Thursday, April 29, 2010

Kanye West and the Media that Provokes Him

Entertaining to the public, annoying to other celebrities and a dream to the press, Kanye West is a victim of the frenzied, obsessed media we have here in America. From the glossy pages of People to “”, we are taught to worship the rich and famous. The most famous of the famed are the ones who do the wildest things, the ones who throw the most extravagant parties and ones who marry (and divorce) the most people. The media, which ranges from Perez Hilton to anyone who has ever read Us Weekly, encourages celebrities to create controversy by following those who do. Would Jon + Kate Plus 8 have achieved the TV ratings it has if the Gosselins were a happy family of ten? No. Would Britney Spears’ horrific song Circus have gotten into Billboard 200, yet alone debuted at No.1, had she not experienced a mental breakdown, including shaving her head, only months before? The American public rewards those who break the rules by giving them extensive publicity. Kanye West recognizes this and simply does what needs to be done in order for him to achieve fame. Time and time again we have seen this rapper engage in controversial behavior and then come out a few days later with an apology or excuse. For example, on September 2nd, 2005, Kanye deviated from his script during a concert benefiting Hurricane Katrina and declared “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” Understandably, this proclamation caused much attention. Later, West defended his statement by saying “he has a hard time believing that George Bush cares about anyone.” The most televised and most famous of all Kanye’s controversies may be his interrupting of Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the VMAs. While Kanye faced heavy scrutiny for this, it was the event everyone in America was talking about and outshined the awards themselves. That is exactly what Kanye wants. He doesn’t care if some mothers in Ohio think he is a jerk. What he wants is publicity. And he got it.

Although these controversies have earned him much criticism and the title of “Jackass” (from President Obama himself), Kanye has actually benefited from these incidents. We as the American public have shown interest in him, which is what he or any other entertainer wants. Kanye’s song, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” illustrates his infatuation with fame and even references some of his controversies (“I’m on TV talking like its just you and me”). West is a perfect example of a celebrity obsessed by the media and getting its attention.


Saving the World

We've had comments requesting the topic of global warming. An excellent way to begin. Now, the prospect of global warming isn't generally that touchy - most everyone agrees that it's real and it's happening and it's serious. But here's our question: Do we care?
It seems harsh, sure. But often global warming is such a distant, big-picture issue that we find it difficult to really, genuinely muster up encouragement. We might attend a benefit if we're invited, and we'll nod along as Cameron Diaz lectures us about the power of hybrid cars on TV - but we can't find it in us to take action.
Here's how I feel. Looking at pictures of the Holocaust stirs up sadness. Reading about the sex trafficking business in third-world countries brews anger. But thinking about the ozone layer....personally, it doesn't really get me going.
Meanwhile, if I'm being told to take my charger out of its plug when I'm not using it, how can I stop the feeling that my changes are minor and insignificant? How can I motivate myself to alter my lifestyle for the planet if I can't see, touch, bear witness to the rewards of my actions? The benefits of helping the planet are huge. Unfortunately, they're not tangible.
There are, however, a few wonderful exceptions. The government provides tasty tax benefits for solar powered homes; there are, similarly, plenty of government-funded rebates on hybrid and electric cars. There is the fact that being "all about green" is very, very fashionable; so if you're in a big environmental campaign, you're the It Thing in your community. That's a reward everyone can enjoy; if you're in a big environmental campaign, that is.
But what about the little things, like turning off the faucet when we're not using it, and taking shorter showers? Those are the changes that are most realistic for everyday people, but they don't offer any benefits you can enjoy. Nothing much other than the thought that you're doing the right thing.
Thoughts? How can we change this and make the threat of global warming more real, more powerful so as to inspire Americans to make a difference? How can we show our people that the changes they make really are helping, and offer them attainable rewards?


Welcome to Álit

To our readers -

At Álit we observe and reflect. Thoughts, encounters, experiences, people; we believe that inspiration can be found in all of these forms and more. No boundaries.
Welcome. If there's a topic you want to discuss, anything that crosses your mind - tell us.
We're here.

- Meredith & Olivia