O say can you sing? Sad week of mistruths

I thought it was weird that my daughter had imaginary friends — especially when I found out that one of them was dating Manti Te’o.

Between Manti Te’o, Beyonce and Lance Armstrong, it’s been a long couple of weeks of mistruths, self-delusions and fantasies. And that’s not even counting the president’s inauguration speech.

It started with Lance Armstrong, who has pulled off the nearly impossible achievement of getting people to hate a cancer survivor who has raised millions for charity. I guess the yellow LIVESTRONG bracelets shouldn’t have had the “V.”

I knew he was a liar years ago after seeing him in a commercial promoting one of those trendy low-carb beers. I could believe his denials about blood doping and injecting human growth hormones, but nobody can truthfully say they enjoy the taste of Michelob Ultra.

The Manti Te’o and his pretend girlfriend story is equally bizarre. The runner-up to the Heisman Trophy shouldn’t have to rummage through the Twitter cesspool to find female companionship. Not when you could get 10,000 girlfriends by just walking around campus with a T-shirt that reads: I’M AN ATTRACTIVE, FAMOUS LINEBACKER WHO WILL SOON BE AN NFL MILLIONAIRE AND I’M SINGLE.

For young people, the message is clear; you can’t really trust someone if your only contact with them is on Facebook or Twitter. Deep and meaningful romantic relationships should involve courtship through more personal, old-fashioned means, like email.

It turns out that Manti Te’o's girlfriend is about as authentic as Beyonce’s performance at the presidential inauguration. The famous diva is accused of lip-synching the “Star Spangled Banner” — charges that came to light after the wrong soundtrack was accidentally uploaded and she wound up mouthing the words to the nation anthem as the stereo system played “The Chicken Dance.”

I love this story. Those of us who don’t possess wealth, beauty and artistic talent often delight in the ruinous stories of those who do.

An inaugural official told CNN that Beyonce used a pre-recorded tape because, “she didn’t have time to rehearse.” And that makes sense. After all, it’s just the inauguration of the president of the United States. It’s not like the second show of a three night summer tour stop in Tallahassee. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but when the leader of the free world asks you to sing your country’s national anthem during a historic assumption of power, you may want to skip the trip to Louis Vuitton that day and put some effort into it.

A real singer, Aretha Franklin, who sang on a cold day at President Obama’s first inauguration, offered this about the controversy: “I wanted to give people the real thing, and pre-recording never crossed my mind.”

Those hard-hitting journalists on the “Today Show,” however, were more forgiving. They tore into Beyonce with the intensity of someone who doesn’t want to make Beyonce mad and boycott the “Today Show.”

“It was cold there,” whimpered diva-defender Matt Lauer, apparently unaware that vocal cords still function below 45 degrees.

“It was still her voice,” said the other host, the attractive one with the cute smile who looks great in skirts. I forget the name. Al Roker, I think.

Personally I find the “it was still her voice” line a gem of an excuse. Imagine an excited, pumped-up crowd of 14,000 at the Pepsi Center, anxiously awaiting a Beyonce concert.

ANNOUNCER: “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m sorry but Beyonce won’t be here tonight.”

CROWD: “Booooo!”

ANNOUNCER: “No refunds will be issued. Instead, we’ll play her CDs for you over the loudspeaker for two hours.”

CROWD: “Booooo!”

ANNOUNCER: “Don’t worry. It’s still her voice.”

Unfortunately, this is the state of affairs these days. Our singers don’t actually sing, football players make up phony cancer-stricken girlfriends, and our famous bicyclists swap their blood out before a race.

All of this makes me want to have a beer. One with carbs.

Reach Steve Beauregard at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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