Liz Smith: Will Beyonce Rule the World?

LUCK IS what happens when preparation meets opportunity,” said the Roman philosopher Seneca.

DESPITE the infamous power outage at the Super Bowl, people are still talking about Beyonce’s performance.

Some even blame her electric sexuality as the cause of the outage! (Conspiracy theorists insist it was really Madonna’s doing, but something went wrong. The power was supposed to go out during Beyonce’s performance!)

But seriously, just as Madonna’s epic Super Bowl performance last year was the kickoff to her insanely successful world tour, so it is with Beyonce. Her tour begins in April, and is expected to bring in $100 million more than her last round of concerts.

I am predicting Beyonce will be 2013’s woman of the year. Other than beauty and talent, this is a really really nice girl, a super human being. She works so hard. She always wants to do the right thing. People who interview her come away charmed by her sincerity and her aspirations.

She yearns for sophisticated Culture, like being photographed in world museums looking at Impressionist paintings. “They are so pretty” she says demurely. Watch Beyonce go from better to better. Her complainers from Peta not withstanding.

I’d say if she buttoned down and got a tutored education while ruling the world, she will become a world beater lasting star. Even in films. (Her movie stardom was supposed to happen with “Dreamgirls,” but good as she was, Jennifer Hudson had the famously meaty role as Effie, winning her an Oscar. Not that Hudson’s movie career is exactly red-hot.)

All Beyonce needs is an education to add to her talent, sex appeal and her good willing heart. I know some you will say: “Oh, sure. She has a gazillion bucks, a loving husband and a beautiful baby. She really needs ‘education.’” I don’t think she “needs” it. She’s not dumb, by any means. My feeling is that she wants it. Wants to be more than the powerhouse she already is.

Oh, and on Feb. 12th HBO’s documentary, “Beyonce: Life is But a Dream,” premieres at the Ziegfeld Theatre. To be accurate, it is really Beyonce’s documentary. Says so right at the top — “A Film By Beyonce Knowles.” And she has a new CD coming out, her first in two years. As I said, 2013 is gonna be Miss Knowles’ year.

WELL, IT IS A JOY THAT THE very picky Director’s Guild selected Ben Affleck as best for his film “Argo,” which, if you haven’t seen it, has more tension, comedy, tragedy and suspense than anything else on film this year. Most directors, who are the only ones who get to vote, want to win this award more than the Oscar for best director. The Academy Awards on Feb. 24th will be up the creek without a paddle if “Argo” should win best picture and they slighted even nominating Mr. Åffleck. He is very deserving.

ONE OF my alert correspondents, TC Bill, wanted to give me Rob Kardashian socks for my birthday. On the whole I’d rather have a socks check for Literacy Partners, but, never mind. Kardashian socks would definitely match getting a birthday cake shaped like an armadillo, as I did the other day at Michaels restaurant. (I am suggesting that Michael’s media cafe should put the entire Liz Smith lunch on their running menu. People would love it! I did. And so did my select guests some of whom had never eaten collard greens, pickled okra, cornbread, or armadillo.)

But TC did have one good idea. Why, he asks, doesn’t someone bring back the show “What’s My Line?” created by the late Mark Goodson. This is a free tip to someone I admire, Jeff Zucker at CNN. Audiences these days love celebrities; they love masked celebrities as questioners, they love guessing. And the prize could be big either for the guest or for their charities.

I just happened to have dinner the other eve with Mr. Goodson’s last great wife, Suzanne. She nursed him through his final illness. He left this world with an oath.

But even if I didn’t approve of him I spoke at his memorial and so maybe Suzanne can guide TC and me in bringing back “What’s My Line?” (This would be such an easy and inexpensive show to produce. Top celebrities might say yes if people were guessing who they were and not asking all those nasty questions like when did you go into rehab, how much is your habit, and have you ever had sex with a priest or a nun?)

I LOVE it when readers ask intricate questions or send intricate ideas beyond my ken. Here is Mitchell McGuire: “Now that SAG (Screen Actors Guild) has merged with AFTRA (American Federation of TV & Radio Artists) what about a fund-raising gala for the latter? They have a foundation similar to SAG’s. They have gala fundraisers. First of which was produced by the late ‘Living Landmark’ Martin Segal and myself. There is a chance the two funds will merge on galas but that won’t happen soon. Just want to keep you in the loop.”

OK, I — Liz — belong to both unions. I believe in unions. I voted for this merger. But I don’t know the answer. Anybody?

