Sunday, January 29, 2006

Memo To Kanye: The Jesus Schtick is Silly

Madonna did it. Diddy did it. Now you do it. And we're supposed to care?

People will likely disagree with me, but Eminem did a much better job rocking the boat than Kanye has. I'm not talking about the music now; I'm just talking about the image.

I haven't read The Tipping Point, and I probably won't, but I've heard the book is about these moments where something "tips." I'm not sure if that's exactly applicable here, but my sense is that the Jesus/ Angel Wings / gaudy-jangly crucifixes and burning crosses have lost their potency. Kanye isn't an iconoclast, he's just a poser. And his posing seems to cross paths with a set of images that appear more cartoonish and more garish everyday.

Controversy isn't just a Jesus-shaped puppet you can stick your hand into any old time you want people to pay attention to you. In an age in which the Christian Right is gaining more momentum, believers like Kanye could really problematize and complicate Christian imagery. But it just falls flat. Why?

Theological issues aside, what's going on with these signs and symbols? It's like Christianity has become branded or a corporatized. Does this make anyone else feel a little queasy?

Read an
interesting article on Kanye here. And fill me in if I'm missing something. I wanna know what other people think about this.


Jenny said...

I really like the Jesus-puppet metaphor. That is a really good way to describe why just throwing religious imagery into a song, or movie, or video often falls flat. There has to be some reason for it.

nhennies said...

I know I have said this before, but I feel that I must reiterate. Why are people continually talking about Kanye West as though he is something other than another vacuous celebrity? He behaves just like all the others and other than his one brilliant moment on the Katrina telethon, behaves just like every other lame celebrity musician around.