My presence is a present; kiss my ass!
– Kanye West, “Monster”

Kanye West has released the designed-to-be-controversial video for his single, “Monster”, and it puts Lady Gaga, Rihanna, etc. – heck, it even puts Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie – on notice, that anything they can do, he can do sleazier.

It’s all about shock one-upmanship in the music biz these days, and shock is what Kanye and his buddies and co-creators of the video are out to do. If you haven’t seen it – miss it twice.
If you have, then you witnessed a lot of white womens’ bodies. And I mean, bodies. As in lifeless bodies. It seems that Kanye likes corpses. He likes to have them in bed with him. He likes to play with their lifeless limbs the way little girls do with Barbie dolls. He likes them swinging from the ceiling. He likes only parts of them. And he likes them to be white. Now, ordinarily, I wouldn’t make a big deal out of that, but this is Kanye West, remember? The guy who pointed out that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” in the aftermath of Katrina. The guy who made it obvious, by bounding up on stage and grabbing the microphone from Taylor Swift, that he felt that racism was the reason why Beyonce didn’t win the award for VMA “Best Video”.
Why aren’t some of the corpses in his video African American? Well, I guess I could be like Kanye and assume it’s because he considers white women more expendable.
But, of course, I shouldn’t think that way. After all, at the start of the video a disclaimer runs that says, “The following content is in no way to be interpreted as misogynistic or negative toward any groups of people. It is an art piece and it shall be taken as such.” Silly me! Now that Kanye has done me the honor of telling me how I am to “take” his “art piece”, all doubts have been removed.
He’s not misogynistic or prejudiced. He’s not a monster, either.

He’s just an asshole.

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Caru
Member

That video was hilarious. “Look at me, I’m dark and edgy!”

Khirad
Member

ZAXTLY.

THANK YOU.

The original spoofed itself without anyone else having to.

But hey, we’re children, and the grown-ups are telling us we’ve been brainwashed and desensitized or some such nonsense. How in their day things were so much better… besides the segregation, lynchings, etc. You know, stuff in REAL life. Damn kids and their hippity hop and such. Get off my lawn.

As far as a horror theme goes though, I like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs Heads will Roll better. Now that’s actually more artsy and doesn’t lampoon itself like Kanye. The problem with him, among many, is he takes himself to seriously.

And thus, in summation, that video was friggin’ hilarious, not offensive – except to good taste.

SallyT
Member

Hey, Khirad, I’m old but I don’t go back as far as lynchings! Oh, I take that back, there were lynchings in the 50’s and 60’s by rasist aholes in the south. But, hey, I was a Hippie before it was hippity hop. They felt about our music in many of the same ways. We just didn’t have the music videos to put so much in your face. I mean they wouldn’t show Elvis below the waist on TV. Let alone making the Stones and the Doors alter their lyrics on the Ed Sullivan Show. (Although Jim Morrison didn’t) But, we did make some good music in my day. Will you give me that much?

Kalima
Admin

I suppose that I’m included in your list of grown ups being as I took offense at the “get off my lawn” reference, but I don’t consider anyone aged 30ish a child. By the age of 30 I had lived in 3 countries, been married for 6 years, been pregnant twice and started our own business. So no, I don’t think of you as a child or anyone over 20 as one either. Again, in case I didn’t make myself understood, my disgust with this creep’s video has absolutely nothing to do with my age or my interests, but has everything to do with disrespect to women worldwide. Just wanted to clear that up before I get too busy, and to tell you that I felt exactly the same way as I do now in my 30’s about disrespect to women. I can even go back further to my 20’s, so that strange isn’t it?

Caru
Member

choicelady
Member

WTS – I’ve never seen one thing he’s done or heard one word he’s uttered, but it sounds utterly disgusting. I’m pretty sick of the media world’s exploitation of women or anyone else. But mostly I’m sick of the “I’m an artist because I SAY I’m an artist so worship my product even if it sucks” attitude.

I have no idea whether you’re judging him too harshly or not, but I do think if he’s grinding out images of brutality against women that it does need to be called out, so thank you. Based on your descriptions, I can’t think of a single thing that would make his depictions OK. I’d boycott his work except I already am de facto.

Indifference may be the best revenge.

KQµårk 死神
Member

Sure West seems to be a narcissist but I don’t know him personally so I really can’t fully judge the man. I’m a bit surprised by this judgmental attitude coming from you for someone you don’t even know. I judge and we all judge people in the spotlight but I hope I qualify it with “seems” or “appears” to be more often than not because like I said I don’t know them.

ADONAI
Member

As a fan of Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, and others

I have to say that was one of the tamest things I’ve ever seen.

This is what’s controversial now a days?

Jesus Christ people. Snoop ACTUALLY KILLED SOMEONE. They even made a video about it.

Khirad
Member

Um, so, yeah. Kanye is an ego, I’ve never particularly thought he was that talented, but if you’re offended by this, than you’d hate one of my favorite movies, Blade, and such.

