Wednesday, June 20, 2007

"conversant on existentialism"

After hearing about yesterday's NPR article "For Shakira, an Emotional Homecoming Show," I imagined an encounter between Shakira, Beyonce, and French existentialist Jean Paul Sartre.
Being is. Being is in-itself. Being is what it is.

Shakira: (Twisting Beyonce's hair into braids.) You know those lyrics from "Hips Don't Lie"? It goes, "Oh boy, I can see your body moving / Half animal, half man / I don't, don't really know what I'm doing / But you seem to have a plan / My will and self restraint / Have come to fail now, fail now / See, I am doing what I can, but I can't so you know / That's a bit too hard to explain."

Beyonce: (Giggling.) Yeah, I remember.

Shakira: I was really trying to articulate Sartrean nausea in the face of overwhelming freedom.

Beyonce: Yeah, I got that.

Shakira: God, Beyonce, you're so smart! Your friendship is like the unavowable gift Derrida writes about: it unhinges the narrative contingencies of pure spirit and opens the word into the openness of being.

Beyonce: (Twirling her own hair.) Uh-huh.

Shakira: It's like what you sing in "Irreplaceable." It reminds me so much of Rilke's first Duino Elegy. (Taking the text from the nightstand, she reads from the original German. Then she paraphrases into English.) "Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror."

Beyonce: For sure!

Sartre recedes in disgust. Derrida turns in his grave. And Rilke wishes a rock would fall on Shakira's head. (Actually, we all wish a rock would fall on Shakira.... But really a rock should fall on Juan Forero, the idiot NPR reporter who wrote such drivel.)

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