you get smarter, and you realize more stuff about the world, but you feel stupid for not realizing sooner. the process repeats.
Akira will be airing on Toonami tonight for the first time in 15 years.
Tags: #My birthday is December 31st
JohnUNDERCOVER fall 2013 JUL-4301-2 military fishtail parka
I have a few thoughts on Kanye’s recent press run, then I’ll leave you all to get on with your day. I think before we examine Kanye’s current state, it’s important to look at what he’s said in the past about himself.
"We ain’t retards the way teachers thought…Now tell my momma I belong in the slow class" The College Dropout, "We Don’t Care"
I remember watching a documentary and Kanye stating his school teachers believed he had a learning disability, whereas his mum said he was genius. Rather than accept the teacher’s diagnosis Donda West instilled in Kanye a level of self-belief that would even intimidate the supremely confident.
I think both Kanye’s mother and teachers were probably accurate in their appraisal. Kanye is a genius with a learning disability. Kanye displays savant like behaviour. For most of his life the presence of his mother, meant his deficiencies were tempered. When she passed away, his sole check and balance disappeared.
Critics have dismissed Kanye’s behaviour as that of an asshole. However the way Kanye persists in counter-intuitively breaking the social contract suggests to me he isn’t an “asshole” but someone with an untreated condition. I don’t know enough about learning disabilities to speculate which, but a friend of mine who’s familiar with autism suggested he could be autistic. They pointed to Kanye’s reluctance to look people directly in the eye, tics that resemble outbursts, obsession with symmetry and order, and lack of emotional intelligence.
I’ve said for years I think that the car accident, fame, followed by the death of his mother and relationship could mean Kanye has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These life changing events occurred within close proximity to each other, and Kanye didn’t retreat from the public eye, he worked more. I’d like to underscore some of my points by stating I think Kanye is on drugs/drunk a lot. This is conjecture but I suspect I’m right (a bottle of Hennessey was his accomplice during the Taylor Swift incident) The presence of drugs/alcohol can’t be helping his mental state.
Soon after the death of his mother, Kanye begins dating Amber Rose, the diametric opposite of his ex Alexis Phifer, and the woman he loved the most - his mother. His music gets darker, his outbursts seem more sinister and after a series of public incidents where he behaved in an unbecoming manner he’s labelled an “asshole”
I think Kanye West is traumatised. Does he behave like an asshole because of the trauma? Or has the trauma exacerbated his pre-existing asshole tendencies? I can’t determine causality. Now Kanye’s with Kim Kardashian. A woman who’s unlikely to be a voice of dissent and reason at a phase in his life when he needs these things the most.
Kanye has a stable of issues. I think he’s unravelling. However an unravelling man is still capable of being insightful. Kanye’s saying a lot of insightful things. I think his intentions are murky but it doesn’t diminish the veracity of his claims.
What’s obvious to me is that Kanye isn’t a revolutionary. Revolutions are for the people by the people. They uproot and destroy old orders. Kanye isn’t a revolutionary. He’s a reformist. What he’s actually asking for is a reform of a biased framework, not for its destruction. Kanye’s a reformist not a revolutionary because revolution would mean he would lose his wealth. He doesn’t want that, he wants more. More wealth, more power, more recognition.
Kanye wants to be a billionaire and fulfil all his aspirations using the Capitalist machine he constantly critques (and benefits from). Why? He wants to be a legend and make sure his daughter Nori’s wealthy. Kanye’s ambitions have nothing to do with the common good or pushing back against mental enslavement. You don’t need money to do that. Kanye’s basically spotted you can’t institutionalise wealth in a generation (duh) and wealth is the best way of safeguarding certain freedoms.
Kanye could have started an important dialogue about economic empowerment within the black community and encouraging ownership, however he desperately seeks funding, approval and affirmation from white and Jewish billionaires. No one else.
Don’t you think it’s interesting that in light of Chinese economic dominance and vast manufacturing industry, he never mentions Chinese investors? Especially considering the fact that European/American hegemony is being eroded daily, China’s where it’s at and Africa’s the next frontier (a fact that hasn’t escaped the Chinese or Russians). However Kanye wants the approval of the European elite. There’s a bit of self-hate/self-rejection going on here but that’s another essay within itself. The way in which some people unwittingly internalise the hatred and elitism they’re a victim of, and as a corollary reject who they are, rather than the powers that have rejected them.
The issue with Kanye is that he’s like a well where you can draw pure water and mud, but you’re not sure which one you’re going to get. Sometimes Kanye speaks uncomfortable truths that no one else will say, other times he says nonsense or at times a hybrid of the two. What I will say is to dismiss or embrace Kanye entirely does him a disservice. Assess what he’s saying, rather than who he is.
I know Kanye got me thinking about pushing my creative boundaries and how I can own what I create. Ownership is key. However he made me feel weary when he compared himself to Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs was a polymath. I don’t believe Kanye is. Kanye thinks everything he does is new and ground-breaking. This is ironic because he samples heavily and excessively.
Tangentially, as “narcissistic” as Kanye is, he definitely cares more about the people and collective progress than Jay Z does. My admiration of Jay Z stems from the way he ruthlessly employs Machiavellian principles, yet comes across as the “nice guy” Jay Z shares insight into what it’s like being wealthy from a lifestyle perspective, but never speaks about the mechanics of attaining and maintaining wealth.
Jay Z sells you the dream because it helps make him more money. Kanye’s telling you the dream can become a beautiful dark twisted nightmare. Which is the truth.
There are rooms that Kanye and Jay Z can never and probably will never infiltrate because of the way wealth is institutionalised and imperialist power structures. However Jay Z wants Picassos and folks that can shop at Barney’s to do business with him, ergo he publicly doesn’t ruffle feathers. Ever. Kanye on the other hand doesn’t care. He’ll say what he wants about CEO’s and venture capitalists that irk him and block his progress. I don’t think this is because Kanye’s necessarily more altruistic. I think it’s because of the way his mind is set up.
Kanye’s the people champ in that sense. He actually wants the people to feel good because them feeling good because of him, feeds his neediness. Hey, at least he wants us to feel good. Jay Z on the other hand is motivated purely by personal interests and harnessing as much power as he can, to the detriment of his rivals.
Finally, part of me thinks Kanye’s having a satori type moment that Plato described in the allegory of the caves and I think he needs a therapist before he jumps off the precipice.