I wasn’t going to write about any of this. Everyone else has been blowing up the internet with how they feel and I felt like it’d be redundant.
But then I saw a pattern going on here. How could I resist?
First off, Joe Wilson:
Wilson (Republican) is a United States Congressman from South Carolina. During Obama’s address on his health care plan to a join session of Congress last week, Wilson yelled out like he was in the audience of a daytime talk show. While Obama was addressing what he felt were myths and misconceptions about his proposed plan, including claims that it included provisions to cover undocumented immigrants (which I don’t think would be a bad idea), Wilson pointed and shouted directly at Obama, “You lie!”: (the exchange begins at 1:10)
I love how Pelosi shoots him a look that only your mom would give you when you’re acting up, right before she beats the shit out of you.
People from both sides of the aisle criticized Wilson, calling it disrespectful and inappropriate. Calls for an apology were met right away, with Wilson saying: “While I disagree with the President’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility.” Obama accepted it, issue should have been over right? Ha.
Yesterday Congress passed a “Resolution of Disapproval” for Wilson’s outburst. Democrats said they were playing hall monitor and defending the rules, Republicans felt like it was a waste of time and that they should go back to arguing, bickering, and wasting time on other issues.
Both sides are trying to use this for their political gain: Dems to drag it out and show that the Repubs are being bullies, Repubs trying to make it seem like they want to get back to work. Reality: if the sides were switched, they’d probably do the same thing to each other.
My point? I do find it funny that this whole thing took time away from the health care debate, away from finding someway to fix our medical system. While it’s great to keep people accountable to rules, don’t forget the tens of millions of people who are still living without health care at this very moment. Everyday reform is delayed, that’s another day we are forced to suffer under this broken system. Folks can’t think about whether the proper rules and etiquette in Congress when they just declared bankruptcy because of their medical bills or when they are refused medical service because they don’t have the right insurance (or none at all). The time to move on was last week so this week we can get closer to fixing the problem. Every delay could cost another person their life/ livelihood. Was it really worth it?
Ok, on to Kanye West:
So in case if you don’t have twitter or facebook or have chosen to completely ignore the media the past couple days, Kanye got himself into all sorts of shit at this past weekend’s MTV Video Music Awards.
Ok, so basically Taylor Swift won for “Best Female Video”, beating Pink, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, and Beyonce. While Swift was making her acceptance speech, West leaps up onto stage, grabs the mic from her, and argues that Beyonce’s video was “one of the best videos of all time”: (the video of the incident is in the link below)
The day of the VMAs, everyone’s twitter/ facebook/ tumblr/ youtube/ whatever else blew up the Kanye/ Swift incident. Most folks were talking about how pissed off they were at Kanye West, how they felt sympathy for poor Taylor Swift, and how courageous Beyonce was in inviting Swift on stage with her. That continued into the night and the next couple of days.
The thing about Kanye’s VMA intrusion is that it wasn’t the first time he’s done something like that! Anyone remember the 2006 MTV Europe Music Awards?:
I don’t have enough time to talk about all the other controversies this guy has involved in throughout his career, but this is the second time he’s run up on stage and interrupted someone else’s speech (though he still loses out to the ODB and the Grammys). Kanye is the master of media attention. Whether or not this turns into an actual decline in sales remains to be seen.
Regardless of whether or not you agree with Kanye’s opinion, I think we can all agree that there are better venues to address your disapproval (if that’s really your main intention). What I thought was interesting was the backlash he received from people right after. It felt as if folks were ready to burn him at the stake.
My point? What is it about Kanye West that really gets under our skin? The fact that what he did was really rude and that seems to be a very clear cut opinion? Or that its easy for us to criticize Kanye because at the end of the day he won’t react to you personally for your opinions about him? After the dust settles, all four parties involve win. Taylor Swift’s name is now known to millions more than before. Beyonce looks like the person caught in the middle and the big hero for letting Swift finish her speech. Kanye, though even more people hate him now, has brought attention back to him, which has always been his main motivation for all of his outbursts. Again, he’s done this before and he became as popular as ever. And of course MTV wins out because everyone and their moms wants to see what happened. VMA rating and replays shoot through the roof.
In between everyone’s Kanye-related status updates, folks from the Philippines were trying to spread the word about the recent disappearance of Anakbayan member, Noriel Rodriguez:
I started to think about the over 1,100 extra-judicial killings in the Philippines and every other important issue around the world. I imagined that if folks put as much energy into criticizing the Philippine Gov’t for their lack of action on stopping these human rights violations as they did criticizing Kanye West for making Taylor Swift cry, would Noriel have been kidnapped in the first place? Is the reason why our state government feels so able to raise our tuition and cut our classes because we care more about what happened on the VMAs?
I’m not trying to act like I’m above the materialistic BS in the world. If you look at my twitter from Monday, it was all about football. I’m not trying to be on a high horse and act like I’m better than ANYONE. Instead, my point is that I hope we, the youth and students of the world, are all able to look at ourselves in the mirror everyday and feel confident that we are at least attempting to fix the problems we all face. If you blew up your facebook about Kanye on Sunday, but woke up Monday doing your part to fight for bigger issues, more props to you.
Oh and Obama thinks Kanye’s a jackass. I think he’s trying to get more votes for his health care plan. Especially after this:
Oh yeah, I heard some person was mocking Professor Gonzo during his class and Gonzo tore him a new one. That’s a harsh lesson to learn for an SFSU newbie: Don’t mess with Gonzo, he’ll destroy you. And that’s why I wish every college campus had a Gonzo to lay the educational smackdown.
So the overall lesson? Each is a case where if the person in question just chose a better time/ venue/ method to expressing themselves, it could have saved everyone a whole lot of trouble. For us, the audience in question, just remember to not get too caught up in the moment. There’s bigger fish to fry and people who are going through extremely fucked up situations. Don’t forget the bigger picture.
Oh yeah, and if we’re in it for pure entertainment purposes and not being principled, wouldn’t it be awesome if people reacted more like Professor Daniel Gonzalez? Imagine if Barack Obama and Taylor Swift totally pwed Joe Wilson and Kanye West! Sometimes, people need to be told to SHUT THE F*CK UP!
Great way to end if I say so myself =)