6A - Wednesday, March 20, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
fiA - Wednesday, March 20, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
Queen B tells you
all to 'Bow Down'
shallow selfie culture
can do more than
By RAY MALO
Daily Arts Writer
Beyonce the performer has
had a hell of a few months. She
ripped through halftime at the
Super Bowl, riding a wave of
Destiny's Child and solo jams
that half the country didn't even
realize were bona fide classics
until they, too, were singing
along. Then, in her HBO docu-
mentary, she reminded us how
ferocious her choreographed
award show performances have
been, especially the highly styl-
ized Billboard performance of
"Who Run the World (Girls)." It
wasn't entirely obvious for a few
years there, sifting through the
Gagas and RiRis and Katys, but
it's now a certainty that Beyonc6
is the most important female
singer in the world. It makes
sense, given the competition. As
much as I like the music those
other women have made, they're
all pretty sub-par singers. Glad
we sorted that out.
And so, it's appropriate that
B's first new material of the year
isn't just a rehash of her previous
melisma marathons, say, "Love
on Top," or "Halo." She doesn't
need to prove to anyone that
she can flat-out sing (I ain't even
lookin' at you, National Anthem
sensationalists). There's noth-
ing sugary about "Bow Down/I
Been On." She does a little sing-
ing, sure, and she sounds fantas-
tic as usual. But from the first
instance she commands her lis-
teners to "bow down, bitches,"
we can hear her turn a corner.
Queen B has always had a little
stank in her voice, especially
when live and supported by
backing tracks, but that line is
then she First seen on
goes and -the filter
By CARLINA DUAN
Daily Community Culture Editor
"So, Tinder ... is that all the rage
on college campuses these days?"
Across the table, my profes-
sor and his colleague gaze at me
intently. I'm puncturing moz-
zarella balls with a plastic fork,
surrounded by middle-aged,
wine-sipping writers at a confer-
ence in Boston. I stare into my
champagne cup of water. Gesture
towards the air with my hands.
"Well," I say, "I mean ... It's treat-
ed sarcastically. Nobody takes
On later thought, though, is
Tinder viewed as a joke at univer-
sities? Or is it just me? After all,
on a campus as huge as the Uni-
versity's, speed dating - whether
in person or online - seems to
be gaining momentum. And the
fact that I was even asked such
a question could mean the app is
peeling off its obscurity.
When my friend showed me
the Tinder app on her iPhone
last month, my immediate reac-
tion was disgust.
Tinder, self-described as "a
fun way to break the ice," is an
online mobile dating service,
used to connect one with poten-
tial partners. On the official Tin-
der website, the app lauds itself
as an "all anonymous" process,
"until someone you like, likes
you back." Think of it as a digital
Matchmaker of some sorts, only
instead of qualifying your date
through shared interest, Tin-
der brings together those with
mutual physical attraction.
But it's not completely anony-
mous. Various facts - such as
your first name, your relative
geographic location - are given.
By linking up one's Facebook
account to Tinder, people scroll
through the Facebook profile
pictures of other Tinder users
located nearby. Beneath each
picture is a "heart" button and
an "X" button. Click the "heart"
if you're looking at a hottie;
"X" out that person, if not. If
both users click "hearts" for
one another, Tinder will enable
the two to chat within the App.
Tinder is "anonymous" in (too old, too short, too much facial
nse that it won't notify you hair).
rs click "X" or a "heart." It teaches us that dating, then,
en I first glanced at the is a process of physical attraction
felt dumb and elderly. And and only physical attraction. Judg-
of all: exposed. I don'thave ment has always been ingrained
er account. Still, I found within our culture. In fact, judg-
swiping through Tinder ing others is a natural tendency.
on my friend's iPhone - Yet, in more recent years, it seems
g at the profiles of people as if this judgment is more pub-
w, and strangers - with lic than it ever has been before.
ulity. "People actually use To say I'm uncomfortable with
it?" I hollered. Tinder is perhaps too plain a
then again, why was I so statement. It propagates "ugly"
or "pretty" judgment - putting
everybody on a scale. But I'm
Decide if more uncomfortable with the fact
that, in our generation, attraction
meone's hot can be used or dismissed with the
swipe of a finger.
not with just Maybe I'm tying in too much
tradition with dating. After all,
one swipe. speed dating - which is essen-
tially what Tinder is - is sup-
posed to be fast, harmless and
sed? With the rise of "self- And with Tinder, after all, it's
oto apps like Snapchat and not like you're really getting to
phasis on Facebook profile know the person. You're only
es, is it really so shocking looking ata picture, deciding hot
inder exists? Today's gen- or not, which most of us already
of iPhone-bearing, Insta- do on an everyday basis. And
ng, photo-snapping college because of this, rejection might *
very much one that loves to not be as stinging as it could be
others - and be looked at. in a real-life context.
en the other person clicks But it creeps me out to think
ke" button, we're delighted. of all those eyes on a screen,
like Facebook, Instagram, unfamiliar ones, that we're
hat and Tinder make us feel allowing to judge us. For me, the
rarily wanted. Yet simulta- "heart" and the "X" buttons are
p there's an undercurrent demeaning. When it comes to
blic" judgment occurring first-time dating, I'd rather look
'inder that doesn't happen at the face of a person and have
iceably with other apps. them look back at me. Conversa-
mediums like Facebook tions on a screen are too fleeting
'k a "dislike" button, Tinder for me, lack meaning and usually
in offering a way to reject - take on a much different attitude
t - a love interest. than conversations in real life.
e, Tinder is an online dat- I'm not sure about the future
vice. And yes, it links peo- of Tinder. In cities where young
gether. I'm sure there are lovers flock, cities like Los Ange-
le love stories that have les and New York, it seems to
ed across online or digital be on a trending rise. But I'm
ts, and I'm not condemn- positive I won't be getting an
em. My problem with apps account. The prospect of strang-
nder is an obvious one: It ers' eyes - glossing me over,
permission for those in our swiping me in or out - makes
e to rate others based on me view Tinder with sarcasm,
al appearance, and further- with annoyance and, yeah, with
it teaches us how to slash an a little fear.
those we find unattractive
that vocal modulator that brings
your voice down an octave or
two for the second half. And
she stops singing altogether.
It's amazing. The woman wide-
ly regarded as the finest pop
singer in the game is essentially
rapping, and all the way down
there, at the impossible low-end
range usually reserved for when
Yeezy wants to remind us what
girls ain't on TV.
There's so much more I could
say, but I won't bother to specu-
late much here. Look, Bey's not
going to put out an entire album
that sounds like this track; that
just wouldn't work. But this is
perfect kiss-off for a woman
who has put in an insane amount
of work to achieve living-legend
status. She's on top, at age 31.
Whether it's a snippet of two
songs or meant to be as one is
uncertain, for now, as is whether
or not "Bow Down" and/or "I
Been On" will even make it on a
still unannounced next album.
Yet in this moment, the track
serves as a damn good remind-
er that our girl is pretty much
untouchable. "I been on," demon
Beyonc6 raps, "Tell me who
gonna take me off?" You tell me.
- The original version of this
article was published on The Fil-
ter, the Daily Arts blog, on March
RELEASE DATE- Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
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as a sandwich award
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