Strange Brouhaha

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Kanye West And Irina

Apparently Kanye West ruined the hurricane benefit by going "off script" with some choice words about the Bush Administration.

If this had happened in the Soviet Union--if it was 1987, and there had been an earthquake in Siberia or something, and a bunch of hypothetical Russian pop stars were hypothetically allowed to perform a benefit concert, and suddenly the hypothetical pop sensation Irina Unpronounceableskaya burst out, "The Politburo doesn't care about about Siberians! I hate the way they portray us in the media! They've given them permission to go down and shoot us!", and they cut away from her immediately and Tass announcers primly said that "It would be most unfortunate if [this event were] overshadowed by one person's opinion" and apologized for the "lapse" by saying "She went off script" and that the "person in charge" didn't notice in time to cut away....can you imagine how Americans would take it? Can you imagine the scornful anger we would heap on all that blatant censorship? Can you imagine how Irina Unpronounceableskaya's brave moment of speaking truth to power would be immortalized in our imagination as evidence of the irrepressibility of the human spirit, and the global need for freedom and human rights?

But no. It happened here. All of it--the shock, the cutting away, the prim apologies, the explanation as to why the embarrassing "departure from script" got through, the sense that something untoward and improper had happened, the blaming of the speaker--all of it was home-grown USA.

Matt Lauer *did* say "But [West's impromptu outburst is] still part of the American way of life"--grudgingly. Dammit, I guess we just have to tolerate it, don't we.

But notice that we'll call it a "rant" and mention that West had previously made "an emotional outburst" on TV "after he was snubbed for an award," making him look like a spoiled, petulant brat.

We still let people speak...but we have ways of making sure no one else listens.


  • Well, the mainstream media has never really known how to deal with uppity negroes. Look at what that Rosa Parks character did by speaking her mind. By the time they catch up society has already moved on. We like our negroes safe and pigeonholed.

    By Anonymous david adam edelstein, at 10:36 AM  

  • (Josh) Mike Myers sure looked like one scared honky during those comments, too. "George Bush doesn't care about black people." "Uhh, schwing!"

    I think a LOT of people are hearing about this, just like a lot of people have downloaded Ray Nagin's interview.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:47 PM  

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