It was just lame. We’re getting a little too PC and reading oh so much more than Kanye could ever read into it. I also wonder if he wasn’t attempting to be a little tongue in cheek (though not convincingly).

I remember there was another nontroversy about Rihanna’s “bondage song” months back. That was among the stupidist, most uninformed faux outrages I’ve ever heard.

No, it’s not shocking at all. I’m sorry, but you’re all sounding a little “get off my lawnish”.

Would I want tweens viewing it? No. But really, my bigger concern is that they’re just being exposed to someone who isn’t even talented in his own genre, let alone one that I prefer. But as far as that genre goes, this was tame as far as misogyny goes. You might call it a step up.

As far as fetishization of death, well, let’s go back to Bram Stoker. Let’s crucify Nick Cave for Murder Ballads, etc.

I will always protect the crap, even stuff far more vile than this total lameness. Because if they can come after the crap, than they can come after earnest, real art exploring taboo subjects.

Pretty dead white girl.

[img]http://www.artunframed.com/images/demuth/millais47.jpg[/img]

SallyT
Member

Khirad, is that the real name of that picture? I have never seen that before. Also, Khirad, Bram Stoker is a good example along with Mary Shelly, Edgar Allen Poe, and many others. But, why not include the Bible? There is all kinds of violence in it.

Buddy McCue
Member

SallyT – This beautiful painting came from the hand of John Everett Millais, one of the Pre-Raphelites. He was a tremendously talented painter, and I wish I had half his skill. A high resolution detail of this particular painting can be found here (toward the bottom of the page:)

http://www.artrenewal.org/pages/artist.php?artistid=77&page=4

SallyT
Member

Thanks, Buddy and Audadvnc. I hadn’t seen it before and it is pretty. Buddy, thank you for the link.

audadvnc
Member
audadvnc

It’s called “Ophelia”.

Caru
Member

Nymph, in thy orisons
be all my sins remembered.

Kalima
Admin

Khirad, I hardly think that the fobbing off of comments of other members as being knee-jerk “get off my lawn” reactions, serves any purpose, in fact it’s a bit over the top. Just because they are a little older than you, doesn’t mean that they are not allowed to speak of their own moral standards to just to have them dissed as being “old fashioned”, out of touch. or angry. I always associate the “Get off my lawn” with grumpy older people, isn’t that the case?

Your generation has seen pretty much nothing else. People who have no real talent turn to the extremes of shocking other people, or wanting to shock people. I don’t think the guy has a very good voice anyway, nothing memorable. A perfect example would be Madonna, another one without much of a voice, who tried to regain her sagging popularity by publishing the trashy book “SEX”, the highlight of which was supposed to show her newly acquired muscles, and a shot of her “fagina” in the reflection of a mirror she was squatting over. For most of us, it was as ridiculous as it was pathetic, for her fans, I don’t really know or care.

My feeling is that if an “artist” has to go to these length to sell a song or an album, by shocking saner people, then their careers are already in the toilet. No one selling well would have to resort to trash like this.

Advice for Kanye, either go into therapy or hire a voice coach.

You think it’s ok, most here don’t, that’s ok too, but blaming it on the age difference is in my opinion being dishonest, when the appreciation of art, music, poetry and books is that of individual taste, that has little or nothing to do with how old a person might be.

People here find the display distasteful and have the perfect right to voice that distaste.

The fact that there is no video, didn’t see me running to youtube to watch it either, now or in the near future, and should it come to my tv screen, I can press the off button any time.

If I misunderstood the meaning of your comment, then I apologize in advance.

SallyT
Member

“Get off my lawn” is old fashion? Gee, well, whip my butt and call me Granny. If you saw how many of my neighbors dogs take a crap in my yard, you would yell it too. In tune or not. 🙂

Kalima
Admin

I live in Tokyo, have no lawn, and dogs crap on my doorstep.

SallyT
Member

Exactly! You know I was kidding, right? Would you believe that I have neighbors that clean up after their dog and leave the plastic bag on our sidewalk. Nice. Not. I guess I should take it to their house and light it on fire on their doorstep and yell, “FIRE!” Won’t work, its plastic. They never ask, “Paper or plastic?” before leaving it.

choicelady
Member

Sally – if it’s the same people all the time, I think a flaming bag of poo would not be amiss.

Or mailing it COD – return to sender…except you’d have to send it to the people because dogs don’t have pockets and thus no money. But it wasn’t the DOG that left the bag either.

I’m pretty much with you here.

KillgoreTrout
Member

I’m not saying he can’t continue to produce his crap. I just think that far too many “artists,” rely on shock value to sell their crap. It’s a cheap trick and really shows a lack of real talent.

KillgoreTrout
Member

Thank you, thank you, thank you for saying it wts. It kills me he can be making millions, living the life of total luxury and still find time to say they he is the victim of racism. I was going to ask, what does he want, but apparently he’s already told us. He wants us to kiss his ass.
I wouldn’t kiss Beethoven’s ass, let alone a no talent, mentally disturbed pop star. When a so called artist has to use “shock value,” to sell his art, then it isn’t very good art. If it’s even art at all. What a douchebag!

