The Fascism of the Fame Game
The female pop star is akin to the mayfly; a delicate little creature that appears briefly, in the flower of its life, flutters around, oohs and aahs, and then disappears...no one knows where. This is its essence and natural law. If it continues past its sell-by-date it has to evolve into a different creature and jettison much of what makes it it.
I use the term 'it' advisedly, in order to reflect the great wisdom and discovery of our gloriously enlightened age, namely that gender is just another color painted on the canvas – or a squiggly line on the etch-a-sketch – of human nature.
An 'it' can be a he when it wants, or a she – lift up the toilet seat or lay it down; a pitcher or a catcher, a patcher or citcher; the possibilities are endless and we haven't even introduced sheep, children, or dead people yet.
By abolishing this arbitrary distinction between one half of humanity and the other, think of all the human kapital that can be unleashed and marketized in the same way that we were able to marketize the ability of the financially illiterate to pay off mortgages!
But back to Beyonce and any other female pop star who's been at it too long...
Blinded by the limelight's glare they flutter unthinkingly across the Faustian line into rather too much success and somewhat too lengthy a career. But instead of their souls, which possibly remain encased in their little toes, what they end up losing is their femininity, something made evident by the gruesome pictures that emerged of Beyonce from her half-time performance at the latest Super Bowl.
We've been here before: Madonna at the start of her career. If not exactly virginal, there was nevertheless something girlish, sexy, even cute about her; typified by her mascaraed doe eyes, downy eyebrows, and candy-store costumery: a guilty pleasure, a furry peach, a naughty little girl, innocence begging corruption.
But then she also strayed beyond the chronology of the pop mayfly, something she could only do by jettisoning all femininity. That and that alone would make the God of Pop-Death turn away and bestow his amnesia-inducing attentions elsewhere. From the faux-innocence of femininity that evoked thoughts of deflowerment, she turned herself into a desert of sexless depravity.
The form this took was a bundle of rigorously honed muscles on bone; a gyrating automaton that robotically aped sexuality in all its absurdity; sex on a stick projected at a fast retreating public; one giant car-crash with a million rubber-neckers, a freak-show for the name-recognition generation, the great unwashed collectors of unlistened to CDs.
We see the same thing with Beyonce. Widely regarded as the most beautiful "woman of color," she has been trapped by that vital PR role and the R'n'B references of her ethnicity to pump and grind and shake that booty like the flywheel of a steam engine till every hint of femininity has been stripped away, leaving only a ghastly marionette show; a grinning death's head caricature of sexuality that fits perfectly into a stadium-filling aesthetic that has its roots in the earlier part of the twentieth century.
"The Fame Monster," Lady Gaga called it without knowing what she was referring to. We want our Whores of Babylon, but they have to be mighty. But they can only be mighty by losing all feminine weakness and becoming pure Will-to-Power dressed in leather lingerie. To drive the machine of global fame, they have to accept a kind of "unigender fascism," a mixture of masculine muscle, howling, and pain comingled with the feminine desire to be loved and coveted: emotionally feminine; physically masculine – a penis coming out of a vagina, in other words.
Spengler said apropos the approach of Fascism:
"Hardness, Roman hardness is taking over now. Soon there will be no room for anything else. Art, yes; but in concrete and steel. Literature, yes; but by men with iron nerves and uncompromising depth of vision."If he had known the popular culture of our times, he would have recognized Beyonce as a misplaced manifestation of his thought, minus the "depth of vision" obviously.
Show business is a Fascistic realm of ruthless competition. The competition may be towards the crassest, the lamest, or the lowest common denominator, but it is competition all the same and just as ruthless as the Stalingrad front.
The dynamic of show business is vertical not horizontal; it is masculine not feminine, and those women who push themselves to get to top can only excel by becoming itses and not sheses.
Because she's Black – despite her mulatto blood, skin lightener, and wigs or strightener – Beyonce can go a lot further along this road before anyone dare notice that the empress, while not exactly naked, looks pretty fucking gruesome, and more like the emperor or Conan the Barbarian.
Her half-time show at the Super Bowl brought this into focus. Called on to outdo her usual schlock, she overreached herself causing her mask to slip beyond the PR recovery zone, presenting photographers with the chance to capture a scowling, she-Hulk monstrosity, with thighs like pistons, and unnatural hair that seemed stapled on in an ironic comment on her lost femininity.
A woman that prostitutes her sexuality in the manner of Madonna or Beyonce can justly be called a bitch – even though this is an insult to many a decent canine – but when such a bitch aspires to Whore of Babylon status, then she risks becoming merely a dog.
9th of February, 2013