Oooooh, I got tingly writing that title. It’s like I click ‘baited outside someones window while watching from the bushes.
Anyway, I have a personal policy of not writing about events in pop culture right as they happen, mostly because people tend to talk completely out their asses. That I think has been the greatest curse of the internet. That everyone can just spew an opinion, not a half-formed one, but one completely formed in a vacuum of actually understanding what the hell they are talking about. Just like particles formed in a vacuum, these opinions obliterate themselves in a blink of an eye.
No, the irony of the Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle reference is not lost on me in this particular case.
In this particular case, I avoided the whole Kanye West/Grammy’s event for more than one reason. Firstly, I don’t give a shit about award shows. I don’t give a damn who wins what award because it honestly doesn’t change what I think of a movie or musician. I like The Godfather not because it won three of the nine Oscar categories it was nominated for, I like it because it’s a really great film. That and it has Abe “Fish” Vigoda in it. I also think Public Enemy is one of the greatest rap groups of all time, despite the fact they never won a single Grammy. That and they did the vastly superior rock/rap fusion with Anthrax (Sorry, Run-D.M.C. You guys were screwed by Aerosmith). Award show drama is stupid, insipid, and reflects the finest of circle jerk culture. I could have given a damn. Secondly, I knew every self-indulgent blogger, click-hole of a website, and “white guiltier than thou” person out there would jump all over themselves writing “think” pieces about how systemic racism pervades all.
Look, I didn’t listen to either Beyonce’s or Beck’s album, so I can’t say who had the better “Album of the Year.” I spent most of the last year listening to RJD2 tracks on Pandora because I have a love of funky house. Seriously, check him out. Also try out some Wax Tailor and Kid Koala, you might like them. Anyway, back to my point I was trying to make. I don’t know who had the better album though some people have some strong opinions. There is some validity to both of these arguments. Look, Beck is talented as fuck. If you can’t accept that Odelay was probably one of the best albums of the 1990’s and counts as a genre defining album, you’re an idiot. Beck can play multiple instruments and treats different styles of music as playthings. Beyonce has strong claim to the title “Queen Bey”. That woman has dominated the charts and pop culture since her days with Destiny’s Child. She is without a doubt one of the most talented performers and singers of the past 20 years and maintained an amazing level of relevancy. All of that, and she is a legitimate class act.
And that’s why Kanye West is an asshole. An unbridled, unabashed self-aggrandizing, egotistical asshole. Not only did he bully a teenager at an awards show, but he stormed the stage again in an attempt to spew his opinion when it was entirely unsolicited when Beck beat Beyonce. It turns out that HE DIDN’T EVEN LISTEN TO BOTH ALBUMS! That’s right folks. Kanye, the voice of the oppressed black artist, champion of racial issues, was talking completely out his ass when he said the Grammy’s didn’t respect artistry. He doesn’t respect artistry, he doesn’t even listen to the artists in question, he just wants to bang Beyonce.
Meanwhile, Kanye’s shit and the desire to jump on the click bait band wagon results in pablum like this Salon backwash. Which mind you, is written by an Asian guy who’s most famous for getting a lot of Jeopardy questions right. This once again proves that knowledge of rote facts does not prove high critical thinking skills. Seriously, if being good at trivia games warrants a career as an opinion columnist, then whomever “DodgeTruckBoi69” at the Buffalo Wild Wings interactive trivia night is, he totally deserves a job writing for Salon too. His articles will at least have the excuse of being written piss drunk on Coors Light pitchers.
And you see, that’s why I don’t live tweet, blog, or react instantly to news as it happens (generally) I know that I don’t have all the facts or I’m reacting in the moment. When things like that happen, people end up looking like assholes. I mostly react to people’s reactions, and point and laugh as evidenced here:
So why did I title this post the way I did? Well, because Kanye is a self-indulgent asshole, who actually despite the fact that he might have a point, totally ruins it with his actions. I know a whole bunch of Social Justice Samurai just flipped their shit, but it’s true. Without a doubt there is systemic racism in our culture. It manifests itself in everything from Stop-and-Frisk and Police Profiling to “Missing White Girl Syndrome“. I have no doubt that at times there might be cultural bias when it comes to recognizing achievements and handing out awards as well. However, actions like Kanye’s takes away from legitimate call outs of this. Saying that minority artists are snubbed has merit, but when you blurt it out without even hearing what that white cisgender heterosexual male did, makes you kind of a reactionary asshole. It’s direct proof to the claim by many people that “playing the race card” is a real thing. If you’re too stupid to know what “playing the race card” is, let me sum it up. A minority person, most likely black, gets caught doing something shitty. They then scream “RACISM!!!!” as an attempt to justify the shitty act. This results in things like this abomination appearing on the internet:
What really annoys me about this image is not it’s latent racist statement, it’s the formatting. Instants do not have a power/toughness score in Magic the Gathering since they’re not creatures.
Yeezus (He seriously called himself that? Fuck me…), by “playing the race card” and then getting caught talking out his ass makes “the race card” a real thing, and ends up totally destroying any legitimacy to any criticism he might have. As fucked up as this sounds, and God help me for saying it, his little indulgent rant about ‘celebrities being as important as civil rights leaders’, has a nugget of truth. Now, no, Kanye you aren’t as important as Martin Luther King Jr. to racial justice in America, but you do have a voice. I’ve learned as much being the virtually non-existant celebrity I am by being a local writer/comedian here in Oklahoma City. Quite often I have some young, shy, and uncomfortable transwoman come up to me and thank me for speaking out and wants to shake my hand. A lot of them want to be my friend on Facebook or even in real life. I have to warn them that I am actually a dreadful role model and not someone to be listened too at all. My dogs, the closest creatures on this planet to me, don’t even respect me, as evidenced by the cold spot of pee on the floor every time I get up in the morning. Still, I do have to mind what I say. Because to many people, I am that representative of the trans community. My statements and opinions carry weight with people especially when I’m the only one they know.
Now, before you say any damn thing; no, I’m not saying being trans is just like being black. Shit no. The only things being trans and being black have in common is a higher than average murder rate and police profiling. I still got my white privilege.
What I am saying, is that by being a black celebrity, what he says and does carries weight with some people. For better or for worse. Okay, completely for worse, because Kanye is a fuck. His self-indulgent attitude that his opinion matters more than anyone elses, that he thinks race played any role in Beck beating Beyonce without even listening to either album, actually hurts any position he might have, and any position he might be right on. Why? Because ‘feels’ go both ways. Kanye wants to get all emotionally reactionary like a spoiled girl on a factory tour.
I’mma let you finish but Milton Hershey had the best chocolate bar of all time. ALL TIME!
And when he gets busted being a self-indulgent little shit stack ‘playing the race card’ out his ass, he effectively shuts down a lot of conversation, and turns more people against those people who can make logical and reasonable arguments without storming the stage like a petutlant twat. Kanye is more concerned about letting the world know what Kanye thinks, than what actually needs to be said by smarter, more reasonable people. In that regard, Kanye doesn’t care about black people, Kanye cares about Kanye.
I’m forgoing an easy joke now about Kanye leaving his old fiance a black woman for a series of white girls because he’s Gold Digger, because I’m not going to kick him when he’s down.