Sabreen60
Member
Sabreen60

I have never listened to Kanye in my life. In fact, I admit that I don’t much about any of the current crop of singers/rappers, save about 2 or 3. However, I disagree with you that because someone is rich they can’t be a victim of racism. I don’t know anything about Kanye. But I do many black men, wealthy or not who can’t hail a cab in the wee hours of the morning. I don’t know one single black man my age and younger who hasn’t had some encounter with a cop – driving while black. I realize that I know very, very few black men compared to the millions of men. I have heard well known entertainers, including Oprah speak about the racism they experienced. Oprah talked about what she experienced on her road trip with Gail. She also talked about being followed around in a very upscale boutique.

Just saying……….

KillgoreTrout
Member

Sabreen you are right about even rich people being subjected to racism. I guess I was thinking, oh gee, another unhappy multi-millionaire. For him, his race isn’t really an obstacle to his success. It’s part of it. And I do think he uses the issue of racism to further his “career.” I think he himself is a racist.

kesmarn
Admin

I haven’t seen the vid, wts, and it’s not too likely that I’ll go out of my way to catch it.

But from your description of it, I have to speculate that Kanye spends more time thinking about white women than someone who was totally indifferent to them would. In other words, white women seem to claim a fair amount of ownership in the neighborhood of his mental real estate.

To spend time fantasizing about the death of what you love/hate is still to be owned by it, to the degree that it obsesses you.

Maybe he should strive for an attitude of indifference. It would be better for us women. And maybe better for the culture in general.

After all, there’s already more than enough of the “hate-sells” influence on FOX.

Oh, and don’t you find the wording of the disclaimer interesting? It’s one thing to say that something is and art piece and should be taken as such. It’s quite another to demand that it shall be taken as such. Are we a bit grandiose today, Mr. West?

audadvnc
Member
audadvnc

What, no link? Here’s the Key of Awesome parody:

Well, it is called, “Monster”, not “Cream and Cherries” (though I bet a video with that title would also be outrageous). And really, is it any worse than John Lennon’s “Run For Your Life” (for its message of violence against women)?

KillgoreTrout
Member

Well at least there’s no necrophilia in that Beatles’ song.

audadvnc
Member
audadvnc

“Turn me on dead man”.

KillgoreTrout
Member

That’s an urban myth.

KillgoreTrout
Member

Lennon’s “Run For Your Life?”

{edit} Nevermind.

SallyT
Member

But, it’s the BEATLES! I love that song. I just thought it was about a jealous boyfriend saying it was the end (breaking up) if he caught her with another guy. I guess he could have shot her, too. But, that is what John gets for listening to an Elvis song, “Baby, Let’s Play House”. I think one of the lines in that song is “I’d rather see you dead little girl, than to be with another man.”

KillgoreTrout
Member

Lennon doesn’t actually say he’s going to kill her. And the notion that he’d rather see her dead than with another man, to me, just means he’s a fanatically jealous man and madly in love with her. I surely don’t think he was promoting violence against women.

choicelady
Member

Eh – ask a woman. It creeped me out. BTW the “Police” (I think) in “I’ll be watching you” is also the theme song for stalkers. Equally creepy.

KillgoreTrout
Member

Sure, I can imagine.

SallyT
Member

Killgore, in 1965 or was it 1966, anyway, the year it came out I was 15/16 years old girl that just heard it as a jealous boyfriend saying he would break up with her if he caught her with another guy. I didn’t hear “killing” either. But, in those days, Killgore, we didn’t have music videos showing how we should hear it or give us ideas that we might never have thought of. We had to use our own imagination. Of course, I was much more innocent then. And, they didn’t put as much in your face in those days.

SallyT
Member

Audadvnc, okay, I never would have watched this on my own but since you gave the link, I did. I can see where WTS has a problem with it and I can see how you see it. I don’t know if it about dead white girls as there was black girls, too. In the bed was white and black. Anyway, from an old white lady’s point of view, I didn’t get it at all. But, in all honesty, I haven’t got this music for years. With age, I hear a lot slower and I can’t follow the lyrics. If it is art, I would have to file it with other art works I don’t get, like Picasso depicting women with 6 boobs and limbs all distorted. Music, well, I like more actual music and lyrics that repeat in the chorus. However, I know that the more you make of it, the more popular it will get. Youtube has over 3 million hits so far. Like you said Audadvnc, there are many things out there depicting violence besides the music. And, WTS, I saw that guy at the VMA Awards and thought he was a Jerk/asshole. The video doesn’t change my opinion either way. I just have to tell you that I am sitting here laughing because WTS and Audadvnc got me to watch this “thing”!

Khirad
Member

Yes, Kanye is just an asshole.

But that video was not shocking in the least. It was just stupid.

It’s kinda funny, as if it weren’t for the disclaimer, those thoughts wouldn’t have even crossed my mind.

I would have just thought it sucked (vampyric pun not intended).