On a scale of national controversies from 1 to 10, this Beyonce lipsynching controversy is probably a 2 at best. I am not even a big purist on singing. When madonna mostly lipsynched in the SB, I understood why as there was a lot of dancing and you pretty much knew it was lipsynched. Kelly Clarkson didn't lipsynch. But in the morning, all the reports focused on what a performance Beyonce gave.
However, I would like to use this mini controversy as an excuse to highlight the practice of faking, white lies, photoshopping, reenacting, recreation, photoshopping, the acceptance of fake reality shows as ethically acceptable without any disclaimers as a troubling trend. The Beyonce incident is just a small part o the point of the diary.
For me, if this is meant to be part of historical record, why not have her sing live and if her voice cracks due to a sudden case of sore throat, why not have that recorded as part of posterity. Isn't the honor of singing for the President worth the risk of looking less than perfect? And if the President's staff was responsible for it, is our country so fragile that they can't handle a flawed live performance? If the media overreacts to a raw performance with flaws, then our scorn should be aimed at the commentators who want sanitized performances. Again, I know lipsynching is common, but something about a Presidential inauguration where people have trouble believing politicians of either party should encourage more honesty. It is a different matter that Beyonce is capable of singing it live. I think it shows more character to forge ahead warts and all (and I say thiis not just about Beyonce but about the political staff who may have forced this decision).
The same applied for the Nancy Pelosi photo gate (again, a very trivial issue when compared to real controversies in DC). This was when they had all the female congresswomen take a group photoshoot. 2 or 3 could not show up, and so they took a separate picture and integrated the two pictures so it looks like everyone showed up. Now it seems like such a tiny issue, but I am concerned that it will become too common. Now I understand why they did it. It is needed for practical reasons. AND GIVE PELOSI CREDIT HERE because the picture was accompanied with a comment that the photo was altered. Now where my concern arises is if this becomes historical record down the road without a suitable caption. So I do not even consider it a controversy. We have enough trouble with right wingers altering historical record from established factual evidence like Obama's birth certificate.
I do think photoshopping can become the new paintings where interesting hypothetical scenarios can be creatively brought up. Take the last supper.
I could have a whole another diary on the lowering of standards in our society with the glut of reality shows where it is accepted by all that such shows are going to be fake and not all of them even bother to put up disclaimers. It's one thing to fake reality on the Real World on MTV or Jersey Shore whose characters are meant to be laughed at. The problem is when "serious" channels start altering reality and do not give the average viewer a reasonable indication that most of it is faked. You watch TLC and you feel like suing them to change their name from the Learning Channel just based on the content alone let alone the fact that they work to alter reality. or the Food Channel whose restaurant stakeout or mystery diner shows are a total joke. I don't even trust the History Channel to be factual anymore. Same with Discovery. I have no problem with recreations if they are done the way the ID channel does them with their crime recreations with actors and those ID shows do not suffer by making it clear to the viewer what part of it is a recreation.
Now we always have had people in politics and showbiz manipulate the truth of what is going on, even in the "good old days". But we have a lot more people in the media and tuned in to the media. So more of us become complicit in this practice of the alteration of truth. Does it slowly change the character of the nation? Does that play a part in someone on Wall Street being OK with fudging a small thing on a reprt which unknown to that one little cog in the machine helps cover up a much bigger scandal? I don't know. BUt it would be interesting to hear what others think.
I would like to leave the fiction to movies and sitcoms.
[UPDATE]: Now there is some confusionon whether Beyonce lipsynced or not. I decided to retain the diary as I only use her name to provide a hook into the discussion. I make it clear it is a trivial controversy when taken as an individual event.