asian friends we didn’t have to worry about somebody bringing gross potato salad.

            :)

          • Vanity in Peril

            You see, that was a joke about whiypipo and a perceived inability to season your food in a way that is appealing to the majority of the folks on the planet.

            :)

            • LMNOP

              Does Liz still ban people? Or does Champ do that now? Or anyone? Because this Tom needs to get banned.

              • Vanity in Peril

                Not sure. He is pretty lame, though. Like, if you’re gonna troll at least bring a Stormfront article w u or a talking point. At least obscure facts in a meaningful way.

                He’s just all, “derp derp derp, jim crow, a black guy looked at me in homeroom and it scared me and I’v e been scared ever since, derp derp derp”

                He’s boring.

                • LMNOP

                  Still, he seems to have attracted a little swarm of like-minded trolls. He could be boring somewhere else.

                  • Vanity in Peril

                    I’m sure he’s boring everywhere else. But yeah, that Thor ban hammer to end his suffering.

                • Stephon

                  Why do you hate white people?

                  • Vanity in Peril

                    I hate whiteness. Why are you afraid of blk ppl having an opinion without u?

  • NKORigible

    “When you take your (cake)” typo?

    • RW

      Take = opinion; assessment

    • Betty

      No he is correct. Saying “my take” means my perspective or opinion.

      • NKORigible

        oh yah! I see, I was reading too fast.

  • NKORigible

    DA MN! *deletes pending thinkpiece about how it takes 100s of people to put together this Brand called Beyonce*

    • NKORigible

      Nvm. I’m not White. *frantically continues*

  • NKORigible

    “And if you don’t know any cool and smart Black people like that, 1)
    REALLY? WHY THE FUCK DONT YOU? and 2) WHY THE FUCK DO YOU EVEN THINK
    IT’S OK FOR YOU TO WRITE ANYTHING ABOUT THIS IF YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW ANY
    COOL AND SMART BLACK PEOPLE?”

    THANK YOU!!!!!

    • Life2013

      That was the most genius write up. That sentence. There are way too many cool professional black people that totally gets Lemonade without the feeble foolwangy sirens for attention as some of our weak black people are using for attention.

  • 2011k

    Maaan, where is Esa?? Is she into astrology? There was a full moon last night. Full moon in Scorpio. Beyoncé has a Moon in Scorpio. The imagery was so dark, so primal, those symbols were speaking. I want Esa’s thoughts on all of this.

    • esa

      hey hi hello ~*~

      yea, i am deep into astrology. blessed is the Sagittarius moon, reliving my from all the emotion of Truth that Scorpio moon unearthed. whew.

      i didnt know Bey had a Scorpio moon. add that with the Virgo sun and yea now i gotta watch it again. like in a week after i process my own life lessons ~*~

      • Momofuku O’Murphy

        oh hey that’s cool…I want in on this witchcraft! What can you tell me about me being an Aquarius? And what are you? And if you are, what am I? What are WE? -lemonade (loopy brain, pls forgive)

        • esa

          right onn ~*~ i support this.

          for context, astrology is not witchcraft. astrology is the science of personality as informed by the signs, the planets, and the houses. i’m not a teacher, just a student. there’s much to learn, so go at your own pace.

          to begin, you can do your birth chart (http://www.0800-horoscope.com/birthchart.php) which will tell your planets. find out the time and place you were born and you can find out your rising sign, and do your houses. there’s a wealth of knowledge out there, some great readers, and the internet done changed the game; everything is at your fingertips.

          it will take you a lifetime to master, because them planets be movinn. and there’s you, and there’s everyone else on earth, and each and every one of us got our own chart as singular as our DNA. it’s mindblowinn ~*~

          • Momofuku O’Murphy

            i’m an ascendant pisces, born 8:40 am feb 16th 90…i already know the tangiential stuff, my dad took quite an interest in it :) what’s your bday? i’m asking (and specifically in that tone: hey im here what can YOU do for ME) to be silly but also bc i like when people analyze human behaviour, no matter what the vessel may be since it’s always necessarily been part of my life (sometimes to crippling degrees…)

  • rgl

    good article, though i think one thing missing here is that black WOMEN’s voices should be prioritized in this conversation, not just black PEOPLE.

    • Life2013

      I agree, because alot of black men are racist towards black women.

      • MysteryMeat

        Don’t believe the hype.
        No like foreal.

    • Joe Phillies

      Yep, prioritize people because of their race/gender not because of their ideas.

      • Vanity in Peril

        Buybye!

        • Joe Phillies

          If you disagree with me present why I’m wrong please.

          • Vanity in Peril

            Bc when ur not an expert on something usually you don’t clamor to be heard first or above others. It’s why kim Kardashian doesn’t give stock tips and isn’t upset that others don’t think she should.

            • davidk

              “No opinions are valid unless you are an expert!”~Vanity in Peril

              • Vanity in Peril

                Shut up, Meg

            • Trent D Graham

              Logic and well-reasoned analysis of a subject is valued over “expertise”. I will listen to the person who argues clearly and correctly. Saying that white people should not write an article because they are not black and therefore shouldn’t write about black music is nonsense.

              • Vanity in Peril

                In what scenario is a white man an expert on black women over an actual black woman?

              • Vanity in Peril

                You are purposefully missing the points that the think piece would disect (not just, let’s talk about blk music) and further proving that you are not the expert on it.

                Like wiw, white people.

              • Anna Sutton

                Nah. That just smells like jargon to me – infotainment. I’d rather listen to people who actually know what they’re talking about and can provide in-depth layers of analysis than weasel words with little substance.

                • MysteryMeat

                  (high fives)

              • Rab

                You do realize it isn’t about Black music, but the experience in which she portrays in this “Black music?” if you didn’t realize this then this is exactly why yall can’t write about it.

            • Anna Sutton

              Seems these people do! They’re all hurt feelings and narcissism. “Look at me! Listen to me! I’m saaaaah important even when I don’t know anything about the subject. Me, me, me and my opinions.” I guess when people are so used to being the center of attention and privileged, sharing it feels like they’re having something taken away.

          • pls

            You’re obvi white, reading a piece entitled “Dear White people….”, and then in the comments arguing with black folks (specifically women) about who can best speak about black (specifically women’s) issues. Everything about you is wrong, not to mention pressed, right now.

        • LMNOP

          You think raid works on trolls? They’re just popping up allover the place

          • Vanity in Peril

            Roaches will never die but the supporters of institutionalized racism are about to be extinct.

            I’d say their fear is quite valid.

            • LMNOP

              I just had a very entertaining mental image of a bunch of roaches furiously pounding away at keyboards. It would make a great gif.

            • Trent D Graham

              Show me evidence of institutionalized racism in today’s system.

              • Vanity in Peril

                Prisons, education, real estate, redlining, the media, court, politics, cooking schools, the StTEM field, walking down the street, driving in ur car…like are you for reals and for trues?

                • Vanity in Peril

                  Going up stairs, going down stairs, walking around the corner without announcing yourself, eating an apple…

                  • Joe Phillies

                    How are any of these things institutionalized racism the media isn’t racist because how would Kanye West or Beyounce be successful if it was. Education is racist against white males if anybody this can be displayed by how sat scores from minorities get them in colleges that a white male could be in with a much higher score. Also look at the amount of grants African Americans and Women have compared to men. Your claims are simply bullshit.

                    • shmaesh

                      You read this too. Then stop talking forever and ever.
                      http://www.jbwtucker.com/ultimate-white-privilege-statistics/#52

                    • Joe Phillies

                      You’ve read this list and looked through the sources right?

