Editors Note: Before the Bobo defense squad piles tearily on, a surprising many of us here at the Guardian do, indeed, love Beyonce -- perhaps a bit too much. We wait on baited tenterhooks for the mashup of her latest with that MIA vid.
I'm sorry, Beyonce. I'm just not buying it. Glycerin tears and and "naughty" Bettie Page-inspired get-ups (in your new video for "Why Don't You Love Me?") do not a believable actress make, and we know that this is a ludicrous question for either you -- or your bad girl alter-ego Sascha Fierce (who, should you need reminding, you killed off at the beginning of the year) -- to ask.
First off, you are in, by all accounts and gossipy speculation, a happily drama-free relationship with J. Second, you are loved and adored by billions of fans the world over (perhaps a more accurate complaint would have been, "Why don't you love me more?").
Now, I understand that this is a pop song, and that you are inhabiting a persona in order to telegraph a certain emotional state many of us have experienced, so that when your fans hear you song they can say to themselves, "B knows my pain. She is speaking to my heartache. Etc. Etc." But for that magical bit of transubstantiation to work -- as it does when, say, Etta James, turns plain old "just" into an ugly, gnarled invective in "I'd Rather Go Blind" -- we need to be confident in your selling capabilities. There is no doubt that you can sell "sexy" and "drunk-on-the-sweet-nectar-of-love" and "empowered" and even "empowered-when-wronged." But just plain wronged, hurt, unappreciated? To passably summon that kind of grit takes a bit more finesse and skill, especially from someone who seems as, well, just plain nice as you.