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Mr. West

PH2009091303146.jpgI missed Lunch Break today because I'm on a work PC (shudder) and it doesn't have Flash 10 and I can't install it because I lack admin privileges. All in all, quite a fail. The video I would've linked you to is this Hulu clip of SNL spoofing Kanye West's award show shenanigans.

That clip is a year or so old now, but it basically asked a simple question: how could West keep his award show tantrums fresh? West has managed to make himself the topic of pretty much every ceremony he attends. That's good for the brand, even if it doesn't make the brand look good. But he can't keep doing the same thing. There's a fine line between passion and schtick.

The answer, according to SNL, was to take the act to different types of award shows. The ceremony for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, for instance. But they got it wrong. West actually just varied the subject of his award show outbursts. Rather than being about awards he should've won, he began freaking out about awards he shouldn't have won, or that his friends should have won. Thus, the substance of the complaint isn't about him, even as the coverage of it is.

Which seems pretty smart. The commentary on West's outburst has mostly focused on what it says about him. But what it says about him is that he's a showman. And he's read the audience right: You can't just bum rush the stages at these things. If the organizers didn't want him on the podium, he wouldn't be up there. But he is up there, and we're all talking about it. "Bow in the presence of greatness," he rapped on Stronger. "That I would even show up to this fake s--t. So go ahead, go nuts, go ape s--t."

And so we do.

Photo credit: By Jason DeCrow — Associated Press

By Ezra Klein  |  September 14, 2009; 2:32 PM ET
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Next: Compromises


Actually, these Kanye spoofs to be should be done by the AutoTune the News folks.

Posted by: bdballard | September 14, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I get that you work for a big family-friendly media empire, but it's unfortunate that you must treat your audience like f--king adolescents.

Personally, I don't see why you're not allowed to use the word "snot" on a blog in 2009 anyway.

Posted by: wovenstrap | September 14, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"what it says about him is that he's a showman."

is that what it says about him?
what it says about him is that he almost ruined what could should have been one of the happiest and most wonderful nights of a young singer's life.
as she walked into the spotlight, he took it away from her, and then beyonce's magnanimity was very kind, but it took it away from her even a second time.

is that what you reduce that kind of awfulness to?
crashing into the spotlight and shouting that beyonce was more deserving of the award?
i think it says plenty about him, and none of it is very good.

how soon before we see west on the larry king show, reaping more publicity over the awful thing he did.
another giant nail in the coffin of civility and what is good and gentle in the world.

Posted by: jkaren | September 14, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

What it shows about Mr. West is he couldn't stand to see a white (really white with blond hair and all) person beat a black woman.

Posted by: WrongfulDeath | September 15, 2009 4:17 AM | Report abuse

I like how K. West wants to win the "Nobel Peace Price for Physics."

I wonder if he misspoke or if that was part of the joke.

Posted by: es184 | September 15, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

The real question though, is does he like fishsticks?

Posted by: | September 15, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

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