                    • shmaesh

                      You didn’t have time to read all of that. Go on back and get to work.

                    • shmaesh

                      Don’t worry, a white dude compiled the list. You can listen to him.

                    • J McD

                      you actually put “education is racist against white males” in a sentence in the same decade we’re talking history about being rewritten so that black folks weren’t STOLEN from africa and brought here under conditions of enslavement, but were rather simple farm hands so that white people can feel less bad about where they come from… please, for the love of all things useful to human evolution, use the internet to discover something meaningful. like what institutional racism IS. it is the statistical likelihood of being represented as a criminal or degenerate if you are black or brown on tv, there are empirical studies on this; part of why shondaland is a big figin deal is because its an EXCEPTION to the rule. institutional racism is being suspended and funneled into the school to prison pipeline at 5-6 times the rate of white children; again verifiable evidence. institutional racism it is having hundreds of thousands of the people that look like you locked up and divested of their rights of citizenship, like voting, because of laws that lock them up while predominantly WHITE MALES are getting rich of the same thing, that’d be the marijuana industry, just for example. but kudos to you for being the whitest white guy you can and sticking to your guns long past when your bullets have been spent; the good news for all of us is they were only blanks because what it Isn’t is white people feeling some kind of a way for being called out on bad behavior.

                    • kariharper

                      You actually put “Education is racist against white males” LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL I’m dying over here. And I’m white.

                  • Erica Nicole Griffin

                    You mean that time a cop shot a guy who “walked around a corner” and then was given no jail time? What year was that? Oh yeah, last week. The criminal justice system (read: institution) did not provide justice for that victim.

                • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

                  VIP…don’t feed the trolls baby.

                • Anna Sutton

                  I wouldn’t even deign to answer that fool’s demands. Clearly, the person is lazy. Both intellectually and physically. If they want to hunt for answers that interest them, they should go do what the rest of us do: research it ourselves. You know, do some actual work!

                • Callista Graves

                  I never experienced it myself, well, because of whiteness, but I have been witness to some pretty damned ugly facets of institutional racism.

                  When I was hanging out with my black friends, and the cops show up, and pull them aside, and leave me alone, well, you would need to be seriously stupid or drunk on white privilege to not see the inherent racism in our system.

                  I can’t even understand how someone could argue otherwise.

                • Mia York

                  You poor, poor victim.

                • Mochasister

                  He is. Trust me he is.

              • Vanity in Peril

                Trying to get a small business loan, trying to get your kid into ap classes in school even after they have placed out of college prep, going to brunch, trying to get your kid to 12th grade without a cop killing him over a juvenile offense…

              • Vanity in Peril

                Breathing, shopping at CVS, getting our hair cut, going to the park, walking w a toy gun in an open carry state, not licking a cop’s balls during a routine traffic stop, going to the beach, going through customs, living in London with a hijab…

              • shmaesh

                Here. Read it and go away. You’re making all of us look bad.
                http://www.jbwtucker.com/ultimate-white-privilege-statistics/#52

              • Vanity in Peril

                Riding on a wine train, trying to make a video about black excellence without whiypipo trying to push to the front of the line to share their experiences, trying to hang out w ur homegirls at Coachella, trying to get tickets to a Kendrick concert not in nose bleed, fighting for our rights to not be referred to as, “George” eating a cookie…

                • Trying to get tickets to a Kendrick concert not in nosebleed. ???

                  • MysteryMeat

                    The struggle.

              • Vanity in Peril

                Wearing baggy jeans in public, wearing any clothes in public, not wearing clothes in public, being in public, being in your home, watching netflix, minding ur business, not minding ur business, trying to go to the bathroom b4 the checks been paid, trying to pay the check, trying to leave a good tip, leaving a bad tip, leaving, going, coming, staying, being, breathing, existing, surviving. .. existing on a molecular level…

                Having melanin, knowing jesus, not knowing jesus….

              • Vanity in Peril

                Trying to visit a loved one in prison, trying to be a “good” cop, trying to be a black cop, trying to be a good black cop, saying hello to your neighbor, trying to do better than ur white counterpart at the office without them pretending you are an AA hire, trying to travel through time in the past 400 yrs, trying to innovate a new field, hovering in nothingness not touching or doing or saying a damn thing.

              • Vanity in Peril

                Trying to get a job when u have a 4.0 gpa but ur name is Keisha (shout out to all the beautiful Keishas!) and ur prospective employer just throws ur resume away or googles ur address to see what neighborhood u live in, trying to donate blood in Isreal as an Ethiopian and having it thrown away right in front of ur face and ur in the Israeli government, eating a taco, being in an interacial relationship, trying to vote, trying to vote, trying to vote, trying to vote, trying to vote, trying to vote…..

                • Lex

                  I am fcking HOLLERING!!!

              • Anna Sutton

                How lazy are you? You’ve posted above you want logic, reason and analysis – all code words for I’m happy with a closed mind. If you want evidence of institutionalized racism, go look for it yourself. Talk about privilege, which goes hand in hand with IR. You expect someone to do work for you – because you demand it. Actually, scratch that. You’ve given me an awesome giggle for the day.

      • Life2013

        Joe, just no just let it go…you’ve missed the point.

        • Joe Phillies

          How did I miss the point rgl stated,”Black WOMEN’s voices should be prioritized in this conversation.”

          • Sythil

            What wrong with that? Skin colour and gender are important when deciding who to listen to, are you thick?

            • Joe Phillies

              No, I’m not “thick” I believe something you cannot control should not be a prime factor whether you listen to a persons argument or not.

              • Vanity in Peril

                If u were in a new town and lost would u ask for directions from a person who lives there or someone ten towns over? Would u say, “residency isn’t an important factor in me getting directions!”?

                The larger question is why do you feel like u just HAVE to say anything?

                • Joe Phillies

                  I would ask someone who knew the town the best, which is the best qualified person for what I need to know. The answer to your second question is I believe I need to say something because the hope that you realize how ridiculous what you are saying is.

                  • Vanity in Peril

                    And who is more likely to know the lay of the land..go on.. ur so close to getting it.

                    • Joe Phillies

                      A geographer.

                    • Sythil

                      A landowner!

                    • Joe Phillies

                      No I’m pretty sure a geographer who specializes in that area knows the land better than a simple landowner.

                    • Sythil

                      ….but what colour is the geographer?

                    • Joe Phillies

                      Sorry, for not being able to reply they put me in timeout for having a different opinion. I was saying though is why would it matter what color they are as long as they are the most qualified for the job.

                    • Matt

                      Because having the life experience of being a black woman does make you inherently more able to speak to that experience than some random white dude. It’s not that complicated. When you are talking about the experience of a certain group of people, it does make you more “qualified” if you’re part of that group. If the album is a reflection of her experience as a black woman, maybe people who don’t share that experience should step aside for a bit, yeah?

                    • Anna Sutton

                      And you think, what? Yes, yes. All code words for maintaining the status quo. I’m pretty sure someone who isn’t from the same ethnic background and gender isn’t qualified to discuss ‘meaning’ to those groups about race/ethnicity and gender performed by someone who is from those groups. Don’t you?

                    • Vanity in Peril

                      Black. And beautiful.

                    • Sheswrong

                      This is a dumb hypothetical. In this hypothetical situation what if there’s is a white family that has lived in this made up neighborhood, which is now majority black, for two generations. You shouldn’t take the white persons opinion over a black persons that have only lived there for one generation?

