Humor, pop culture

TAYLORGATE: KIM KARDASHIAN IS THE INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST OF OUR GENERATION

Written after a nearly 13-hour workday. So tired I didn’t even consider writing “werkday.” That’s a lie. I thought about it.  

S/o to my coworker/friend/workout buddy Melanie (I’m too tired to think of a real pseudonym) for our extended work day. Also s/o to my other coworkers Lazy-Eye, Thinks She’s Pretty, Mittens, Tonya Harding, Voldemort, Real Housewives, Hot Sauce, and Rumplestiltskin. You guys are awful, but also hot?? I can’t figure it out.

I eventually want to address more serious topics, but the thought of exercising my brain in that direction is too much rn, so we’re going to move onto something that LIGHTS MY FIRE.

So much has gone since 2009 that I can’t even begin to recap it, but I’ll try to do my best. 2009 VMAs, Taylor Swift wins Best Music Video or whatever, over “Single Ladies.” Kanye storms the stage and says Bey deserved the award—true. Taylor gains massive popularity—kind of rightfully. Kanye is totally besmirched in the press—kind of rightfully. Both stars continue on their way, making a tentative peace the same way two rival prides of lions make a tenuous alliance.

All is relatively calm until Kanye releases “Famous” off the album The Life of Pablo. The lines “I think me and Taylor might still have sex; why? I made that bitch famous” strike a fire in Taylor, and she says in a later speech not to pay any mind to people who will try to “undercut and make claims to your fame.” V relatable.

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Source: People // GIVE US THE FACTS, KIM.

Kanye lashes back and says that Taylor knew and gave consent for the lyrics. Kim K concurs. Taylor basically calls Kim a brainwashed Stepford wife. Kim K says, “Rlly bitch?? We got video, hunty.” Taylor shits her pants but does not back down. The ruckus simmers. Recently, Calvin Harris and Tay broke up, then Calvin badmouthed Taylor (called her boring, again—kind of rightfully) and Taylor leaked that she wrote Harris’ summer Rihanna anthem “This is What You Came For.” Tbh I could take or leave the song. But that’s neither here nor there.

People are calling Taylor a snake, and Kim K—in time for the airing of the KUWTK episode that deals with the “Famous” drama—decides to pull out her fucking Sherlock Holmes cape and SnapChats the entire video that shows Kanye on the phone with a very-on-board Taylor Swift, thus apparently proving that Taylor was a tay-liar, and her high-waisted jorts were v much on fire. Kim showed the world the other side of Tay, and thus proved that she is more influential than Woodward and Bernstein combined. Kim makes Watergate like a middle school rumor mill. Bow down.

Taylor says the part she has an issue with was the “I made that bitch famous,” which she claims Kanye never cleared with her. But from what I glean from TayTay, I doubt that she was fine with “I think I could have sex with Taylor Swift” and not fine with “I made that bitch famous.” Seems like you’re upset about the wrong apart, Tay.

After this—a scene that makes Cersei Lannister blowing up King’s Landing with wildfire look like a FUCKING PLAYGROUND FIGHT—Selena Gomez decides to stop trying to revive her career and tweet on Taylor’s behalf. “Let’s use our platform for real issues,” she said. EXCEPT she has never tweeted about Alton Sterling, or Philando Castile, or any Black Lives Matter movement, or anything of that ilk. She tweeted about Orlando. But when t comes to defending a white woman, suddenly everyone wants to focus on “real issues.” Chloe Grace Moretz concurred with Selena Goawaymez, but she’s tweeted more about shoes than she has about social issues. Khloe got involved and tweeted an unfortunate picture of a girl she thought was Chloe, but it wasn’t. A for effort, Khlo, but no dice.

Part of me thinks this is a conspiracy concocted by Kim K and Tay—the witches of Macbeth—but that seems very extreme, given the excessive vitriol being lashed at Taylor. I think this because it’s very unlike Kim, who keeps everything in her queendom neat and ordered, to go off script like that and show something as messy as unveiling Tayliar Snake. Also, there is the whole “Search” aspect of the Taylor Swift note, which suggests that it was previously written and recalled for the occasion.

I would like to take a line from the Taylor Swift Instagram note. “I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative, one I never asked to be a part of, since 2009.” Most of me thinks that this proves that Taylor Swift is just like everyone in the entertainment industry—largely concerned with projecting their own narrative. Which is fine, dude, but own up to it. Don’t try to destroy other people to protect your own image. Taylor Swift has included herself in that narrative, making herself the victim of Kanye West. She chose to indulge in that dialogue, to make herself a character in that storyline. She is the one who wrote a song about it, who kept bringing it up, who allowed it to buoy her. Don’t throw stones at the glass house you just walked out of. Don’t burn bridges that you might need to cross over again.

