The great Jeff H. came into town last Wednesday. After a lovely dinner and 4+ bottles of wine, he treated us to a few of his favorite YouTube videos. One of which was the extended version of Beyonce's Get Me Bodied which I am bit embarrassed to say I had never seen. To call it amazing is an understatement. The moves alone make it a triumph, and its charm rivals the cafe dance scene in Godard's Bande a Part. Peep it here.
I have to admit I have been a Beyonce hater for a long time, basically since Destiny's Child became the Beyonce show. Rather fittingly, the video features all the members of Destiny's Child. Prior to this turn of events are some fond memories though
September 30, 2000, Dallas Texas: I have never been to another State Fair so I really have no frame of reference but the Texas State Fair is quite spectacular. All the rides are about to fall apart in the best possible way and there is a competition to see who can deep fry the most disgusting food product - twinkies, oreo cookies, cheesecake, and more recently coke-a-cola. The greater culinary specialty on hand is BBQ'd Turkey Legs though. Also given that the suffocating heat in Texas is finally starting to give way to fall this time of year, it all equals a truly magical experience.
But this day was even more magical. The two new pop sensations Christina Aguilera and Destiny's Child were going to be performing for free. Its hard to imagine now but at the time no one knew who Beyonce was and the group was barely in the mainstream cultural ether. For reasons not quite ironic I made it a point to visit the fair this particular day.
Deep blue skies and deep fried fatty foods abound. Upon arriving I learned that they were performing in a large field with a make-shift stage. After getting lost for a bit, all of the sudden I was confronted with a sea of people. It took a moment for my eyes to adjust but I quickly noticed that almost every single one of them was swaying their large BBQ'd Turkey Legs in the air, rhythmically and in unison.
I realized shortly thereafter that Destiny's Child was performing in the not too distant horizon. I had no camera at the time and have no proof other than my still shocked consciousness. It remains as one of the most humorous and disturbingly beautiful visions I have ever seen. I only wish post-global warming historians had a record of it, as sublime proof of the American Empire's zenith prior to its quick collapse; A temporary community waving the haunches of dead animals in sync to Bills Bills Bills.
The YouTube extravaganza ended on an even higher note with Jeff playing this 1969 live performance by Nina Simone. While I do love the Beyonce video, it can not compare. I am speechless and Thank You dear Jeff H.