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Blog Lockdown: Or, Why I Miss The Younger, More Arrogant Kanye West

Bush’s complaint was a perfect moment for Kanye: A chance to point out the hysteria with which people have often reacted to his statements. “Kanye West: I’m Occasionally Inappropriate, Still Not Worse Than Drowning Or Losing Your Home,” the headlines might have read. He would have had back-up. Matt Lauer, who interviewed Bush, pointed out the obvious: “You’re not saying that the worst moment in your presidency was watching the misery in Louisiana,” Lauer said. “You’re saying it was when someone insulted you because of that.” Amanda Marcotte defended West, calling him “the Cassandra of our Troy.” Plenty of other blogs and news outlets weighed in over the next few days to call Bush short-sighted, self-centered, and thin-skinned. And, riding this wave of exposure, sympathy, and support, Kanye West showed up to… apologize. Wait, what?

In which I say that, yup, Kanye West runs off at the mouth, and Kanye West upsets people, and it’s about time for him to stop portraying himself as a severed head on Twitter and own it. Because he’s not always wrong, and because it’s fun. And because I worry about him! Honey, the people who called you racist did so for the purpose of supporting the Tea Party and shit! They’re ridiculous, awful people! I looked at their Internet message boards, and they’re RACIST AS HELL! You don’t need their love. Come to Ohio, and we will have a nice dinner and go bowling. I always sort of secretly thought we would get along.


  1. Duckgirlie wrote:

    I’ve had a hard time having positive feelings about West since the I shot up a gay wedding tweet.

    Monday, November 8, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Permalink
  2. Sady wrote:

    @Duck: Yeah, his gender and sexuality politics are troubling. But they’re also not what he’s most reviled for.

    Monday, November 8, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink
  3. cuffs wrote:

    @duckgirlie: wait, wasn’t that 50 cent?

    Monday, November 8, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Permalink
  4. Josh wrote:

    @1: Google is suggesting it was 50 Cent who did a “shot up a gay wedding” tweet?

    Kanye has had some lines that make me uncomfortable in some of his songs, but not a lot of (or any, that I recall?) out-and-out anti-gay lines. Which, given the conventions of the genre in which he primarily performs, is pretty impressive. In fact, while he’s hardly a paragon of perfect thought and behavior, what I remember about Kanye and homophobia is stuff like this:

    Monday, November 8, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Permalink
  5. Josh wrote:

    addendum: I should note that there has been casual derogatory gay slang in songs I remember that came out under Kanye’s name, just from other rappers’ verses, and he does participate in that general rap thing where having sex with hot women is mentioned entirely as a signifier of what an awesome rapper you are (and where the women are often called “bitches”) – and probably other sorts of casual misogyny.

    So yeah. You’d have a hard time claiming Kanye as feminist – and in order to enjoy his work, or the work of a lot of mainstream rappers, you probably have to be able to occasionally ignore statements or attitudes you find offensive. Which many people don’t want to do, and maybe shouldn’t have to. So I don’t know. Not claiming Kanye’s perfect, just that he’s interesting and worth listening to – and probably better on the gender and sexuality fronts than most other successful mainstream rappers.

    Monday, November 8, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Permalink
  6. Chris wrote:

    Ehhh I wouldn’t say Kanye’s lyrics are much less misogynistic than the average mainstream rapper, but his music’s good enough that I can put up with it. He’s at least doing better than Eminem.

    I kind of get the impression that Kanye felt obligated to apologize because it was an ex-president talking crap about him, even if it was ridiculous. Maybe he figures he doesn’t have a choice since everyone and their moms has heard about that Bush interview.

    That’s how I’ve rationalized his apology, anyway.

    Monday, November 8, 2010 at 11:02 pm | Permalink
  7. k not k wrote:

    I commented at the atlantic! I like your take on this, Sady, but I sort of don’t buy Yeezy’s constant apologizing – even when he apologizes it’s because he is the WORST PERSON who causes people THE MOST PAIN. So while he says he’s sorry, he is still reveling in his ability to be such a horrible monster.

    And I love him for it. Why did dude cancel his tour with Lady Gaga, it would have been the grandiosest thing ever.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 7:44 am | Permalink
  8. moxicity wrote:

    Eeeehhhnn… I just have such rage and dislike for celebrities. Simply the sheer size of their removal from reality and the actual world 99% of other people live in… makes me gag. Kanye West is one of those conceited cockgobblers that make my brain curdle.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 7:55 am | Permalink
  9. Sady wrote:

    @Moxicity: That’s nice. Could we also please not refer to men as “cockgobblers” or “cocksuckers” or whatever if we don’t like them? It implies that the perfectly reasonable and acceptable practice of oral sex with dudes is a bad thing, in which case I think 99% of everyone here has to re-evaluate their moral standing.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 10:02 am | Permalink
  10. Emily wrote:

    I kinda like Kanye West because I’ve always had a weakness for a non-sequitor. It doesn’t really even matter if the person meant to be funny or not, there’s nothing funnier to me than someone opening their mouth and saying the absolute last thing you expected to hear at that juncture in the conversation. Mike Myers and Kanye West’s exchange was exactly that kind of payoff, especially Mike’s flabbergasted attempts to return to the script without addressing Kanye’s comments at all.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 9:59 am | Permalink
  11. sossajes wrote:

    @10: sadly, this kind of hate is what killed my “everyone <3 a conceited cockgobbler" t shirt line. considering the cultural enthusiasm for oral sex i was quite surprised!

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Permalink
  12. Kathleen wrote:

    I agree with Emily — the look on Mike Myers’ face was THE BEST EVER. Yeah, Kanye West seems kinda sexist and that’s bad. But what he said about Bush was 100% right, and again — oh, the look on Mike Myers’ face. Such a precious gift.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Permalink
  13. Amanda Martin wrote:

    Honestly? After Kanye’s insanely long Twitter essay, I realized that he’s a human being. Some people gave him flack for it, but I stopped hating him and learned that he was just as human as you or I, in spite of bajillions of dollars. So I have to say… fuck it. He is my superman and he needs to own it, because you’re right — he’s not always wrong, and it’s fun.

    Kanye’s still a little boy in some ways, but he has a perspective on the world that a lot of us have to wait 30 years to earn, even if we may gain perspective on it that we may gain 15 years before he does. It’s a juxtaposition that makes me realize how beautiful life really is.

    So I’m not a multi-millionaire; Kanye fucks up, but sometimes the fact that he wears his heart on his sleeve is what makes me love him so goddamn much.

    You keep doing what you do, Kanye. You keep doing what you do.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 3:37 am | Permalink
  14. Babette wrote:

    I’m so glad these two have made up so that now the rest of the world can carry on in peace.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Permalink
  15. Sarah wrote:

    I love Kanye solely for his unfiltered honesty. Shame on those darn publicists/handlers for making him apologize and diluting the armchair pop-culture critics’ fun.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 1:03 am | Permalink
  16. redredrobin wrote:

    Kanye and his ego probably can’t ride in the same taxi, but neither can Dubya and his. Kanye interrupted Taylor Swift’s moment @ an awards show cause he thought that poor neglected Beyonce needed someone to speak up for her and he was the one to do it. Stupid, rude,insensitive, but not deadly. Dubya’s arrogance and stupidity re. the Gulf Coast, on the other hand, WAS all of those…anyone seen any of the Tea Party people around then? Or when they say, “we want to take our country back”, they mean, back to then?

    Sunday, November 14, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Permalink
  17. ANM wrote:

    Kanye is a woman hater and it terrifies me to see him being defended on a feminist blog. Dear Dog, where has feminism gone…

    Friday, November 19, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Permalink