Beyonce and the Troops

“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” is this very soulful, funny novel by Ben Fountain about a squad of Iraq War heroes attending a Thanksgiving-Day Dallas Cowboys game with a big-shot producer who’s trying to get their story made into a movie. The book builds to this halftime show featuring Destiny’s Child. Bravo Squad is part of their act.

By the time the show starts, performing with Beyonce is the meanest, scariest, most f*cked-up sh*t imaginable for these soldiers.

Upon being told what to do behind Beyonce, just before stepping out onto the loud, pyrotechnic field: “The Bravos nod. No one speaks. They’re all quietly freaking.”

Recently in real life, there was this blurb in The Week: “On her current world tour, Beyonce has a contract specifying that her dressing room be supplied with $1,000 titanium straws, says the Daily Star (U.K.). The contract specifies that each venue must supply Beyonce with hand-carved ice balls to suck on, and the titanium straws, which she uses to drink alkaline water chilled to exactly 69.8 degrees. Dressing rooms must have freshly painted white walls, a new toilet seat, and an ample supply of red toilet paper. Beyonce works hard, a source said, and ‘feels that her requests aren’t too much to ask.'”

So that‘s why.

Camo dressings for "Soldier"

Camo dressings for “Soldier”

Billy Lynn comes close to Beyonce in the book. She “towers with Rocky Mountain majesty. Her skin is the honeyed brown of apple butter, limned with a film of perspiration that holds the light.” Some of the Bravos go a little crazy while she and her sisters, or whatever, perform “Soldier.” But Billy holds up.

Beyonce is the great metaphor for how spoiled oblivious we are in this country, relative to the soldiers we send to fight in our wars. That little news blurb, if it’s true, tells us that real-life Beyonce is even worse than the terrible idea she represents.

Beyonce is more f*cked up and oblivious than anyone could even make up. So are we. Happy Memorial Day.


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