                    • Vanity in Peril

                      What are you even saying?

                    • davidk

                      If you can’t understand what is being said, maybe you should back out.

                    • That dude

                      “Shut up, Vanity,” he explained.

                    • davidk

                      Touche.

                    • NovaSethyr (´????)

                      I can understand it’s difficult to wrap your head around complicated subjects, but if the problem is that you aren’t able to grasp the concept then perhaps you haven’t learned enough to debate people who CAN understand these subjects?

                    • Vanity in Peril

                      Nice try. You could have saved urself some time and just wrote, “white ppl are the center of everything in their own minds and how dare u tell us how we aren’t always the go to person or default!!!!”

                      Waaahhhh

                      #staymad

                    • Mary Burrell

                      Salty saltines on this thread are hurt in the hind parts.

                    • Callista Graves

                      I don’t understand why there needs to be so much whitesplaining. Well, except for the fact that most of my fellow pale people still feel like the world revolves around them. I just came here to listen and learn.

                      And please don’t compare my favorite cheese companion by comparing it to tone deaf idiot honkies.

                    • NovaSethyr (´????)

                      I notice you haven’t addressed anything I said. I WOULD also point out that asking a simple question designed to verify whether you have the ability to reflect your views and examine whether it’s logical or what you truly believe is far from going “Waaaaaah” or “#staymad,” but I’m willing to bet that your failure to exemplify the bare minimum amount of logic is the main reason you immediately jump to such silly and childish insults.

                      Only children would get mad at such playground language. I highly suggest reevaluating your stances on life. Not because I think you are wrong, but because insight is the only way people can learn to empathize with one another. After all, how can you love others if you don’t love yourself?

                    • Cheech
                    • Oh god, an Anime profile picture, pseudo-intellectual passive aggressive phrasing, the worshiping of their highfalutin logic… I guarantee they’ve participated in the harassment of at least a dozen black women on twitter and more than likely support Ethics In Game Journalism.

                    • Fat Monica

                      sheesh you sure do have a lot of hatred toward white people.

                    • Monday Madness

                      Chimpout level tier 1

                    • Momofuku O’Murphy

                      I try to be chill and not devolve my thoughts into Schadenfreude, but your snark in the face of this asinine argument (non-gument?/”question”/set-up for an answer to which they can then condescendingly respond) is SO appreciated.

                    • pls

                      white is right. #basically

                    • davidk

                      “I was born a poor black child.”

                    • Rab

                      Even if said white family is in the black neighborhood, and has been longer than said black family, the black family and only the black family has a valid point on the black experience in said, as you said, dumb hypothetical. The white family can only speak to their experience of the neighborhood and what they see of the other people, black, in that neighborhood– which is still second person PoV.

                    • ReginasNep

                      But that white family is still given the privilege of a white family in every place they choose to go. The are still growing up in a country whose pop culture and politics tell them that their race is the “norm.” So the experience is still unequivocally different.

                    • The Golux

                      A very close family friend (who is white) grew up “in the ghetto” her family was the only white family in the neighborhood, and they were poor as all fuck. Is it not possible that she might have more incite into “black culture” than lets say a black guy who grew up in a penthouse apartment and went to Harvard

                    • MysteryMeat

                      No. Key word, BLACK.

                      That same black family couldn’t tell you what white privledge was like even at harvard. They dont have access to it because, black.

                    • Sheswrong

                      All he’s saying is that you take the most educated opinion, not just a persons opinion based off of skin color.

                    • Vanity in Peril

                      I get that but why would a white person, specifically a white man be an expert on intersectionality as it pertains to black women w race and gender?

                    • Sheswrong

                      Why would a black person of either gender be automatically expected to be an expert on it either?

                    • Vanity in Peril

                      A black woman is an expert on the experience of black women b4 a white woman, a black man and certainly a white man. Come on, w this common core bs

                    • J-dawg

                      A black woman is an expert on the experience of a black woman, not black women.

                    • BgMike

                      The nuance of your sentence is going to be lost on a lot of these people. But that’s the damn truth right there.

                    • Anna Sutton

                      Proximity to lived experience.

                    • theladymagic

                      I can promise you that ANY Black person has a better perspective on being a Black person than any white person!
                      So yes automatically!!
                      On this issue automatically!

                    • Sheswrong

                      No, not automatically. There are many black people that don’t grow up in the atypical “black cultural” areas. And there are plenty of white people that do. So, no, you’re incorrect to automatically assume that a black person immediately has a better perspective on the inner-workings of black culture.

                    • Rab

                      You clearly missed the mark, and this is going to be long. There are many black people that don’t grow up in the typical* (you meant typical because you’re clearly trying to say that if we aren’t brought up in “black culture” that we some how lose rankings in perspective “on the inner workings of black culture.” and atypical means to be not representative of said group you are compar- basically the complete opposite of what you thought you were trying to school us on, yet i digress), black culture area, like hmmm let’s see, Beyonce, who still embody black culture. Culture is in our upbringing as is this privilege to have the audacity to believe anyone who lacks the very essence of what it means to be a black woman can hold the candle to anyone who does is in yours. So yes, automatically we will assume that a black woman* immediately has a better perspective on the inner workings of her culture, and black men following, as they are the sons of said women. (clearly unless their mother is white, still then they are the brothers of said women)

                    • MysteryMeat

                      I read this 5 times. You just read the piss out of that troll lol

                    • BgMike

                      This is the most ignorant thing I’ve ever read. Like a single black persons experience is immediately related to EVERY OTHER black persons experience. You’re basically arguing that you embody a stereotype.

                      I can tell you right now you are pretty removed from the experience of a brotha from apartheid South Africa, and there are plenty of socially conscious, non black South Africans who know better. Get over yourself.

                      I personally have friends who confide in me feelings of rejection from their own race-community, not because I’ve lived it, but because I’m open and respectful to their perspective.

                      smh, lady magic. You don’t know what you’re talking about

                    • Anna Sutton

                      I think a better term would be ‘knowledgeable’. Someone can be ‘educated’ and know sweet FA about a subject.

                  • Nina Harris

                    Then you answered your own question. In a conversation about black women, BLACK WOMEN are the best qualified to discuss themselves. So you understand. You just don’t value black women’s voices.

                    • Rissa

                      If what you have said about black women is true, then the writer of this article cannot tell a white person what to write or what not to say. As a black man, he is not qualified to speak on white matters.

                      I’m not saying I agree with what is being said, just helping you follow your own logic.

                    • theladymagic

                      You can keep playing dumb, but the rest of us don’t have to join the game.
                      You cannot be that stupid to believe that your statement and the point of this article are in anyway similar.
                      One of the biggest reasons we have such a hard time coming to some type of resolution on race relations, is it we have one race that wants to do all of the dialogue on both sides of the issue.
                      There is one group that just wants to tell us how they feel about all issue, regardless of whether it pertains to them or not, and then have the audacity to want to tell us how we feel too.

                  • theladymagic

                    Damn Joe, you just had to double down on stupid didn’t you?

                    Do you really think that we believe you would ask an opinion of someone ten towns over for directions?
                    Why would you believe that someone ten towns over would even know anything about the directions you need?

                    Why do you think that’s something that is exclusively coming from African American women experience ,do you think we need it narrated, picked apart, misunderstood, and mangled by Caucasian female or not even worse male, are you having the hardest understanding?
                    Please take several seats down and be quiet!

                    • klm345

                      Example: Someone from 10 towns over might have been there a few times or have a map. But they don’t know that there’s a giant pothole that will break your car axle and get you stranded in the middle of the most direct route. For that advice you need a local who drove down that road today and had to turn back before they broke their car.

