“Grief sedated by orgasm, orgasm heightened by grief”: Beyoncé, “Lemonade” and the new reality of infidelity – ESTHER PEREL FRIDAY, APR 29, 2016 04:00 PM PDT

It’s time to change the way we talk about affairs — and Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” is a powerful first step

"Grief sedated by orgasm, orgasm heightened by grief": Beyoncé, "Lemonade" and the new reality of infidelity

“Are you cheating on me?” Beyoncé asks in her visual album “Lemonade,” which premiered last weekend on HBO. She throws open a door, and water gushes forth—an apt metaphor for the flood of emotions that her question, and its implied answer, unleashes.

As a couples therapist, I’ve sat with hundreds of women, and men, in the turbulent aftermath of infidelity. For the past decade, I’ve been traveling the globe listening to tales of betrayal from every side. What struck me about Beyoncé’s album was both the universality of its themes and the unusual way in which it presented them. Whether autobiography or simply art, her multimedia treatise on unfaithful love represents a refreshing break with this country’s accepted narratives on the topic.

In the American backyard, adultery is sold with a mixture of condemnation and titillation. Magazine covers peddle smut while preaching sanctimony. While our society has become sexually open to the point of overflowing, when it comes to infidelity even the most liberal minds can remain intransigent. We may not be able to stop the fact that it happens, but we can all agree that it shouldn’t.

Another thing most Americans seem to agree on is that infidelity is among the worst things that can happen to a couple. The dialogue here is framed in terms borrowed from trauma, crime and religion: victims and perpetrators; injured parties and infidels; confession, repentance and redemption. As a European, I can testify that in other cultures, the betrayal is no less painful, but the response is more philosophical and pragmatic. Americans do not cheat any less than the supposedly lascivious French; they just feel more guilty about it, because the experience here is framed in moral terms.

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ICYMI: Being a Poor, Single Mom Is Hard – BY KAT STOEFFEL March 19 2014

In addition to getting gagillionaire Beyoncé to say that gender equality is a myth in print, Maria Shriver’s Shriver Report has produced a documentary about how that fact affects women who makes $9.49 an hour. Paycheck to Paycheck follows Katrina Gilbert, a 30-year-old certified nurse assistant and single mother of three who is sometimes ineligible for food stamps, denied financial aid for college, and forced to sell the family dog. Slate called her the “most sympathetic poor woman in America.” It’s streaming free all this week.


How Beyoncé Is Saving the Planet With Her New Album – By James West | Tue Dec. 17, 2013 3:00 AM GMT

Purchasing “Beyoncé” online instead of as a CD could cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 percent.

Courtesy Columbia Records
Last Friday, in an act of screw-you-I’m-Beyoncé badassness, the singer and Columbia Records dropped her entire self-titled fifth album exclusively for digital download on iTunes. Of course, it’s not the first digital launch, but it’s one of the most successful: So far, Beyoncé has smashed records, moving more than 800,000 electronic copies in just three days to become the US iTunes Store’s fastest-selling album ever; it is currently No. 1 on iTunes in 104 countries, and it’s only a matter of time before it takes pole position on the Billboard 200. As Beyoncé raps on the track “Flawless”: Bow down bitches.

While the world collectively freaks out over the singer’s scarily impeccable secrecy (a leaky NSA could learn a few tricks), let’s take a moment to enjoy what Beyoncé’s digital-first release means for the planet. Given its size, and recent industry trends, this may well be one of the most climate-friendly major studio releases yet.

Beyoncé has promised physical CDs (remember those?), saying they’ll hit shelves in time for stocking-stuffing. And while we don’t know yet how many of them she plans to issue, there’s reason to believe that digital downloads are beginning to erode the need for a massive physical rollout: Target, estimated to be the nation’s fourth-biggest music retailer, has already decidednot to sell the CD version because of low sales projections.

This chart, from MusicTank, shows just how little energy it takes to consume a three-minute track of digital music, compared to a physical CD:

MusicTank compares the energy consumption of various ways to listen to music. “The Dark Side of the Tunes” report by MusicTank, at the University of Winchester.
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