Thursday, January 10, 2013

Evolving Into Something

It's all the rage today.   Evolution is in vogue.

That would not be the evolution God is responsible for, or which took place without God, or never took place at all.   After thousands of years of recorded history, some celebrities indicate they still haven't fully evolved.

First, Barack Obama, who as an office seeker in a liberal district in Chicago, Illinois in 1996 was "in favor (of) legalizing same-sex marriage."  In 2004 he believed "marriage is between a man and a woman" because the position "is in my faith."   However, by December, 2010 he claimed his "feelings about this are constantly evolving," though there was no mention of whether his denomination had evolved.   (Actually, it had fully "evolved.").  Six months later he was still opposed but maintained he was "evolving on it."  Two days after his running mate voiced his support for same-sex marriage, Obama on May 9, 2012 discovered he had completely evolved.

At least we knew all along that Obama supported the right of an individual to marry someone of either gender.  Sean Hannity, however, found religion soon after the shellacking taken in November by Republicans, in part by alienating hispanics.  He abruptly adopted the position of most liberal Democrats (a few of us excepted) and contended, as reported by Politico, he has “evolved” on immigration and now supports a “pathway to citizenship."

If Obama evolved to where he always was, and Hannity saw the light (albeit for primarily political purposes), Beyonce- Knowles Carter is just plain loathsome.

Pop singer Beyonce began a relationship with PepsiCo in 2002 and recently signed a $50 million deal with the soft drink giant.   In a letter dated December 17 addressed to Knowles-Carter, the Center for Science in the Public Interest noted the celebrity's status as a role model and explained

Consumption of Pepsi and other sugary drinks is helping fuel an epidemic of obesity and obesity-related diseases that are debilitating in both children and adults.  More than any other category of food or beverage, sugary drinks are associated with increased risk of weight gain and obesity, which increase the risk of diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Sugary drinks also cause tooth decay and other health problems.

In fact, each additional sugary drink consumed per day increases the risk of heart disease in men by 19 percent. Drinking one or two sugary drinks per day increases one's risk for type 2 diabetes by 25 percent. Diabetes, in turn, can cause complications including amputation,erectile dysfunction, blindness, coma, and early death. Almost all obesity-related health problems have a disproportionate impact on low-income, African-American, and Hispanic communities.  it's worth noting that 29 percent of black adolescents (about twice the percentage of whites and Mexican Americans) are obese, and 80 per cent of African American women are overweight or obese.

In response to some criticism, Beyonce responded "Pepsi embraces creativity and understands that artists evolve... As a businesswoman, this allows me to work with a lifestyle brand with no compromise and without sacrificing my creativity."

There you have it.  The pop diva says PepsiCo is allowing her "to work with a lifestyle brand with no compromise." No one is forcing her hand, and she is pushing a dangerous product (and one inferior to Coca-Cola, of similar hazard to human beings) "without sacrificing my creativity."  

Beyonce assures us that the company "embraces creativity and understands that artists evolve."   PepsiCo's motive is only virtuous, nothing more than "embracing creativity," whatever that means.  Nor is it easy to understand, in this context, what "artists evolve" implies, which seems to substantiate Wendy Williams' impression of her.   Evidently, Beyonce chooses to believe she is, as a singer, an artist.   And that artists are a more highly evolved species than mere mortals; after all, she argues "artists"- not human beings or people- evolve, presumably to an elevated plane somewhere.

The remarks are reprehensible, but no more so than the actions.   The CSPI suggested that if she does not reconsider her deal, she donate the proceeds to a charity which combats soda-related diseases.   Certainly, that would be of some benefit- but only of limited value.   Association of a superstar with a product improves sales both in the short term and in the long term as the public image of the product soars, in this case one with a debilitating impact on Americans.   While she reaps the (financial) rewards of fame, Beyonce needs to defy the convention of Hollywood and assume the responsibility of being the role model which defines her relationship with a large portion of the public.

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