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Kanye West: Better now by definition?

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Q.  Kanye?

A.  I dig brevity.

I assume you’re talking about the Twitter manifesto from last weekend? Somehow I knew, mainly because we’ve already had this conversation. Remember? I mentioned I’d caught some of this in real time and you seemed a bit uninterested in Kanye West in general?

I saved the email. Your exact words were: “Oh god I hate that twat! There have been stories I could’ve tweeted but refused. I won’t even look at his stream. Such an ass!” But brevity now is good too, I don’t mind the mix.

This reads much better in letter form, organizing 72 entries — 1368 words and 7257 characters — spewed over the course of 103 minutes. Reading up one Tweet at a time is a disjointed pain in the ass. I have to say that I have a completely different appreciation for the sincerity behind it all after reading it edited.

I’m one of the haters he’s talking about and I should be upfront that I could care less about the music, I’m talking about the man. Maybe he’s a musical genius, maybe he isn’t. I don’t care.

Without the influence of loving or hating his work clouding me, I’ve always seen Kanye as the douchebag he’s given me every impression to believe that he is. Seemingly each moment he’s had available to prove he’s an arrogant, egotistical asshole, he’s pounced on it and given back even more than was called for. Taylor Swift was just the icing on the cake. Had Richard Dreyfuss jumped on stage drunk and said the award belonged to Beyoncé, that would have been a total shock — him being at the VMAs to begin with and that he’s never been prone to that type of public behavior. My money has always been on Kanye.

When you look up “Kanye” in the Urban Dictionary, the definitions range from douchebag to rude, interrupting, classless, egoist, idiot, jackass, goon, sore loser, “someone who doesn’t think about the consequences of their actions” or “to rudely interrupt someone’s positivity with your own negativity.” Some definitions are well-crafted: “To vocalize displeasure in an inappropriate way at an ill-chosen time, especially when the opinion is unsolicited or irrelevant” while others are simpler: “douche.”

Fact is, currently 66 definitions over 10 pages — that’s just for the word “Kanye.”

More than 50 Kanye-related entries: Kanye Pest, Kanye Jest, Kanye manners, Kanyerupted, Kanye Wested, Kanye West Moment, pull a Kanye, Kanye-d, Kanye-ism, Kanyebag, Kanyekaze, Kanye-Westitis and Kanyephobia.

Personal favorite: Kanye West’d:

“When receiving sexual stimulation for pleasure from another person (male or female), you interrupt them to explain a past partner performed said act with a lot more skill. Then you allow them to continue said act.”


I admit I attempted to make viral an internet campaign last year to designate “Kanye” as an expression equal to “deuce,” “dookie” or “poo,” adding it to the Urban Dictionary myself. It never took off but he was certainly worthy of the honor, after the VMAs.

“Dude, light a match. It smells like someone took a wicked Kanye in here.”

“I just had two Volcano Tacos and an Angry Whopper and now I’m about to Kanye my pants.”

So leave it to Kanye West to publicly apologize AGAIN to Taylor, a year later and just as he’s seeking publicity for new music being released this month. I see what you see and understand you tossing the T-word. Even she’s accusing Kanye of using her name to promote his album. When will this guy will ever learn? Will he? When will it all finally sink in?

I think it’s starting. Read his first apology, written the night he went off the rails. Pretty weak cheese and clueless about how far he stepped in it. In April 2009, he’s a “Gay Fish” on South Park (“Fishsticks“). CHECK OUT HIS REACTION. Saying all the right things but Kanyerupting just five months later. He’s known the path, he’s lacked effort behind words to be turned into action.

Still, he can’t escape the same stink that forces Mel Gibson to discuss an old incident while promoting a new product. Kanye feels set up by Matt Lauer because he was set up by Matt Lauer. Somewhere it’s determined he’s yet to apologize enough, Matt simply reminded Kanye that baby did a bad, bad thing. Baby did a real bad thing.

Anything can be used as a life-changing event, providing you actually use it as a pivot point and don’t disregard the moment. Maybe something stuck?

