Okay who else thinks that is a title I never expected to see on this blog? I know I didn’t and yet here I am writing. Let’s start at the beginning. 1. I am not a fan of rap music, though several songs have some appeal. I can safely say I’m not convinced I have ever heard anything Jay-Z had been involved in. 2. While her voice and performing skills are impressive, I’m not really into Beyonce’s music either. So why write this post? Because it has nothing to do with their music and everything to do with the subject of this blog.
Over the last few months, there have been rumors swirling that this couple would soon be divorcing. If someone with the level of fandom listed above is a little tired of hearing it, you know it’s gotten huge press. We live in a celebrity obsessed culture. Now please hear me. I am all about the sanctity of marriage and I grieve when couples reach an impass and decide to divorce, so on that level, I was concerned, but celebrity marriages are so fragile, and this is so common, I just was not surprised.
Today though I got a little sick to my stomach. It turns out they floated the divorce rumor to build publicity for their tour. If this is true, and it looks like it is, I am outraged. How much attention do two people need? Everytime they break wind there’s a reporter there to tell us about it. For crying out loud. Two people, who we’ll presume love each other, were willing to lie about the end of their marriage to put a few more butts in the seats. I’ll say it again, how much attention do two people need?
Here’s the reality we live in. There are billions of things that vie for people’s attention. Beyonce and Jay-Z decided to capitalize on society’s interest in dirty laundry to get it, but there are better ways and these will work for you as well.
1. Make better art. Sorry to Mr. and Mrs. Z but it would seem to me that the best way to fill auditoriums is to give us a piece of art we can’t ignore. Surely this is better than heaping big, horrible lies on people who care enough about you to make you rich. An audience is a sacred trust. Treat them well.
2. Do something good. Here’s a thought… Rather than telling us you’re divorcing, if you want some attention, if you want to get us into your concert seats, give us a compelling story. There are a million great causes out there. Pick one and show us how coming to your show will help you do something, anything, good. People are raising millions by pouring buckets of ice on their heads. It doesn’t take much if the cause is good.
Congratulations to Beyonce and Jay-Z. You took something that breaks many people’s hearts and turned it into a cheap publicity stunt. I don’t believe in Karma… pity. For the rest of us, the best way to get attention is to make great art and do some good. You may not ever get filthy rich (or you might), but you can create with integrity and rest well knowing you did something that matters.