The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 18, 2013

Mike Pound: No, Beyonce, you do the singing ...

I was busy trying to avoid work Thursday when I came across a story that compelled me to write.

It’s not as easy to avoid work as you might think. Oh sure, to the untrained eye screwing around on the computer checking baseball news, looking for Twitter posts that make me laugh or reading another story about Congress voting to repeal “everything that has ever been done in the history of history that we don’t like” might look easy.

It’s not.

What happens is this: I’ll be reading The Washington Post online, for example (Motto: Hey, remember us? We did those Watergate stories!), instead of working when all of a sudden I come across a story that makes me think for a second and the next thing you know I’m thinking about writing a column, which for me is actually working.

Granted, I’m not working in the sense that the folks who built the pyramids worked, but in my own way I am working.

On Thursday I was reading a story about politics when I saw this headline: “Beyonce yells at fan mid-concert: ‘Put that damn camera down!’” And the next thing I knew I was working.

I don’t know much about Beyonce other than the fact that the accent in her name belongs on the last syllable so it’s pronounced “Be-on-SAY.” I know this because I once pronounced it “BEE-ON-say” and my daughter laughed until she cried.

Anyway, Beyonce is a performer whose songs I’ve never heard of and probably wouldn’t like even if I had, which is OK, because I don’t think she is trying to sell concert tickets to middle-age newspaper columnists.

Call it a hunch.

According to the story, Beyonce is a “notoriously controlling star.” I don’t know Beyonce so I don’t know if that’s true, but even if she is, I don’t have a problem with that. Maybe the reason she’s a star is because she is notoriously controlling.

According to the story, Beyonce was performing in concert when she noticed someone in the front row recording her show with a cellphone. The story said that Beyonce was leading the crowd in a “sing along” when she noticed the fan with the cellphone and said the following: “See you can’t sing because you’re too busy taping. I’m right in your face baby. You gotta seize the moment baby. Put that damn camera down!”

The story doesn’t say what the fan did, if anything, but I have an idea what I would have done. I’m pretty sure I would have said, “Look BEE-ON-say! That’s right. I mispronounced your name. Do you know how much a front row seat to one of your concerts costs? For that kind of money, if I want to watch a baseball game, clip my toe nails, reset my iTunes password AND record you on my cellphone, that’s what I’m going to do. Now be quiet and get back to singing.”

I don’t mean that in a bad way. For all I know, Beyonce may have been trying to be nice to the fan. For all I know, she was trying to get the fan to live in the moment and not get hung up on the future.

I also might have mentioned to Beyonce that I paid money to hear HER sing. I didn’t pay money to have to sing along with her. I hate when performers lead crowds in sing alongs.

“LA LA LA LA ... come everybody, sing along with me!”

No. You’re the singer. I’m the listener. You sing. I’ll listen.

The other day I took my car to get new tires. At no time did one of the mechanics ever come out to the waiting room and say, “Come on Mike, loosen the lug nuts on these tires with me!”

It would be like me stopping in mid-column and saying, “Come on everyone, type along with me. Well, except you George Will.”

Nothing against George, but I’m thinking he would type a lot of big words that nobody else has heard before.

Besides, I hear he is notoriously controlling.

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