Carnes: Kanye West, Taylor Swift and the consequences for apathetic entertainment (column)
October 15, 2018
With proper perspective, politics can be entertaining, especially in today's partisan climate. One of the most entertaining aspects of last week was watching and reading conservatives trying oh-so-hard to defend and justify the latest bizarre conversations coming out of the White House.
And then there was the whole Kanye West thing.
Listening to the words from the circus in the Oval Office reminded me of Charlie Sheen and his drug-fueled rants about "winning" and "tiger blood." Like slow-motion rubbernecking at a Vail Pass crash during a blizzard, we couldn't stop ourselves from staring in disbelief.
And then the politicians kicked it into high gear, one side tripping over each other in order to be the first to praise Kanye (as soon as their staff clued them in as to who he actually was) and the other publicly questioning how a "black celebrity" could possibly be so delusional.
As I said, entertaining.
And many would preface their comments to make sure listeners understood up front that Kanye is a "musical genius," and then proceed to question his mental stability.
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I keep wondering if they're confusing it with "stable genius."
The immediate partisan angles only served to prove how incredibly fractured we've become as a nation, as Kanye speaks for African Americans like Trump speaks for sexual assault victims and George Soros speaks for the poor.
What used to be Marie "I'm a little bit country," and Donny "I'm a little bit rock 'n' roll," has become Metallica's "Kill 'em all" and Taylor Swift "We are never ever, ever getting back together."
And speaking of Taylor Swift, she swiveled her skirt onto the political dance floor by daring to speak publicly on the election, having the gall to urge her followers to register, research candidates — even those they disagree with — and vote.
The right immediately screamed "Bad Blood" while the left responded with "Shake it off."
Both sides are full of opportunistic members far more obsessed with party than country.
So I personally don't care if you're on the side of paranoid rednecks shouting, "Arm yourselves," while carrying tiki torches and claiming your opponent is the "Party of crime, too dangerous to govern," or the one highlighting a narcissist climbing up airplane steps with toilet paper stuck on his shoe while they shout, "Medicare for all," and demanding debt-free college and a $15 minimum wage, as both are chock full of empty platitudes like "We'll fight for the middle class … Protect your rights … and either "Fix (or destroy) Obamacare."
The only way for any change at all to occur is for those belonging to neither to get off their collective butts and vote.
While the results are entertaining, we could end up dealing with the consequences forever.
And when partisan politics are involved, forever is a long, long time.
Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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