                      Look I’m a white woman, and I loved the visual album. It was beautiful, complex and I cried quite a few times (I think you’ve got something wrong with you if that piece didn’t hit you right in the feels in some places). But I don’t know the experience of being a black woman, and that’s ok. I won’t understand fully everything, which is also OK.
                      Sometimes to understand you need to listen.
                      For centuries we had books like pride and prejudice and all that, which is nothing like the lived experiences of people other than white europeans and I’m sure that what read to us one way, was read totally differently by other people who did not have that cultural history or experiences. Jane Austen can be read many ways, but if you want to explain the experience of Lizzy probably asking a white gentrywoman from the era is your best bet. THAT IS OK. You didn’t enjoy it or get it? That’s fine, art is subjective. But you shouldn’t ask a white guy from South Dakota what it’s like to be a black woman from New Orleans. Maybe he has an idea, but it’s probably not especially accurate. (Same with asking white women what it’s like to be black. I don’t know, and I can’t because even if I have friends who live that experience, I only really have access to understanding like 1/5 of what they experience because when I listen to their experiences I can only interpret their experiences through mine. It’s a limit of human cognition and communication.) So get over yourself, this isn’t a thing. It’s not racist or sexist to suggest that someone might understand something better than you. It’s racist or sexist to believe that you can better explain someone’s experiences than they can because somehow all thoughts are equal. All thoughts are not equal. I do family law as a job, I don’t ask my tort lawyer friend how to handle bankruptcies in a divorce – I go to a bankruptcy specialist, because they live that and know better.

                • Black Frankie

                  I would ask your mom

                  • Vanity in Peril

                    Leave my momma out of this and I’ll do my best to leave me out of ur mamma.

                    :)

                • davidk

                  I would ask Siri.

                • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

                  Because manifest destiny.

                • Pjoaxp

                  A better example is: if you are lost in a town, do you ask for directions from the person who has studied the town extensively, and knows the town best, regardless of whether or not they were born there, or do you simply assume the person who was born there knows it best?

                  • Rab

                    Both are examples to show you don’t belong in the conversation, diluting experience of a people, yes gender and race specific, to directions and information more than readily available on frekkin Google. How do you know who lives in the town, who was born in the town, or who has studied/built the town, if they are all in the town next to you? you don’t, it’s not intuitive knowledge, they don’t where t-shirts (which can be taken off and traded) displaying that information. However, you see a woman, you see she’s black, white, asian, indigenous, you ask her if you need explanation on a respective issue. Yes, you’re assuming that she knows for certain what whoever the original presenter is, because no two people or experiences are identical, but as she is like in culture or experience she will likely give you the closest explanation (or recount of experience) to what you’re asking. They’re not the same

              • pls

                Unless they are white? -____________________________________________-

              • Supa-D

                When it is about the particular experiences of black women, there is no voice more important *or* relevant. A wise person would take this as an opportunity to listen and learn.

            • CallsignMissing

              And here I thought the content of a person’s arguments and opinions was important.

              • Vanity in Peril

                • CallsignMissing

                  Ah, someone else who thinks that stupid soundbite arguments are useful. Here’s a little clue; I was not quoting, referencing, or thinking about MLK in any way, and you failed.

          • LMNOP

            probably a combination of poor social skills and reading comprehension. Don’t worry though, both can be improved!

        • davidk

          “Shut up, Joe,” he explained.

      • Imani

        Clearly

    • Jenna El-Wagaa

      Rgl, YES.

    • Jenna El-Wagaa

      Rgl, YES. Because frankly, as a women, I would much rather hear what Black women have to say about Lemonade about 1000% times more than what any man has to say about it.

    • Damon Young

      Good point

    • Black Frankie

      I love black women! They got the best bedonkadonks

  • Betty

    OR you could just do like US Weekly, take it at face value and describe “Lemonade” without making it a treatise on black people. Beyonce ain’t the Grand Canyon yall.

    • LKNMRE

      Even after watching this amazingly “DEEP” piece of work, y’all wanna say Bey lacks depth. Sigh.

    • Arundaworld

      Okay, petty Betty. You have to at least admit that the major underlying themes of Lemonade are womanism and racial social justice. This album is the most overwhelmingly black thing Beyonce has ever done and thinkpieces on it should definitely cover her depiction of blackness.

      • Betty

        Beyonce is making what appears to be a statement about her experiences in her relationship. She’s not speaking for black women she’s speaking for herself. I don’t see how this is any different than Katy Perry’s divorce album. #itain’thatdeep.https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fc94e34e8cb6edd09cd70ad4ab8d8b0307e9ec8d73129c4ffc6409ef90ec9423.png

        • Janelle Doe

          I don’t know how you can say that this is solely a statement about her experiences after watching the Malcolm X quote and seeing the mothers of the slain … . She also goes out of her way to feature an array of Black women. I am not sure what about that is a statement on her relationship experiences… but maybe I was watching different videos

        • LKNMRE

          Don’t you EVER compare anything Beyonce creates to the s h i t they manufacture and hand to Katy Perry.

          • Heyoo
            • LKNMRE

              Your point? Great art comes from collaboration. Katy Perry is talentless. Literally. Not a production credit to her name, while Bey produced SEVERAL of her own tracks on Lemonade. Get real.

              • Heyoo

                That Beyonce is just as manufactured as the rest of them.

                • LKNMRE

                  You wish she was. Beyonce controls 100% of her image and product. Katy Perry used to sing gospel and FLOPPED so they handed her some rejected Pink songs and here she is.

                  • Heyoo

                    yes, it’s a packaged product she’s selling us. And I’m not buying the lemonade. I don’t believe she’s genuine. I thinks she’s calcualted (like most mainstream pop stars). This is all for publicity and to get $$$$. Which is fine, but I’m not putting her on a pedestal.

                    But I ageee Katy perry is talentless.

              • Edgk

                “Produced” is the word used when an “artist” wants credit for something they didn’t actually write.

          • Walker62

            Lmao, it s freaking pop music. Like Beyonce amd KP are Ella, Miles, Count Basie, Bethoven or evenPrince for that matter.

            • LKNMRE

              Prince loved Beyonce and acknowledged her talent several times. She’s one of the best artists of our time and will die a legend. Michael Jackson made pop music, too, genius.

              • Walker62

                Prince did like here but again she is not in his league nor that of Michael Jackson. She does not have the broad appeal of those two. Go to a Bey concert and 80% of the audience is female and mostly minority. Go to a Prince and MJ concert and it’s a much more balanced crowd. I don’t even think she has sold as much as Mariah, Madonna or Swift. I think she’s outside Mary J. Blige but I like Mary’s work more.

                • LKNMRE

                  The majority of Prince’s fan base was women, too, and Michael Jackson’s was Black. What, just because something doesn’t appeal to straight white men, it’s not valid? You like Mary J Blidge’s no singing azz better? Lol, get out. This is a conversation about real music. Beyonce will absolutely die on Michael Jackson’s level.

                • Wild Cougar

                  Black people are the originals and the originators, the creatives and the creators, therefore when we attend a concert, the most important audience is present. You all literally don’t have the ear drums to appreciate musical art, but you can see what to steal. Your presence does not give importance.

  • Vanity in Peril

    Okay, Beyhive. Ok.

  • Ironic.

    • ChokeOnThisTea

      Yeah…but in his defense, he’s not analyzing Lemonade.

      • Burying the lede……hi.