Taylor has made bank off of being the victim, playing off the racism in America that allows us to come to the defense of a white woman who is the “victim” of a black man, even when that black man has  done nothing wrong. He wrote a lyric about her? And what has she made her career off of if not writing about other people? Kanye West is not perfect, but stop pretending Taykor is. And this is not a dig at her relationships, or an attempt at slut-shaming. That should not be important to the conversation. What is important is that Taylor Swift is a pop powerhouse and media mogul. She is every bit as powerful as Kanye. She is not the underdog any longer.

And shockingly, I found myself agreeing with Selenirrelevant Gomez—celebrities, use your fucking platforms for something actually constructive. I was grateful for this welcome distraction from issues such as the Dallas shootings, or the Baton Rouge shootings, or the mistreatment of Leslie Jones, or the still prevalent restrictions of abortion—WHICH IS LEGAL—or the still discussion of same-sex marriage, or the fact that Trump made Mike Pence—who LEGALIZED queer discrimination in Indiana—as his VP. Sometimes we need something dumb to give us a breather, and to make us realize what is really important.

We need to care more about social justice issues than social media. I think that the Tayliar situation reflects a lot of how our society thinks, but we need to focus on issues that require real, dynamic change. I’m a complete pop cultural anthropologist/junkie/apologist, but even I understand that this debacle is PENNIES compared to what else is going on. I wish the people I see in my life and on social media who are as fired up about taking sides in the Kan-Tay-Kim fight would be as passionate about other issues. No tea, no shade, but we need to pour our influence towards real change.

And lastly, remember that Beyoncé’s sheer greatness created a feud between two of the most powerful alphas in the entertainment industry. She did this by accident. Imagine what havoc Queen Bey could cause on purpose.

The moral of this article is: Buy “Lemonade” on iTunes. You don’t want to know what might happen if you don’t.

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Celebrity Sunday, pop culture

OH JE(YE)EZ

An in-depth dissection of what went down on Wednesday.

I triaged to the triad of the Kanye West-Wiz Khalifa-Amber Rose mess (suck my ass, Shelby)—

Side bar: I don’t actually know the real meaning of “triage” but that’s not gonna stop me from triaging—

And I’m not going to do a full rundown of the entire history of the triangle, because Sam Stryker from BuzzFeed already did that and he probably did it better than me, so I’m just going to highlight the best moments.

Okay, so if you were living under a rock—or under The Rock, amiright ladies—then you might not know what went down on Wednesday. But mama’s here to tell you. I’m mama, for reference.

First, for references:

Kanye dated Amber Rose before marrying Kim Kardashian, and Amber Rose has a child with Wiz Khalifa. Amber’s former friend is Kim Kardashian, and her current best friend is Blac Chyna, who has a child with Tyga who is currently dating Kylie Jenner, and Blac Chyna has recently begun a relationship with Rob Kardashian. Khloe Kardashian has had major beef with Blac Chyna over Kylie Jenner, and recently tweeted some shady things about “not going against the fambily (Caroline Manzo voice)” that could be interpreted about Rob and Chyna’s new relationship. Okay, are we all good?

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Source: @kanyewest

On Tuesday, Ye—‘Ye* (?)—announced that he was changing the name of his album to WAVES. First of all, I enjoy it. But then Wiz tweeted at him basically saying that he didn’t like the name change and that Kanye should “hit this kk” and get back to his roots. Apparently “kk” is code for that sweet dank kush—marijuana—as well as me when I’m trying to be salty over text, but Kanye took it as a slight dig at his wifey, Kim Kardashian West.

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Source: @wizkhalifa

That, clearly, didn’t go over well. Over a series of more than seventeen tweets, Kanye proceeded to wreck all over Wiz, insulting his music, his pants (?), his slim frame, and—and this is important—Amber Rose, Wiz’s ex. And since it wouldn’t be Kanye if Kanye wasn’t promoting Kanye, Kanye also made the tweets a backdoor brag for himself, claiming that though he wasn’t “tall and skinny” he was still the greatest artist that ever lived and is the pinnacle of music creation. Maybe that’s not so much of a backdoor brag as it is a full-out BRAAAAAAAAG.