First off, Twitter has taught Kanye to type without the damn CAPS LOCK and you can’t begin to believe what a relief this is. Not yelling at us is the first sign of someone learning to listen. More than that, I get the feeling it took the realization of understanding just how much of an asshole he’d become for him to recognize how important it was to get back on the other side. It won’t be easy, he knows he has work to do. He sounds more than willing to put the effort in, individually if he has to, he says.

The self-deprecating Bush comparison, seeing what it’s like to be on the other side of the “you’re a racist” charge and realizing he doesn’t enjoy how the hammer feels. This is a learning process. “It’s not about race, America.” He’s right. It usually never is, yet seemingly the first card played these days when someone wants to: A). end the conversation; B). change the topic because they know they can’t win the argument; C). place an opponent on perpetual defense (shifting the focus) and leaving them unable to progress on offense or tell their story, or; D). paint the opponent with the strongest “guilty until proven innocent” negative possible. Kanye = D with hints of C, not deserved but that’s not how it always works. Not as much fun when the hammer’s in the other hand.

I admit I Googled “asshole” when he mentioned it and fully expected to see Kanye’s face, as he suggested would be there two pages in. I had hoped the added searching everyone was doing based on his say so had pushed it to the top page. It took about eight pages before I finally realized it was a metaphor. Who’s the douchebag now?

He says he takes weekends off. “Gotta balance the work load and take time to reset.” That’s good. “Take in a movie. Have a nice lunch. Smile. Take your kids to the park. Walk your dogs. #LIFEISTHEEVENT … I’ll provide the soundtrack.” Also good. After retweeting some positive fan reactions from his new song, he comes back a few hours later and thanks fans directly. Seemingly inspired by the new material, he begins to put the past to rest but before firing the first of his 72 salvos, there’s this unreported tidbit:

yenthealien Dear @kanyewest, how do you do it, seriously? You have outdone yourself yet again. You rock the Philippine shores. 4:37 AM Sep 4th via web

yenthealien @kanyewest Been playing your songs in our unit today. My friends are telling me to treat them to ice cream if you reply. Feed the hungry? :) 4:45 AM Sep 4th via web

kanyewest @yenthealien ok treat them to ice cream : ) 5:11 AM Sep 4th via web in reply to yenthealien

kanyewest Devil ina New Dress was produced by Bink… classic… instantly gave me a feel I’ve missed in music for so long 5:13 AM Sep 4th via web

yenthealien @kanyewest Sweet! My friends are asking why I’m so lucky and if God forgot abt them. Haha. Will buy the best ice cream in the Phils now. :) 5:36 AM Sep 4th via web

yenthealien I can die now. Kanye West tweeted back. :) http://twitpic.com/2l3y2k 5:43 AM Sep 4th via Twitpic

I don’t think a douchebag would have replied.

The media coverage and fallout since he made news with this apology has been strangely quiet. Don’t think this story didn’t get play — it was music news, entertainment news, gossip news, country music news, hip-hop news, international news — it was everywhere. After the initial coverage, the story pretty much went away. If Kanye had done something stupid, the media would have fanned it and slapped him around for a few weeks until the next celebrity (Mel Gibson) did something even more stupid. Instead, it’s over and doesn’t this prove his point? “Who benefited off of the moment?” Who would have gained more material and run crazy on fire with it had Kanye Pest Kanye Wested his standard Kanye-ism and Kanye-d a Kanyekaze Kanyebag which led to Kanye-Westitis? He does something sincere and heartfelt, albeit late, and the media doesn’t know what to do with it — which only proves it was sincere and heartfelt, albeit late. It’ll take a while for him to get beyond it but there’s hope that this is certainly a positive step in the right direction.

He “wrote a song for Taylor Swift that’s so beautiful, and I want her to have it. If she won’t take it then I’ll perform it for her.” I think we need to hear it. If the song is called “Beyoncé was better, white girl” and the chorus is in ALL CAPS, I reserve the right to amend everything I’ve said here.

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