WHOOPI Goldberg, who is always doing something for somebody in need, is asking us to Save the Date for the Public Prep Network Third Annual “Namesake Luncheon” honoring Whoopi and Barclays. It happens April 30 at the Metropolitan Club 1 East 60th street. Call 212-380-8973.

And I am asking you to save the cocktail hour on April 9th because Whoopi and I will be sitting down together to raise a little scratch for the Maria Droste agency. This group helps give psychiatric counseling. Last year I chatted with Bette Midler and she gave me some fascinating answers. I had never understood Hawaii before. This year I will ask Whoopi to go blonde and ask her why she is all sweetness and light on “The View.” What? You think she isn’t all sweetness and light?

Hmmmm. Call 212-889-4042 for tickets. This will be fun.

This column originally appeared on on 2/6/13

6 Responses so far.

  1. avatar JERILYN says:

    Love BEYONCE love your work Liz Smith. Keep on dishing you are simply the best! BRAVA LIZ SMITH!

  2. avatar JERILYN says:

    Loved seeing The Elizabeth Taylor video from WML. This was wonderful to see a young Elizabeth being very funny as only she could be Brava!

  3. avatar anneh says:

    Sorry, I totally disagree.  I was so saddened to hear that Beyonce’s superbowl show was all about “girl power” – so what does that mean?  That to be a powerful girl/woman you need to be a beautiful stripper?  I think the show was well done but the fact that so many young, impressionable girls are watching the superbowl – along with young men – made me even more sad.  They will be looking at this entertainment – and the accolades received by Beyonce – as proof that wearing provocative clothes and gyrating even more provocatively and sex, sex, sex – is what being a “powerful, fierce” woman is all about.  It’s not.  Well, it IS if you want to live in the media world.  Too bad that truly powerful, fierce and talented women like Hillary Clinton are not as celebrated.  Just sayin. 

    • avatar JERILYN says:

      Love Hillary Clinton and have supported her with my voice and my money. She is the most popular, influential woman in the world and is a constant in her fight FOR “Human Rights.” But BEYONCE is an ENTERTAINER and IS interested in making her audience come to her concerts to enjoy her hard work. She has not come on stage with “weapons” pointed at the audience like other STAR ICONS, and she is a new mother who expresses “family values” with her life and her great talent. We celebrate BEYONCE’s talent not her choice of wardrobe and as a 67 year old WOMAN I plan to go to her concert in August in Brooklyn to celebrate that talent. She is a beautiful woman and a great entertainer. Brava BEYONCE. You rule your world!

      • avatar anneh says:

         I appreciate your appreciation for Beyonce as an entertainer – and I share that appreciation by the way – I am just pointing out that there is a place and time for everything.  I simply felt that as a 53-year-old mother of two lovely 20-something daughters that “girl power” as portrayed thru the superbowl half-time show – which, let’s face it – is geared largely to a primarily men’s oriented audience – is NOT how Beyonce’s show should be portrayed.  Unless you feel “girl/woman power” is all about sex and stripper-like promotion.  I know that my daughter’s have been hugely impacted by this media portrayal of women’s power being linked almost exclusively to their looks, youth and sexuality and THAT is what I’m railing against.  I’m not denegrating Beyonce as a wonderful performer but I AM disheartened that so many – women included – chose to uphold that entertainment as proof and celebration of women’s power.  It simply is not and we have much, much better examples of true women’s power that we should be celebrating.  Have fun at the concert – I’m sure it will be a wonderful show!

        • avatar JERILYN says:

          Anneh you seem to be a wonderful caring mother and I Salute you as the great role model your beautiful daughters will follow. And you are not wrong with your comments but we must realize that the type of show BEYONCE gives the public is what sells tickets. An unfortunately it is “ALL ABOUT THE MONEY” and sex sells tickets. As a teacher for 40 years I realize you are correct in your evaluation of our culture but I think there are other music icons that represent far worse examples for our “daughters”. We must celebrate women like Hillary Clinton and the courageous Gabby Gifford for sure but there is a place for BEYONCE who does many positive activities for all women. Thank you I hope BEYONCE’S concert is far more enjoyable then Madonna’s was at Yankee Stadium. I wanted to see Madonna as part of the things to do on my “Bucket List”, but her use of assault weapons, other hand guns and violence on stage I did not appreciate at all. And the start of her show was over two hours late with very rude fans in our area. When you go to these concerts I guess you must expect this “shock” value because that is what sells but it was not what I wanted to see.