So the fourth tweet is where things get interesting. Kanye says, “You let a stripper trap you.” The “stripper” in question is Amber Rose, a mutual ex of both Kanye and Wiz. Kanye dated Amber first, and then when they broke up, Amber and Wiz got together, eventually having a son, Sebastian Taylor Thomaz (which is straight up such a cute name). Kanye went on to marry Kim, and have two children: North and Saint.

Kanye has disparaged Amber in the past, claiming that he had to take “thirty showers” after being with Amber before he could be with Kim, and has taunted Wiz saying that Amber “trapped” Wiz for 18 years with their son, and that he basically “owned” Wiz and Amber’s son and made him happen.

Ouch. And ew.

Now, we all know that Kanye is a complete egomaniac and has said on multiple occasions that the biggest crime of human history is that he will never get to see himself live. I disagree, but let’s not split hairs. But his comments on Twitter—which he has since deleted—contain such a heavy misogyny and double-standard that it’s painful.

Amber Rose seems to be shaded by past men in her life, to the point where they’re practically obsessed with her. Her past as a stripper and her outspoken sexuality are demonized by Wiz and Kanye, but she refuses to bend, appearing at the 2015 VMAs with Blac Chyna wearing dresses covered in misogynistic slurs, and hosting the Slut Walk soon after. So, she’s basically amazing and refers to herself as “Muva” in the third person on Twitter.

Amber hit back against Kanye by saying that she was hurt by his words and wouldn’t ever attack him like he’s attacked her, because regardless of where they are now, they were once in love. She’s so dope. But she’s also not taking shit, so she entered the dialogue with this iconic tweet:

“Awww @kanyewest are u mad I’m not around to play in ur asshole anymore? #FingersInTheBootyAssBitch (pointer finger emoji).”

AND THE WORLD JUST STOPPED.

AMBER ALERT. She’s throwing down.

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Source: Wifflegif

And later on the Allegedly podcast, Amber said that she would never talk shit about Kanye’s kids because A) she’s classy, and B) they’re kids. She’s disgusted that Kanye would talk about her son, but she’s not surprised. And are any of us surprised?

It was Tyler Oakley who said that if you hate someone, then why would you give them promo? And Kanye West has been essentially giving promo to Amber for years. He calls her a slut and a stripper and tries to demolish her, but they dated for over two years. They went around the world together. His anger towards her is curious and interesting, and it goes beyond just a nasty break-up.

Kanye West employs a dangerous double-standard, lauding his wife Kim and demonizing his ex Amber. But how can you do that? How can you do that? How can you have a wife and a daughter whom you praise and cherish and completely trash on someone else’s mother, someone else’s daughter? You can’t. You shouldn’t.

How can you slut-shame when you have seen firsthand people do the same to your wife and watched her go through that? How can you witness that and then turn around and completely shame another woman?

Kanye’s misogyny is dangerous, because it employs the stereotype that owning your sexuality makes you a slut, and being married makes you virtuous. I love Kim and the entire Kardashian clan, but how different are they from Amber? All are strong, independent, capable women who own their sexuality. But Amber is slut-shamed and shunned whereas we applaud Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, and Kylie.

You don’t have to love everyone, but you should always respect them. And Kanye’s treatment of Amber shows that to him, respect for women is circumstantial. That if you’re on his bad side, you’re a whore and a bitch and a slut. But if you’re on his good side, you are virtuous and noteworthy. But how easy is it to slip from side to side? Answer: very easy.

Kanye is teaching the world that however much he loves and honors the women in his life, he is still a misogynist because he relies on sexist, misogynistic and derogatory language to tear down a woman for her sexuality and her independence. His rhetoric is damaging for his listeners, his daughter, and his family, because he is perpetuating slut-shaming. Like bro, can we not? Can we absolutely abstain from slut-shaming?

Muva Amber doesn’t need my help in defending herself, so I won’t go into all of her amazing attributes. But I will say this. She is strong, and she defends herself. And she refuses to be ashamed or stoop to low levels. She has respect for Kanye when he doesn’t have respect for her, and that is such a hard thing to remain on the high road when some asshole is slinging mud at you from below.

So now you’re all caught up, and, frankly, you’re welcome. It was exhausting. I suppose what we’re supposed to do now is just watch and wait and see what happens. Either way, I don’t really anticipate anything beyond Amber owning it and Kanye just digging himself into a hole with a gold-plated shovel. Über-chic, but still tragic.

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