he hates the press
if you’d like to understand for a moment what it’s like to be ‘famous,’ so to speak, write a popular anything on a website. watch the comments stream in from people with more words of malice than you’ve ever witnessed. watch the anonymous hordes pour vitriol on your creation and dance around the fire of your burning, crumbling ego. that miserable void of nothingness and fear is fuel to modern media. photographers make more money in a day chasing rihanna’s last lit blunt than they could photographing all the starving workers in china or the rape victims in india or the child soldiers in uganda. we reward infamy, hollow celebrity and hatred and we spit on talent, artistry and creation. we do this so consistently that anyone making good anything for public consumption has to eventually question how much they love themselves if they stay around to absorb this confusing backlash.
kanye west and lebron james, at one point, incessantly read what people said about them online. two of the most accomplished figures in their fields were nearly toppled by blog comments and twitter status updates. death threats. family insults. potshots. the collective enmity of the world, full of trolls and fearful personal demons, projected itself on to our most valued entertainers as if to say, ‘i hate you for being able to get my attention and keep it.’ if that’s not reason to hate media, the public eye and american culture, i don’t know what is. fortunately, for the admirers and creators and lovers among us, these two acolytes learned to ignore most of the feedback and keep producing, producing in spite of it and not because of it. they reached even greater peaks.
but every time kanye sits for an interview, he has this industry of terror and malice on the brain. he will occasionally comment on the insanity it breeds, but for the most part he seeks a transcendent role that distances his work from it. nevertheless, the tension in a kanye interview exists in the moments he’s not excoriating the media, because it seems like he could do it at any time, at full throttle, and similarly lay waste to all of our precious expectations.
for that, i’ll be tuned in.