In what even Slate is calling a "bizarre" spectacle, last night the Grammys featured a group 'wedding' involving 30-some couples, heterosexual and homosexual alike, officiated by Queen Latifah.
According to a New York Times ArtsBeat article before the show aired, "the producers behind the program... [were] hoping that the biggest show-stopper of the night [would] be a much more solemn event." It is perhaps nonetheless rather telling that the broadcast of the wedding didn't occur until after 11 PM, perhaps the producers hedging their bets on that show-stopping solemnity. It also perhaps strains the meaning of the word "solemn" too much to assign it as a modifier to an event involving Madonna in a cowboy hat.
But apart from this spectacle which, at least to some folks' sensibilities, might be taken as an unseemly trivialization of the gravity of marriage, those of us who missed the Grammys missed out on another testament to the nuptial mystery - or, at least, that's what Alyssa Rosenberg at the utlra-liberal ThinkProgress alleges.
In her piece, Rosenberg is responding to a charge in New York Times by Ross Douthat that "liberalism itself has undercut the two-parent family — through the liberal-dominated culture industry’s permissive, reductive attitudes toward sex."
Rosenberg rejects this charge, holding up as evidence for her contrary position - wait for it - the Grammy performance of Beyonce and Jay-Z doing a song called "Drunk in Love."
It is a song which Rosenberg herself calls "raunchy, fun and even silly" [emphasis added]. In the performance, Beyonce was adorned (according to The Hollywood Reporter) in "Saint Laurent black tights, custom bra, La Perla collar body and Nichole de Carle body suit, complete with wavy wet hair" and performed while "expertly twirling in a chair."
Rosenberg concludes of the performance, "If marriage is a product that conservatives desperately want to sell, the smartest thing they could do right now is to hire Beyoncé and Jay-Z as a product spokescouple."
But as we won't be quoting any of the raunchy song's lyrics nor linking to video of the performance, it must suffice to say that we politely decline Rosenberg's suggestion.
For our part, we think that neither of the 'performances' last night are an ideal starting place for a proper understanding of marriage.