        • ChokeOnThisTea

          Hey, Tristan.

  • Dustin John Seibert

    I maintain that Beyoncé is not nearly as substantive as she wants you to think she is. Powerful imagery does not a powerful mind make. This is basically “Formation” magnified. Don’t pull Bey in a conversation with black sociologists and intellectuals…she wouldn’t be able to hang for long.

    • ChokeOnThisTea

      *patiently waiting for Dustin to realize intelligence manifests in various forms*

      We all know you prefer platforms that disparage and mock Black women, but my God, let us (and the black men who love us) have our moment.

      • Dee

        *patiently waiting for Dustin to realize intellegence manifests in various forms*

        ^^^^ Yes to this top comment it does come in many shapes and forms.

        But do you need Beyonce to make an album in order for you to have your moment? Do you not have one until she opens the door. I’m slightly confused on the part. ( Last sentence isn’t sarcasm) just a question.

        • ChokeOnThisTea

          With all due respect, it’s very much sarcasm. Sarcasm, unnecessary, and unfounded. And for that reason, I will entertain it no further.

          • Dee

            No it really wasn’t. I meant no disrespect, just curious.

        • axrxi

          Maybe this is just my inner Stan coming out, but sometimes that’s exactly what’s needed. One reason I l o v e Bey is because she has a song for almost every moment. Even though the spoken word isn’t hers, it stimulates and segues to the music very well. This is just another angle that needed a little light shown.

          • dee

            Thank you, I appreciate your comment and can respect that.

          • ChokeOnThisTea

            We owe no explanations for being excited about her work. Nevertheless, I like it because it’s nuanced and specifically centers Black women, not just women. That’s very rare, bold, and necessary for an artist of her stature to do. Lemonade doesn’t affirm black womanhood. It REaffirms it and for that reason, I appreciate it.

            • Dee

              Someone asking you a question is not taking away from your moment or excitement. Stop reaching you’re being a little dramatic. It was a simple question (Again asked in no shape or from Sarcastic tone) and Axrix gave me a answer that was cool I appreciated and respected her comment and I moved on from it. Have your moment no one here is or was trying to take that from you.

        • badphairy

          “Why don’t all you people just have your moment whenever you want them” Uh, because it gets us shot by police for acting weird?

          Do you need to come in here and tell people how and when to have their own moments? Do you not have your moment unless you’re gatekeeping other people? I’m slightly confused on the part. ( Last sentence isn’t sarcasm) just a question.

          • Dee

            Chill. I asked a question. simply put. don’t need your attitude. If you love her work love it and if it helps black women reaffirm who they are in society…Cool.

        • esa

          ~ But do you need Beyonce to make an album in order for you to have your moment?

          for me, art is often a catalyst. it’s a way of reframing or introducing experience. for someone to express, through aesthetic form, the heights and depths of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding (as well as the emotions it requires to master and learn) — this can reach me in places that words just can’t touch. and in doing so it, can help me process my own life.

          Lemonade releasing at the tail end of a Full Moon in Scorpio was perfect timing for me to deal with something i wasn’t previously ready to accept.

          • Dee

            I completely understand, and this was an answer I was looking for, just need some clarification. I can completely see that this is what drives you and I respect that.

        • LKNMRE

          Why is this always something that accompanies Beyonce’s work? “Do you need her to have a moment?” Others cite all kinds of artists as the catalysts to make them do something, change something. “Michael Jackson made me this, Prince made me that, the effing Beatles changed my life” but when Black women say something about Beyonce, suddenly, it’s inappropriate to use music, visuals, an artist as a tipping point. Why? And I’m not asking “why” is Beyonce inappropriate, I’m asking “why” are y’all so transparent about your hatred for Black women?

          • ChokeOnThisTea

            Why is this always something that accompanies Beyonce’s work? “Do you need her to have a moment?”

            Right. Which is precisely why I refused to address it any further.

          • Dee

            Are you kidding me with your rant? Firstly, I don’t hate black women never have, never will. What is it with people when it comes to Beyonce you attack? I have distinctively stated I was not asking a question out of ill. It was a simple question. To show peace I have said, I just asked this question out of wanting to understand ChokeOnThisTea statement. That is it. You are reaching and reading way to much in a question that only had one purpose… TO UNDERSTAND. Nothing more or less. So miss me with your accusations.

            • LKNMRE

              Why is Beyonce never seen as someone worthy of being considered a personal hero by those who don’t consider her a personal hero? Again, I bring up Prince, I bring up Michael Jackson, and there are so FEW Black women–women in general–who fall into that same category, of people who are truly and literally impactful because of their music, but people always want to diminish Beyonce. Why? I asked a question. If that wasn’t the case with you, don’t be so defensive, but don’t act like you’ve never seen it, before, and like I don’t have a perfectly valid reason to ask it.

              • Dee

                But I never considered Prince or MJ a hero. Do I think what they did was great… Yes, but I never looked up to them like that or any artist like that TBH. If you want a hero, I get that. The world looks for them all of the time, and for a woman of Beyonce’s level/Impact I can understand why. I was getting a tad defensive because of the way many were twisting my words as my aim was never to come off as hateful or wanting to take someone’s moment from them. Your question is a valid one to ask but is not for me to answer as that was never my angle in the first place, and also I don’t know why many people do what they do especially in regards to Beyonce. I have seen many people diminish her aim but I was never apart of that group.

      • Dustin John Seibert

        Still butthurt huh? It’s okay, m’dear.

        I would argue that it’s a matter of responsibility/best practice to be able to explain your art in detail, especially when it has deep cultural/historical heft. I’m simply saying I don’t think Beyoncé could intelligently break down all the imagery in her film.

        And I also completely agree with the comment below. If this is “your moment,” you should aim higher, Willis.

        • ChokeOnThisTea

          I’m not hurt. I just get a thrill out of reminding you of your inadequacies.

          See. This is what bothers me about the “who is intelligent and who isn’t” conversation. You can’t simply dismiss a person because his/her word choice, dialect, or whatever is not to your liking. Don’t dismiss content for style and presentation.

          It’s quite reductive of you to assume that because I find joy in this moment, I have no other “moments” (that I myself have achieved). Then again, I’ve come to expect this sort of thinking from you, so…

          And for the record, my aim is simply to please The Lord. I can’t aim any higher than that.

          Anyway, enjoy your day, Dustin!!! Talk to you later, friend. :)

          • Dustin John Seibert

            You enjoy reminding me of what you perceive as my inadequacies? You need you a man…then you can focus on the inadequacies of someone you actually know.

            Have a great Sunday as well, COTT!

            • ChokeOnThisTea

              HA! I doooo….but I NEVER emasculate the men I date. Men are to be respected and loved too. The good news, though, is that I recently started talking to a God fearing man with a stellar career who is both hilarious and sharp. Finally– an equal. Wish us luck!

              Even though your comment warrants more snark (and trust me, I have snark for days), I actually logged back into apologize to you. I can see how I took the conversation left, so for that, I apologize. Seriously. In my defense though, I offered to stop alluding to your (past) views of black women weeks ago, but YOU insisted that I continue as you claimed you enjoy it. What changed? :)

              Nevertheless, your initial comment came across as trivial and unnecessary. A celebration of black women is by proxy, a celebration of black men as neither group would exist without the other. As a black man, you don’t have to throw shade on the party. You can celebrate too.

              Toddles.

              • Dustin John Seibert

                Wish y’all nigras luck. No need to ever apologize to me for anything…I simply don’t care enough.

