Barack Obama is only one day into his second term as president, and already his is the most controversial, scandal-plagued tenure of any leader of any country ever.
The reason: Beyoncé.
As part of Monday's inauguration ceremony, President Obama's (secret) Vice-President, Beyoncé, performed a rendition of the United States' national anthem that was met with almost universal praise.
On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the United States Marine Band stated that Beyoncé "did not actually sing" live.
Now, as Beyoncé sits in her Manhattan penthouse, quietly preparing a PowerPoint presentation titled "The Marine Corps—Do We Really Need It?: A Defense Budget Overhaul by Beyoncé," use this guide to bring order to the chaos of your emotions.
Stage I: Temporary Insanity
When my coworkers first shared the damning lip-synch report from the Times of London this morning, my immediate response was hollow, chilling computer laughter.
It was as if someone had said "By the way, the sky has been unmade", or "Did you hear? Time has broken." They were putting down words in English, but I just couldn't make sense of them. "Beyoncé lip-synched her performance? Well, nine wink scrambled cloud to you too, my friends."
Stage II: Shooting the Messenger
Once the madness passes, it is immediately replaced by a suit of armor that deflects all criticism.
"Marine Band spokeswoman Kristin DuBois? More like Marine Band spokeswoman Kristin DuBious! Who is this hater trying to shade Beyoncé's shine? I live-streamed that video from YouTube in HD. I know she was singing. Why are you lying?
Or wait. Maybe it's the Times of London that's lying. Twistin' Kristin's words. Sorry I snapped at you, Kristin.
NO. Maybe the Times of London is being catfished by a pretend Marine Band spokeswoman?
SOMEONE HERE IS LYING AND I KNOW IT'S NOT BEYONCÉ."
Stage III: Crushing Sadness
"Oh my God, it is Beyoncé."
Stage 3 is a dark place. A deep mine of self-reflection which not even rockets' red glare can penetrate. You wanted so badly for that performance to be real. You believed that Star Spangled Banner.
Stage IV: Tyra Banks Quote
I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE YELLED AT A GIRL LIKE THIS. WHEN MY MOTHER YELLS AT ME LIKE THIS, IT'S BECAUSE SHE LOVES ME. I WAS ROOTING FOR YOU, WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU, HOW DARE YOU?! LEARN SOMETHIN' FROM THIS.
Stage V: Anger at Beyoncé
Why make such a big deal of yanking out your ear piece, like "Oh, who put this here, I don't need an ear piece I've got this mess down." You are a con artist! This is what Michelle Williams was trying to communicate all those years ago, but we couldn't decipher the message through her dog barks! All my friends are texting me that you did this like it's my fault and I'm mad at you, Beyoncé, I'm so, SO MAD AT YOUUURRRGHAMERICAAAAAAAAA.
Stage VI: Suspension of Disbeylief
No, but wait, in this video, she's totally singing live. You hear her and you hear the backing track. Her mic is even picking up wind. Nothing wrong with using a backing track, right? We've all done it. She was probably singing mostly live over a tiny quiet bit of backing track, which is totally normal, no big deal.
Stage VII: Delusion's Warm Embrace
Oh man, I feel so embarrassed. Like, of course she was singing live. Beyoncé would never willingly deceive me. Destiny's Child used to read the Bible on the tour bus. And if it were really a big deal, President Obama would have given a press conference about it, right? I bet Beyoncé's people are going to post an audio clip from just her mic on Tumblr without comment so all the naysayers can suck ittttt.
And then the stages repeat.
UPDATE: Who run the world? GIRLS. (Girls) — Specifically Beyoncé.
Terrified Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Gregory Wolf has just released a statement recanting the lip-synching allegations:
"Regarding Ms. Knowles-Carter's vocal performance, no one in the Marine Band is in a position to assess whether it was live or pre-recorded."
[Photo via Getty // .gif via BuzzFeed]