Kanye West never ceases to amaze me. And not in a good way. I only caught a minute of NBC's A Concert for Hurricane Relief last night, but luckily for me, it happened to be the exact moment Kanye was babbling incoherently about race relations in this country (a topic that deserves examination in light of the events in New Orleans, and one that was more eloquently discussed by the panel on HBO's Real Time with Bill Mahr an hour later). Once again, the man the ever-important Time has dubbed "Hip-hop's Class Act," publicly struggled to construct a sentence in his head, shoved his entire foot in his mouth, and attempted to talk at the same time. Mike Myers, who was paired with Kanye, nodded his head in a vain attempt at supporting his onscreen buddy, said something about supporting the relief effort, and then passed the baton back to Kanye. You could almost see the gears in the rapper/producer's head turn just before he blurted out "George Bush doesn't care about black people" with about as much conviction as someone reading from a teleprompter—go figure. (To see video of this outburst, please click here.) Cut to Chris Tucker. Host Matt Lauer ended the night with this bit of wisdom: "Emotions in this country right now are running very high. Sometimes that emotion is translated into inspiration, sometimes into criticism. We've heard some of that tonight. But it's still part of the American way of life." Unless you live on the West Coast, in which case your American way of life—regardless of how inappropriate, simpleminded, or unintelligible it may seem—will be edited for content.
This blog entry was originally published on Slant Magazine on the date above.