                You looked at Lemonade as a celebration of blackness? Huh.

                • ChokeOnThisTea

                  Thanks. But that’s “African Americans” to you. You don’t know us like that…..nig ga.

                  My apology was not for you as much as it was for me and the fact that I just stepped out of The Lord’s house. Lol. Plus, I have been rude to you in the past, so…

                  Yeah, I did. You didn’t?

                  • Dustin John Seibert

                    Not especially. The first half of it was revenge fantasy, and not toward white people.

        • esa

          ~ I would argue that it’s a matter of responsibility/best practice to be able to explain your art in detail, especially when it has deep cultural/historical heft.

          artists who possess tremendous amounts of musical and/or visual intelligence do not necessarily have the linguistic intelligence to match. that’s where some writers come into the picture: their gift is the ability to articulate the non-linguistic expression of ideas, and in doing so, they not only connect the public at large to the work, but they can also connect the artist themselves to something they did not see in verbal terms.

          that said, i agree it’s not a bad idea for a visual/musical artist to work with a writer; it can help them from being pigeonholed into something that they never intended to claim.

        • cilgen

          Again, this is so dismissive and patronizing. Why is the tone you take?

      • Like filmmakers, painters, sculptures, photographers … just visual artists at large are weak-minded because their medium does not extend to words? Wow.

    • “A picture isn’t an argument.” – Anonymous

      Beyonce’s been around for a long period of time, but for the most part, she’s remained relatively constant: she throws out a lot of images, and people translate them the way they want to see it. She’s not making an argument for or against something as intellectuals and sociologists have to do (limited under the rule of reason, logic and science), thus she’s not under any obligation to be clear, precise or even coherent. People attach to the things they want, and as she is prone to do, she lets her fans and her haters do with those images whatever they choose. Her long lasting legacy is a testament of her ability to be all things to all people – thus why a picture says a thousand words.

      • esa

        ~ “A picture isn’t an argument.” – Anonymous

        why not ?

        • A picture, by itself, has no context.

          Thus why a picture says a thousand words.

          • esa

            it’s not the picture that has no context; it is the viewer who lacks context.

              • esa

                exactly. i am the one lacking context.

                • Actually…there was no point to that.

                  Lets start from the beginning:

                  Argument: a reason or set of reasons given with the aim of persuading others that an action or idea is right or wrong.

                  Context: the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed

                  The viewer is and the artist are both entities, it’s only what is being expressed that applies. A person can use a picture to express poverty:

                  http://www.poverties.org/images/urban-poverty-in-india-1.jpg

                  But it is an insufficient medium to express their reasoning behind it, on it’s own. Which is why it lacks context, by it’s nature.

                  • esa

                    you are never without a point, even if it’s to make “no point,” and i appreciate that.

                    as it pertains to an argument, must reason be expressed linguistically, or are you open to arguments made mathematically, spatially, musically, kinesthetically, etc ?

                    ~ But it is an insufficient medium to express their reasoning behind it.

                    so the answer may be, you are biased in favor of linguistic intelligence when it comes to arguments. which is okay, we’re both using words here. that said, if i were speaking with a photographer, we could probably trade pictures without words all day long and have a crazy azz conversation because we both know the references and the context for the images.

                    • Lol, that’s the definition of an argument…it’s always for or against something; it’s a judgment…not just a mere act of expression. As long as the medium says, this is right, this is wrong, and this is why…then it’s an argument. I know that can be done through mathematics…the others, I’d have to think about.

                      You’ve repeatedly quoted time and time over again that saying, that “All art is propaganda” (Orwell, right?). Well, there’s another saying that I think is equally applicable, “All Propaganda speaks to what you already believe.” So no, it’s not just a matter of having a bias toward linguistics, but rather a preference for hearing people’s investment behind a belief. Without providing reasons, all we pretty much have is bias and propaganda.

                      Bias and propaganda are fine though, we’re entitled to them all, but they don’t provide much room for growth, learning and wisdom.

                    • esa

                      ~ All Propaganda speaks to what you already believe.

                      curious who said this ? i ask as i (among many) am able to recognize propaganda without believing what it claims.

                      argument as a judgment does not need to be made using words alone. Nick Ut’s photograph “The Napalm Girl” (1972) is an historic argument and a massive judgment. (i wont post it, it’s too brutal, but if you Google it you will recognize it).

                      i think the reason we are less inclined to use images in argument is we haven’t been taught how. ignorance is acceptable because it is natural, but that does not make it’s understanding the equivalent of Truth.

                      ~ Without providing reasons, all we pretty much have is bias and propaganda.

                      and even with reasons expressed through words, we can easily stuck in a paradigm of bias and propaganda. let’s not forget, Orwell was speaking of his own art as much as that of the next wo/man.

                      ~ they don’t provide much room for growth, learning and wisdom.

                      square one is just a starting point. that people stay there is a choice, as well as evidence of their intellectual requirements.

                    • moderation

                    • Lol, moderation again.

                    • Momofuku O’Murphy

                      your tendency to define concepts like a human encyclopedic nitpicker (latter of which I’m definitely as well) has caught my eye, and the way you convey emotion (or rather the lack thereof) is curious, I’m intrigued. Anyway, my short little know it all contribution for this is: “not just a mere act of expression” I say every utterance (let’s zone in on the spoken/written word for a min) is an argument with an inherent hypothetical/desired judgment. Sometimes this judgment is silent/implied, but there is ALWAYS an argument to be found.

                    • The “tendency” to define concepts is to serve the purpose of clarification…it also puts people on the same page and reduces the chance of confusion or someone taking what you are saying out of context. As anyone who reads a dictionary knows, one word can have several definitions, sometimes even contradicting one another. If people are working with two different definitions of terms, it is impossible that anything meaningful or productive will come out through their conversation.

                      As for emotion, people get upset if you tell them their emotion is wrong. Judgments ultimately serve the point of saying something is right or wrong. I’m not out here trying to troll people, and I already know if I challenge their emotions or vice versa, things will escalate; some people live for that, I’m not one of them. I’m only invested in listening and at times challenging thoughts and reasons. Thus why once again I aim for clarification, stick to clear definitions, and try always to bring things back to the point.

                    • Momofuku O’Murphy

                      yup yup basically you’re kinda awesome, you mean. i agree, i’m very into it. it’s great seeing a constructive mind kind of obsessed (or that’s what THEY say, you know…) with detail/efficiency/clarity – to see that mindset reflected in your writing, except your version sounds like you’re a frequent and smart writer. i wonder, what do you “do”? you can say what your work is or just what you like to do – any arts?

                    • Lol, I’m a web developer…I used to be in mental health, I don’t know if that explains things.

                      To me, I don’t think I’m awesome, I just have an approach to thinking that was influenced by earlier experiences that comes off in my writing. I explained this to @esa a while back: I was born a Jehovah’s Witness. And for the earlier part of my life I was seriously into it; you know I did the studies, I argued the bible with my Christian friends (who Jehovah Witnesses often refer to as “Christendom”), I did the whole door knocking harassment thing (got chased down the street with a machete once for knocking on a person’s door Christmas morning in Nigeria). So I was fully invested in it. Then I quit, and the more I learned about it, the more I came to the conclusion that I had belonged to a cult. There are some things so ridiculous about it that sometimes I look back and can’t help but laugh at myself.

