A note from Kanye West below. I'm glad dude is starting to come back around to what his real fundamental issues are. They call it self improvement cause it starts with self.
The episode was dope though. From pointing out Kanye's inability to let things go, to the parallel story about a comedy writing team composed of a genuine creative mind and an egomaniac who wants to sue all the late night talk show hosts for using the joke. Meanwhile, the kid who actually wrote the joke is just like, hey I'm just glad to see my joke on TV, I don't need to sue anyone, it's not that serious. You get the feeling that South Park writers Trey Parker and Matt Stone were saying that Kanye has both voices inside of him, which is why I thought the critique was fair. Ultimately it was a challenge to Kanye to pick who he is going to be and stick with that, instead of being this chameleon who tries to play the fence between feel-good underground success story and celebrity ass-hole.
In presenting their critique that way, they show that they actually care about what decision Kanye makes, which is really one of the truest displays of love there can be between humans. The show wasn't just an drive-by sneak attack, it was a full-blown psychology session. And Kanye got hit square in the face with a critique that he could not argue against. Finally, the finger pointing, witch hunting, McCarthyism-esque, "hater" talk is revealed as just a self defense mechanism that we all have within us. The question for us, like Kanye, is whether or not we are solid enough with who we are, and where we are at in our lives, to stop defending ourselves all the time, and start listening to that inner voice in all of us that tells us everyday that we, like everyone else, the great Kanye West included, have some shit to work on within ourselves.
More commentary (and clips from the South Park episode), after the continued.
(Kanye West Blog) SOUTH PARK MURDERED ME LAST NIGHT AND IT'S PRETTY FUNNY. IT HURTS MY FEELINGS BUT WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM SOUTH PARK! I ACTUALLY HAVE BEEN WORKING ON MY EGO THOUGH. HAVING THE CRAZY EGO IS PLAYED OUT AT THIS POINT IN MY LIFE AND CAREER. I USE TO USE IT TO BUILD UP MY ESTEEM WHEN NOBODY BELIEVED IN ME. NOW THAT PEOPLE DO BELIEVE AND SUPPORT MY MUSIC AND PRODUCTS THE BEST RESPONSE IS THANK YOU INSTEAD OF "I TOLD YOU SO!!!" IT'S COOL TO TALK SHIT WHEN YOU'RE RAPPING BUT NOT IN REAL LIFE. WHEN YOU MEET LITTLE WAYNE IN PERSON HE'S THE NICEST GUY FOR EXAMPLE. I JUST WANNA BE A DOPER PERSON WHICH STARTS WITH ME NOT ALWAYS TELLING PEOPLE HOW DOPE I THINK I AM. I NEED TO JUST GET PAST MYSELF. DROP THE BRAVADO AND JUST MAKE DOPE PRODUCT. EVERYTHING IS NOT THAT SERIOUS. AS LONG AS PEOPLE THINK I ACT LIKE A BITCH THIS TYPE OF SHIT WILL HAPPEN TO ME. I GOT A LONG ROAD AHEAD OF ME TO MAKE PEOPLE BELIEVE I'M NOT ACTUALLY A HUGE DOUCHE BUT I'M UP FOR THE CHALLENGE. I'M SURE THE WRITERS AT SOUTH PARK ARE REALLY NICE PEOPLE IN REAL LIFE. THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO DRAW MY CREW. THAT WAS PRETTY FUNNY ALSO!! I'M SURE THERE'S GRAMMATICAL ERRORS IN THIS... THAT'S HOW YOU KNOW IT'S ME! (source)
But more than just the idea of self improvement, this whole South Park phenomenon is fascinating. Kanye was untouchable. No one else could "tell him nothing". It had to take someone who had achieved the same kind of cult status that Kanye himself achieved for him to listen. Cause the writers of South Park, because of their own cult following, could not be dismissed by Kanye fans as mere "haters". So that right there is what modern American society thinks differentiates "hating" from "critique". Very interesting. Even in that, you still have Kanye fans right now on his blog telling him to shrug off them "haters" and keep doing this thing -- totally missing the point. So fascinating is the human mind. Wow.
My first thought was, what happens to Kanye's blind followers? Lets be clear, I am a fan. So I do not "hate" Kanye. At the same time, I have never liked him so much as to follow his blog and comment on various material items that he shares with his fans each day; things that he can buy but that 90 percent of his readers only "ooh and ahh" at. In being defensive up until this point and shrugging off critique as "hating", Kanye has powered up this rabid fanbase of loyalist. Now that Kanye has made an about face, what happens to them? Do they fall in line? Or do they rebel and try and keep Kanye in his old self? This is all a very interesting study of the human mind, right? Do you see all the ways this could unfold? My friend was saying that it would be crazy if Kanye tomorrow changed his mind and rather than taking this as a critical moment in his self improvement journey, he instead began to see this South Park episode as an immortalizing of himself and allowed it to boost his ego even further. That would be scary.
I actually signed up for his blog and left a comment today. In itself, I've no problem with that because I am a fan. But I have to admit that it was a decision that gave me pause. Am I wasting my precious work time? I decided it was worth it at such an intersting point in this artist's life. Technology is amazing like that. Imagine if folks could have left a comment on Fela Kuti's blog, or Tupac's or Bob Marley's, or James Brown's blog? lol. Here's what I had to say to Kanye:
"You just encountered the door to history. If you can stay in touch with your fundamental self, you can enter it. I am a fan, but not a fan that comments on blogs of an artist. So that alone is big for me. Always known you were dope but was tired of hearing you tell me all the time. Your best quality Kanye is your vulnerability. You've shown us how regular celebrity life really is. That there are ups and downs just like my regular life. I respect you for showing us that through your music. You can have a healthy ego that uses your emotions and experiences as fuel to power your art, cause you no longer need ego to power your dreams cause you've reached them. Stay vulnerabile, dont get rid of your ego and sense of self, just control it and keep it in check with a dose of humility every day when you wake up. Besides that, keep showing us who you are through your art. Peace."
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