Monday, September 14, 2009

VMA's, or How Kanye Stooped Even Lower

Sept. 14, 2009

Last night, Doug and I sat down for a little mindless pop-culture fun--we watched the Video Music Awards. We both love to see the fashion and love to hear the live performances, even if we aren't up on all the videos being nominated. It's all about the fun and celebration.

I wasn't a big fan of Russell Brand when I first saw him a couple of years ago hosting one of these things. He was a little too boorish for my tastes. Then I saw him in both "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and in "Bedtime Stories." He's a funny dude! When I saw that he was hosting, I was looking forward to it. Although I'm not sure he was the most entertaining host, he at least did a fine job of attempting to smooth over Kanye's inexcusable stealing of the thunder--("Love to everybody! It's all about celebration!").

Which brings me to the highlight (or rather, lowlight) of the whole affair--the thing that I'm sure has everyone talking still today. Taylor Swift, little doe-eyed deer of a girl, won her first ever VMA. She looked shocked, thrilled, and humbled. As she began to express her gratitude, Kanye, in a move that tops even past Kanye behavior, strode on stage, took the microphone, and essentially steamrolled past Taylor to claim that Beyonce's was the best video, implying that she had, in fact, been the one who deserved to win.

Oh, so much is wrong with that! Who let that young man on stage during Taylor's acceptance speech? Did no one see that coming? Clearly that wasn't in the rehearsal. Wasn't there anyone who thought, "Hey--that guy has a bit of a history, especially at awards shows, of being a little unpredictable and well, obnoxious. Wonder what he's up to, going out on stage right now?"

Taylor looked utterly at a loss, and Beyonce looked embarrassed. She was not trying to have the spotlight on her at that time, in that way. By the time Kanye had finished his rant, time was up and they ushered both Kanye and Taylor off stage. I felt incredibly bad for her, but still felt she maintained her composure amazingly well for a 19 year old. If he felt so compelled, so MOVED to make a statement (as he often is), then he could have preempted some of his OWN screen time to do so--during an interview that was all about him, maybe, or he could have posted about it on his Facebook page. It still would have been rude, and it still would have been, like most of his 'statements,' something of a sour grapes moment, but at least it wouldn't have been stealing the thunder of the young girl who deserved it and was robbed of her moment.

Later in the show, when Beyonce won her award, she won me over. I've never disliked Beyonce, but I've never been a huge fan, either. She's just not so much on my radar. But she graciously stepped aside and used her time in the spotlight to allow Taylor the moment Kanye had ruined for her. Beyonce essentially forfeited her own acceptance speech, because she remembered how important her own first award was, and how much it meant to her to be up on stage. She didn't want Taylor to have missed out on that experience. Now that's class. Pay attention, Kanye--this is how people are supposed to treat each other.

(By the way, I'm not one to advocate booing. It's rude behavior under any circumstance, in my opinion. However, I'm not gonna lie and say it didn't bring me just a small bit of satisfaction that Kanye got booed after that, whenever his name was announced. See Kanye? People don't like rude people! Time to grow up, my friend.)

There are people who will say that Kanye got exactly what he wanted: everyone is still talking about him today. Obviously, I'm one of those. But I promise you, I would much rather people NOT talk about me than say the kinds of things people are saying about him today. If that's the kind of thing that makes him happy, I'm sad for him. Not sad enough to ever buy a CD that puts money in his over-privileged, self-entitled, arrogant pockets, but sad, nonetheless.

Why does all this matter, anyway? It's just a Hollywood awards show. There's so much more going on in the world, so many more important things. True. Absolutely true. But when we see people treating each other like this on a public stage, broadcast to the world, is it no wonder that we have politicians caught on video being rude and disrespectful and boorish to one another? Or high-profile athletes behaving like spoiled children? Is it any wonder that in everyday life we see people who are more interested in their own agendas than they are in the effects on other people? This whole attitude of "act now, apologize when they make you apologize later" is getting old. Wouldn't it be a better place we live in if we all tried to think before we act? Just a thought.


  1. Kanye is a complete and utter moron. People are talking about him, yes, but after awhile the dislike of the person begins to color one's perception of their art. He's not doing himself any favors with this at all.

  2. Oh DonnaI can't agree more!! These very issues have me up on my soapbox. I was in shock last night! the whole event could have gone a whole other direction starting off by Russell not being so crude with his so-called jokes. Mean people truly do suck. If love ruled the world---ahhhh, there would be happiness for all!


  4. I did not see the show - but I think I'm glad of it as I would have turned it off in disgust and then missed Beyonce being cool. Boor is exactly the right word for this guy's behavior. And the people in charge of the show shouldn't turn the other cheek just so they get more air time and hits on their web-site.

  5. I saw those clips this morning - what strange behavior. I do like Beyonce even more...that was very classy.

  6. The incident reminded me of the "wardrobe malfunction" at the super bowl by the Jackson sister. The whole thing could have been staged for PR for the both of them.

  7. I couldn't believe he took the mic. The man must have an ego the size of Texas. I heard he apologized, but it was still incredible rude.

  8. Kanye is an ass. Seriously. He needs to get a clue. Beyonce is so classy. I love her anyway, and her asking Taylor to come up on stage just solidified my love for her. I felt horrible for Taylor, but thought she handled herself well. Kanye will probably never live this down. Kinda like when the Dixie Chicks went all public with their hate of George W. That didn't go over so well. People will learn that sometimes they just should keep their opinions to themselves!

    Hope you're having a great week!!♥

  9. you're very right... ultimately, Taylor standing stunned up there on stage represented every bullied child on the playground. I watched, just wanting to hug her, assure her that we all thought he was an ass too. It was so big of Beyonce to do that though. At the end of the day, celebrity of not, it's still human nature and people can still get hurt.

  10. Any PR is good PR. I heard a rumor that Kanye and Taylor both have the same PR agent and this whole thing was staged to get the attention for both of them. Of course, I have NO idea if that's true, and honestly don't even care. I have always thought Kanye was an idiot and it's even more true if he is willing to go along with a ridiculous stunt like this.