                      Many people quit a religion not because they have a crisis of faith, but because of the people they interact with don’t make them feel a sense of belonging, or due to the hypocrisy of their mentors or leaders. I quit and then increasingly came to the realization that something I had solely invested in and solely believed to the core of my being, maybe, something I would gladly give and die for was wrong and embarrassingly so. And I was too honest to myself to say it was merely due to brainwashing or parental pressure, since my parents were never truly invested in the religion, but participated in it to carry on with family tradition. Since then, I’ve always been of the belief and have been adamant about applying it to myself, that I can easily deceive myself. Thus there’s a sense of doubt I have in anything I initially hear or believe, that constantly has to be exposed to debate, testing, questioning, argument etc, before I conclude that this indeed might be right or true. The older I’ve gotten the more I do it.

                    • Momofuku O’Murphy

                      So true, the more knowledge you absorb, the more your attitude will shift towards integrating the “i know that i know nothing” with 100% certainty EVER mindset. Oh wow that is even more interesting; I have a huge curiosity abut religion/Christianity and the bible in particular. So which is the basis for JW? I have a friend who was one. I’m most interested in the translations and the many mostly politically inspired edits that were made over thousands of years…the most original version we have, the Greek, which is already the translation from the original- Aramaic. And the NT is originally written in Ancient Greek. Are you very familiar with Leviticus? What about the untold aspects Genesis? Love talking to you!

              • brothaskeeper

                That’s the ugliest waterfall I’ve ever seen.

                • Cheech

                  Are you sure? Imagine it’s white tears.

                  • brothaskeeper

                    That’s the most beautiful waterfall I’ve ever seen!

                    • Cheech

                      I guess context is important.

              • Cheech

                In the context of this comment thread, I read this as reveling in white tears and making fun of their source.

          • Cheech

            Really, Hugh? You’re quite the practitioner of posting the picture and relying on the context to make the point. You do it quite well.

            • I’ve explained this elsewhere.

              The reason why the images work is mostly because we already share a sense of common beliefs here. We don’t need to make an argument, or convincing or persuasion, when they already believe something. An arguments sole purpose is to persuade others who don’t have a common sense of beliefs.

              • Cheech

                I understand your argument. I was just surprised that Hugh would agree with the assertion that a picture, by itself, has no context.

                Of course, you’re right that the context is the VSB comments section, which distinguishes it from a picture without any context whatsoever. But aren’t all arguments made within some comment set of awareness, assumptions, or cultural facts? In the same way that pictures are posted within a similar common set?

                I thought The Napalm Girl was a good example — it contained an argument against the Vietnam War (and perhaps against war generally), and the only context necessary for understanding was knowledge that the Vietnam War was happening.

      • A picture is an argument. An inability to read a photo doesn’t mean an argument and context aren’t there. That’s just your illiteracy.

      • Dustin John Seibert

        If a picture truly isn’t an argument, tell the 722687452376 folks who wrote thinkpieces on Formation.

        • I dropped the definition of an “argument” before that it a. provides a reason for a stance, and b. it makes a judgment that something is either right or wrong. When you see a bunch of people “interpreting” something differently, it’s mostly because what they are talking about isn’t clear.

          • EPGAH

            If it’s not clear, it’s either not an argument, or worse, it could be an argument for exactly the opposite of what you intended.

            Even your example of the Vietnamese girl on fire (Who ironically designed the Vietnam Memorial that’s making the rounds again.) could be interpreted oppositely.

            Someone would just have to add a caption, “We burned terrorists in the 1970s, why do we invite them in to rape our women now”?

            • The perfect example of this is the rorschach test.

              The person is shown an image, which by default, has no meaning…but is told to interpret it as though it does. Or more precisely, the person is asked to say, what the image means to him or her. So they see in it, what they want to see, and it reveals more about them than anything else.

              • EPGAH

                OK, I must’ve misinterpreted.

                I thought you were the one offering $100 if I could prove that a picture is not an argument in and of itself.

                • Was that your attempt lol?

                  • EPGAH

                    Yes, and it must’ve been a good attempt, I got you to agree with me in a full paragraph form.

                    Until you realized you were agreeing with me, I guess?

                    • Sigh…

                      An argument, requires two things:

                      1. A position for or against something
                      2. The reason that justifies the position (that’s what the dictionary says lol)

                      The fact that you used basically said it could mean multiple things, sometimes the exact opposite, gives complete credence to why I keep saying that a picture is not and cannot be an argument. Furthermore, the addition of a caption or text of any sort further gives credence to what I originally said.

                    • EPGAH

                      Oh, never mind then, we had the same position.

                      I thought you had written that a picture IS an argument.
                      And yes, text makes the context obvious–especially modern “artists” who put a picture, then a saying said by someone ELSE, and the ignoranti believe the person in the picture said it, if it even sort of sounds like something they might’ve said.

        • Lol, it’s also kind of funny, how many people simply can’t put two and two together.

          Everyone knows that a picture says a thousand words, which basically means it can say multiple things at once, and often say multiple things to different people. The reason why so many people can write so many think-pieces, is because the material enables it.

          When a person makes an argument, they restrict the interpretation. They’re saying, and in this case, it would Beyonce: “This is what I said…and here’s why I said it” After that, the conversation know longer rotates around what she was trying to say, or what it symbolizes, or who it represent but rather, whether you agree with it, or you don’t.

          A lot of people keep saying that it’s not true, that an image (on it’s own) can be an argument. They miss out the fact that the difference between an expression/belief and and argument isn’t what you say or what you stand for, but your “reason” for it. I wish someone could actually, I want to be proved wrong. Heck, if someone can convince me, as long as they can provide an email address, I’ll paypal them a $100.00 by the end of the week.

          http://nieuwejournalistiek.nl/app/uploads/sites/28/2016/02/100-dollar-bill-benjamin-franklin.gif

          • esa

            why do you limit “reason” to the linguistic sphere?

            also, waiting word on your thoughts about Nick Ut’s “The Napalm Girl”/”The terror of War” ~ i can’t think of a better photo to argue my point.

            ~ Everyone knows that a picture says a thousand words

            pero, this isn’t Truth. it’s a quote from Napoleon, also a convenient cliche i like to trot out here and there for a lap around the track. it’s evocative, but inaccurate.

            Truth is: pictures are silent. Truth is: photos do not speak. most do not include actual words. that is your linguistic intellect processing spatial, intrapersonal, and interpersonal information—words are a translation.

            • 2 Question:

              What are the “purpose” of words?
              What is the purpose of a picture?

              • esa

                ~ What are the “purpose” of words?

                to create a system of abstract/symbolic thinking that seemingly codifies the world in order to address needs & desires, and distribute & employ information. we rely on words because it’s a long-established comfort zone.

                ~ What is the purpose of a picture?

                to create a system of abstract/symbolic thinking that seemingly codifies
                the world in order to address needs & desires, and distribute &
                employ information. we disregard pictures because spatial intelligence is seen as lesser than linguistic and mathematica intelligences.

                ~ When do you know, for certain, something is true?

                ive just completed the step from mentally ill to nervous system disorder, which is like, the greatest achievement of my life. point being the better part of my life was Jacob wrestling with the angel, only the angel was pathology. that will make you uncertain of brain function. so Mr. Libre, i am going to go with my gut. which, as you know, is considered the second brain and praise God, it doesn’t use words ~*~

                • That question, and answering it, will be your salvation lol.

                  Let me ask you a question, more so about words…you know what “leet speech” is right? You know lol, lmao, pwned etc. I mean you were alive in an era where a new way of communicating and speaking were being developed in real time. Do you think that what you basically said the purpose of words are, matches up with what you’ve seen in your own lifetime.

