here are my opinions. ones that are especially unpopular with my white friends.
it doesn't matter if you agree or not. i'm just leaving this here.
tell me something: how many flash mobs of that film clip have been done for t-mobile?
beyonce made the GREATEST VIDEO OF ALL TIME and kanye interrupted a young woman's speech (a young woman who now has the sympathy from all her white empathy types who've had their feelings hurt) to draw attention to the big fucking elephant in the room, the emperor with no clothes: the fact that a young white girl who made a pretty lame-arse video won a major industry award over a strong black woman whose video went bananas the second it was released.
y'all take a business risk like that some time and still produce work. stand in the face of that white backlash* and survive without having to puff yourself up sometimes. that is balls.
as musa okwonga has pointed out, mandela was not the smiling grandpa that we all know and love. he was a determined, focused man who believed in his principles. he was willing to kill for freedom. he exposed the systematic oppression of people's daily lives and found ways to systematically undo it by undermining the current power systems.
just because he chose to not go crazy and kill his oppressors, prison guards, assasinate the entire national party and move on with more important things, like getting universal sufferage in south africa, doesn't mean he's just about forgiving people who fuck you over.
i think the value that nelson mandela brought to millions of africans is more directly connected to political freedom than kanye west.
but kanye is no less concerned with the creative and cultural emancipation of millions of people around the world. yes, he is also largely interested in his own creative emancipation too. but he is part of the people he wants to give the right to just make whatver the fuck they want. to be the heads of design organisations. to kick arse without having to do 'R&B' or a nice little diddy about a good guy.
no, it doesn't look like altruism, but nelson mandela fought for armed struggle, was prepared to kill and trained in the army to get where he got too.
and you think kanye doesn't forgive arsehole white folk every day of his life? he still releases music and talks to the white press doesn't he? the fact that he spoke to jimmy kimmel again instead of sending a molotov through his window.
kim has a great body. and she knows that the reality of patriarchal, media-run world we live in, that is some serious capital. she has used that. she has made a business decision to use her image, her body, her iconography to play to the masses who drink it up. she sold it and everyone bought it.
if it didn't work, and that wasn't the case, she wouldn't be loaded. and featured in every fucking magazine. that woman has CONTROL over shit.
it's not my basket, really. but it's a choice she made. she is not a victim to men and their gaze, women and our insecurity. she's playing it and that, in the business world, is ACUMEN. not immorality or sluttishness. yes, i would like her to not be feeding the patriarchal bullshit, but she isn't the only woman on the planet and patriarchy is bigger than her.
she doesn't need it from a man. she doesn't need it from her man.
she doesn't need to control him, or manipulate him.
and he is so secure in his power that he isn't threatened by it. not one bit! how many men do you know who are not threatened by a woman who doesn't need him. especially given the kind of bullshit comments her accounts gets every day. and her image is all over the place.
how many in the forbes top 100 you think can handle that? how about rockstars like mick jagger, rod stewart, powerful men like charles saatchi, anyone?
it was laid out for us to fawn over.
but even if it was the worst album - he fucking came back with my beautiful dark twisted fantasy. one of the best albums of the last 5 years. seriously. he failed. and came back with a vengeance. he missed a drop shot and came back with a slam dunk over the musical equivalent of le bron james. in other instances - perhaps the socially acceptable forums for black champions like boxing or basketball, he would be a CHAMPION. even if he spent the whole time running his mouth.
a few years ago, i made a small shrine. well, the drawing of a shrine because i was still a nomad. but it was a shrine to the people - the artists who i think are great - who have perserverence and dedication and are a little bit mad, but make the world a better place by challenging us.
patti smith, kanye west and louise bourgeois are on that shrine.
this post is a little candle in front of that shrine.
but based on the vitriol that i have seen coming from friends and colleagues lately - reposting fake interviews and fake videos of him kicking this shit out of papparazzi, slating his recent videos and posting every kind of pisstake possible, posting such angry 'crazy, overblown motherfucker' type shit about the 'crazy' on the BBC interview, the opinionated tweets of 'oh puhlease' from his last tour and reposting of the jimmy kimmel 'satire'?
guys, you're champing at easy bits and circling in lynchmob territory.
i'm really ok with it. i'm happy to live in a bubble with kanye west being the greatest thing in the world and you worshipping the ground of the pope, or anthony robbins or nikki sixx or even steve jobs. same as it ever was.
*this is my favourite backlash from the huffington post: "The last thing I would want to happen to my daughter is some crazy, drunk, black guy in a leather shirt to come up and cut her off at an awards ceremony" << really? i could think of a lot worse fucking things to happen to her, sir.