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Posts Tagged ‘Kanye West

“Bad artists always admire each others’ work”*…

 

Woody Allen, Picasso… now Kanye West: Can one separate the artist from the art?

[The] disappointment with West’s flirtation with right-wing politics, whether genuine or just a publicity stunt for his new album, raises an age-old debate about the separation (or lack thereof) between art and the artist—specifically, in this case, between the politics of art and the politics of the artist. As Talking Points Memo founder Josh Marshall tweeted last week:

This comparison might seem outrageous. Pound, the legendary American poet, stained his reputation by advocating for Benito Mussolini and broadcasting fascist messages on Italian radio during World War II. Trump, despite his authoritarian tendencies, is hardly Mussolini, nor are West’s tweets in the same category as Pound’s rants, which were laced with anti-Semitism.

But it’s a useful comparison precisely because Pound’s actions were so extreme: The stillrunning debate surrounding him—about whether an artist’s political views should shape how an audience views their work—can help clarify the new debate surrounding West…

Consider more completely at “Is Kanye West ‘the Ezra Pound of Rap’?“; then see “The Picasso Problem: Why We Shouldn’t Separate the Art From the Artist’s Misogyny” and “Can you separate the artist from the art?

Meantime, see a series of Kanye’s infamous recent tweets, reproduced as New Yorker cartoon captions, e.g.:

Then, for a very different point-of-view, see “The Overground Hell Road: The Similarities Between Kanye and Gandhi Are Scary.”

* Oscar Wilde

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As we govern our glance, we might send (notional) birthday greetings to Sir Harry Paget Flashman VC, KCB, KCIE; he was (notionally) born on this date in 1822.  Originally created as a minor character by Thomas Hughes  in his semi-autobiographical Tom Brown’s School Days— Flashman is a bully who torments Tom Brown– Flasman got a second– and much more expansive life when George MacDonald Fraser decided to write his “memoir.”  The result runs to 12 hilarious historical novels– collectively known as “The Flashman Papers“– in which Hughes’ bully becomes an illustrious Victorian soldier while remaining “a scoundrel, a liar, a cheat, a thief, a coward—and, oh yes, a toady.”

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Written by LW

May 5, 2018 at 1:01 am

“Life is like a beautiful melody, only the lyrics are messed up”*…

 

Seinfeld caps + Kanye West lyrics: SeinYeWest

* Hans Christian Andersen (in translation)

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As we do the mash, we might recall that it was on this date in 410 that Rome was sacked by the Barbarian Visigoths, led by Alaric.  Rome was no longer the capital of the Western Roman Empire (it had moved to Mediolanum and then to Ravenna); but it remained the Empire’s spiritual and cultural center.  And it had not fallen to an enemy in almost 800 years (the Gauls sacked Rome in 387 BCE).  As St. Jerome, living in Bethlehem at the time, wrote: “The City which had taken the whole world was itself taken.”

A 15th-century depiction of the Sack of Rome (with anachronistic details)

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Written by LW

August 24, 2014 at 1:01 am

Special Beach Blanket Edition: Roll Over, Eustace Tilley…

In your correspondent’s quest to highlight mash-ups of note*, an interruption of the annual idyll to share the exquisite pleasure of Kanye New Yorker Tweets (c.f. also here):  the actual twittering of the Taylor Swift-interrupting hip hop climber, set to drawings that have graced the pages of The New Yorker.

Consider for example:

Many, many more here.

*Other mash-ups: C.f., e.g., here, here, or here

As we celebrate the serendipitous results of radical juxtaposition, we might recall that it was on this date in 30 BCE that Cleopatra VII Philopator, the last pharaoh to rule Egypt (and storied lover of Antony) committed suicide.  Historians from Strabo and Plutarch have reported that the Queen did herself in by having an asp bite her.  But earlier this year, the German historian Christoph Schaefer challenged this account, declaring that the queen had actually died from drinking a mixture of poisons. After studying historic texts and consulting with toxicologists, Schaefer concluded that the asp could not have caused the slow and pain-free death reported.  Schaefer and his lead toxicologist Dietrich Mebs insist that Cleopatra used a mixture of hemlock, wolfsbane and opium.

Another asterisk for the record books…

The Queen of Egypt

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