                  • esa

                    ~ That question, and answering it, will be your salvation lol.

                    true (i hope)

                    ~ Do you think that what you basically said the purpose of words are, matches up with what you’ve seen in your own lifetime.

                    yea. “lol” et al. distributes information. curious, where are you going with this ?

                    • But it wasn’t developed for the purpose of any system.

                      See one of the reasons why I am often against this outlook of anti-establishment thinking, is because more times than not, it prevents simple insight that any common person living a simple life could see — it also corrupts people’s view of human nature. Leet speech was mostly asystematic in it’s development, just like most slang is. It developed for practical reasons, for fun, jokes, saying a lot with less…just like the goofy smiley faces. When all you see is brainwashed people, you tend to be more scared of them, and history has shown, people who share such sentiments have no problems treating people like ish.

                      People tend to see things as developing from the top down, because it is often those from the top or those who tend to share their sentiments about the average human being who write or create them . And like many others, they like to take credit for things that did not create. I’m sure a 100 years from now, some ignorant teen is going to believe and maybe even taught for instance, that the internet was created so the powerful could spy on everyone, of course, some already believe that…but then again, that’s what they’re paying attention to.

                    • esa

                      ~ But it wasn’t developed for the purpose of any system.

                      convenience is a purpose that follows a system.

                      ~ people who share such sentiments have no problems treating people like ish.

                      pathology springs eternal. to be fair, it’s on both sides of the fence. i dont mean to suggest anti-establishment is superior to establishment. so long as there are people, there are breeding grounds for mental dysfunction. it’s just like any other illness in that it infects the vulnerable.

                      i’m just prone to taking a position of distrust, because life has shown me that doubt is a reliable way to balance my impulse to jump to conclusions in order to avoid the work of thinking.

      • Yes, but she made a film which is a *juxtaposition* of images. It is in this juxtaposition that you find the argument. What about Beyonce makes people lose their ever-loving minds and basic knowledge of art theory? I didn’t know Richard Linklater wasn’t an artist with a coherent viewpoint because Beyonce released a visual album.

        • Well, let me ask you then, what is the argument?

          • You’ll have to find that on your own. I write about art for money, B. I don’t say this to be mean. I say this because in depth analysis is labor.

            • Lol, ironically you proved my point.

              • So you’re saying Taxi Driver doesn’t have an argument because a stranger on the internet doesn’t want to write a 500-word missive on it for you? That’s a flawed point.

                • Actually, no.

                  The purpose of an argument is to persuade someone to the rightness or wrongness of a position, as well as the reason why. This isn’t some profound insight, but has always been the definition of what an argument is. It doesn’t require a lot of detail, heck even the most nerdy and untalented writing scientist is required to at least provide an abstract of what his/her works are. The fact that an expert like yourself can’t even provide a short summary, of the argument, without delving deep into analysis and the rest, basically shows 1 of 2 things:

                  a. If there is an argument, it is so complex, and purposely so, that it is only meant to persuade a certain type or class of person, meeting a certain level of expertise. And is not desired to be understood by laypersons at all. After all, who are you trying to persuade to your position?

                  or b. an argument was never made in the first place, and the reason why everyone keeps reaching and coming out with different interpretations, is because they are engaged in a wild goose chase.

                  • It’s not that I can’t. It’s that I won’t. That I won’t doesn’t mean there is no argument to be made.

                    • You said you won’t because you get paid for it and that it’s difficult…didn’t you.

                    • I said it was labor. By this I mean, it is labor for which I deserved to be paid because it is my profession.

                    • If the issue is my use of “labor”— and I think it is, I’ll amend my comment. I mean it’s work that I get paid for, and I don’t want to do it for free.

    • Junegirl627

      Why does Beyoncé have to be the 2016 version of sojourna truth and rewrite the letter from a Birmingham jail for people like you to give her props.

      She has people talking, loving, reveling, and revealing their experience as a black woman. Let that positivity reign for today.

      The only thing worse than wipipo going full wyte, is black men going full crab in a barrel on Bey

    • Annalise Keating

      It takes a “powerful mind” to create a powerful image. Talent comes in many forms not just writing.

      I would argue that she is a much better performer and visual artist than she is a singer/song writer/musician. “Formation” the video was much much better than “formation” the song.

      I think this is why she releases visual albums first instead of audio albums. She knows her strengths and weakness. And she plays to her strengths.

      pS: members of the beygency- please give me a few days to get my affairs in order before banishing me from the beyhive and earth permanently. ?

    • P Smith

      reason why men should stay out of it, too.

      • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

        Men should stay out of a discussion of Beyonce’s work?

      • Dustin John Seibert

        Pure, unadulterated idiocy.

    • LKNMRE

      You sound like a misogynist.

      • Dustin John Seibert

        You read like you don’t actually know what a misogynist is. Read up; do better next time.

        • LKNMRE

          I’m sorry about whoever hurt you but please stop using your pain to diminish the art of Black women. <3 Feel better.

    • LMNOP

      She gets her message to a lot more people, and in a much more immediate way than than sociologists though.

      The world needs all types of people with all types of gifts.

    • Ess Tee

      But Dustin, do you require this (the ability to speak academic-ese with Black sociologists and intellectuals) of all the Black musical acts you enjoy/listen to?

    • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

      Look, I’m constantly one of those dudes who wish to put the power of Beyonce’s social commentary in proper context vis-a-vis intellectuals and revolutionaries (cause some of her fans go there), but I think there is room for her to be substantive on real issues as an artist, without us needing to rate (or berate) the power of her mind or intellectualism. Let’s her shine in her space and recognize that as a popular artists, she’s shining.

      • Dustin John Seibert

        I mean, let her do what she does. But if this were a white person co-opting black American culture, you guys would be out like vultures. Instead, it’s a black woman co-opting other foreign cultures, so it’s cool I guess.

        • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

          I know you are being a bit tongue-in-cheek, but yes, if this were a white person co-opting black culture we would be out like vultures and rightly so. However, this is a black woman, experiencing what appears to be growth in perspective and cultural expression that many black artists and (dare I say) intellectuals, have experienced to salutary effect. Now as far as her co-opting foreign cultures, maybe its a pass, maybe its that there is a long history of black artists (and peoples in general) engaging in cultural adaptation and transmission afforded by our reality of double-consciousness in America (and lack of our own extended cultural history). On the other hand, if any foreign culture wish to object to that co-opting, I’d be willing to listen.

    • cilgen

      Dustin, I’m saddened you felt the need to make this comment. What drove you to be so dismissive? Intelligence – intellect – can manifest itself in so many forms, as Junegirl stated below. Powerful imagery emanates from a powerful mind. Where else could it be realized?

      I’m also not clear on why a conversation with black sociologists and intellectuals is a particular marker. Of what exactly? Some of the black sociologists and “intellectuals” I’ve known (and I have known a few) aren’t especially insightful or interesting, although they believe they are. In many instances they exemplify something my mother would say from time to time: “They think more highly of themselves than they should.”

      It’s quite clear to me that Beyonce may be far more well-read – and has a wider curiosity about the world – than many of us might imagine. And I say all of that as no stan of hers, but I will definitely give her the respect I believe she’s due. Lemonade was an amazing tour de force, as far as I’m concerned. It spoke directly to my heart and spirit, and I feel stronger – dare I say more powerful – for having experienced it.

    • pls

      You’re doing exactly what they want you to do. We know she had help, but the fact that she wanted to convey this message says a lot about her head space. If she couldn’t keep up with Jay intellectually, I doubt they would have made it down the aisle.

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