Saturday, June 20, 2009

Kanye West disses reading

This is what we’re up against.

You know Kanye West, the rapper. (Don’t tell your kids if you don’t because he’s huge. Like HUGE. And amazing – as a rapper, that is. He’s also the one who blurted out that surprising and awesome statement in the middle of a Hurrican Katrina pledge drive that, “George Bush doesn't care about black people.”)

So Kanye West, no stranger to controversy, recently announced that he doesn't like books. This, despite the fact that his late mother was an English professor, and despite the fact THAT HE JUST PUBLISHED A BOOK, hello!

Anyway, in the vein of you-need-to-know-what-you’re-up-against, I thought it would be helpful to let parents know what Kanye says about books (snide comments in brackets are mine):
“I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book’s autograph.” (Hmmm.)
“I am a proud non-reader of books.” (Oxymoron.)
“I like to get information from doing stuff like actually talking to people and living real life.” (You can’t do both?)
"Sometimes people write novels and they just be so wordy and so self-absorbed..." (Isn't your book about your thoughts and sayings? Well, let's hope it's not wordy.)

How to counter Kanye
*If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Buy your kid his book. It’s actually pretty interesting. Some of the pages are blank, and the rest of them are mostly sayings. Maybe your child will like the book, which is good, or maybe he'll think "well, this is dumb," which also has some merit given the context.
*Point out that Kanye WROTE A BOOK. How can you not like books and then WRITE A BOOK???
*Tell your kids that Kanye also said that his mom, “raised me to be the voice to allow people to think for themselves, to find their own way.” Which means that you don’t have to listen to people who diss reading.
*Point out, once again, that KANYE WROTE A BOOK. He wrote a book! He wrooooote a book.

Here’s Kanye's statement about George Bush. Watch Mike Myers’s face. It is priceless. :40 seconds.
Here's a Reuters article on Kanye dissing reading (and yet, as previously mentioned, publishing a book.)
And here's Kanye West's video for Heartless. I have to admit, I'm a fan. Of his music. And his George Bush statement.


sheila said...

There was a music award show a while back (I completely forget which one, maybe the Grammys?) and Kanye lost best new artist to someone else. I was astounded to watch him walk out onto the stage and hijack the moment for the winner. Ever since then I've seen him as a big dumb dope, and I tell my kids the same thing: he's a bad loser. Nothing worse than that. So I'm not surprised to hear that he's still spouting ridiculous remarks. He's probably just mad because his book isn't selling as well as he'd expected.

Joyce Grant said...

You're right. My impression is that he's a master manipulator.
I know the awards show you're referring to - he went onstage and complained that he should have gotten the award.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to the video. Poor Mike Myers!! You can just hear his brain going: "Whhhhaaat? How do I follow *that* statement?" after each time Kanye finished talking. Chris Tucker also looked pretty stunned at the end of the video.

Van said...

Hands down Kanye is a good artist but until he gets out of the "I act like a child but rationalize it by being an adult (like most do)" He'll continue to do childish shit. Look how he disses people like Radiohead instead of The Game? Games a pussy and if Ye' fears em well you know what that makes him. In the sense he hates books, maybe he was refferring to the fact he hates sitting there reading long drawn out text that untimely results in a letdown. However reading in general is something he does 24/7. He writes music so maybe seeing words fucks with his head. I dont know I think you're just micromanaging this subject too much to get hits for your blog, and possibly this comment wont be posted out of fear of the true-oppinion. But if it is posted, more props to you.

Joyce Grant said...

Thanks for your comment.
Well, I'm certainly not afraid of "true opinions" - and as a journalist I most definitely believe in free speech!
I did toy with the idea of replacing some of the expletives with ***s, because I know of at least one young person who reads this blog. But it's not very likely he'd get this far down in the comments. And for adults, there's not much difference between the actual f-word and a bunch of asterisks. (However, if you asked me my preference, I'd say let's try and avoid expletives.)
I've gotta confess, I was aware that using Kanye's name might make people read a blog about literacy when they otherwise may not have. :)
However, my original intention in posting about the subject was to give parents information they could actually discuss with their kids - about literacy, and about something cool that they might be interested in.
I've also done it with Twilight, the Gameboy DS and Potter Puppet Pals, which I discussed to provide parents with cool stuff to help their kids want to read.
Anyway, thanks for posting a comment!

Anonymous said...

I must say, Kanye is an idiot. Why would he want to lead people down the same 'hard path' he took(college DROPOUT). He needs to be air dropped into haiti, and explain to the people there, why AMERICAN black people are SOOO important, yet he isn't giving a dime, or saying a thing about haiti. **** kanye, I hope his next album fails, due to his brash idiotic actions. And because I can't stand 1 song he's ever made.