They Say, I Say -- Kanye West Assignment

Today I want to practice using the They Say, I Say bridges you read this weekend in reference to the recent Kanye West debacle. Take ten minutes or so to explore the following links and reactions to both Kanye's interruption of Taylor Swift and his apologies for the incident. Then, in a paragraph, use one of the bridges from pages 55-61 to formulate a meta-commentary on the situation [that is, your primary assignment isn't to comment on Kanye's actions, but to position yourself relative to an interpretation of those actions].

  1. Kanye West’s Blog Apology
  2. Of the apology, Michelle Collins of BestWeekEver writes “Only a few hours after the incident, Kanye blogged a sort of non-pology, saying that he’s sorry for what he did, but still believing that the action was completely and totally necessary BECAUSE BEYONCE DESERVED IT YEEZY.”
  3. LA Times writer Ann Powers contextualizes Kanye's outburst with the Joe Wilson and Serena Williams incidents, noting that all three share elements of "racial conflict."
  4. New York Times Op-Ed writer Maureen Dowd interprets Joe Wilson's rudeness as a primarily racial slur. While it does not directly address the Kanye situation, a number of other writers have drawn parallels.
  5. Columbia Free Times writer Kevin Fisher questions racist interpretations of the Joe Wilson affair--his comments could also be interpreted to the Kanye incident (he opens his argument addressing Kanye and then transitions into Dowd's interpretation of Wilson's statement).
  6. New York Times writer Mike Hale suggests that the attention paid to the incident says more about contemporary America's addiction to "artificial drama" (and our aversion to matters of actual importance).
  7. Pop Culture Blog The A.V. Club shares a number of "theories" (ranging from serious to sarcastic) regarding the incident. A number of these perspectives claim the VMA incident as either self-promotion on the part of Kanye or staged promotion on the part of MTV.

I'll also want to take a look at recent articles on apology as a way of thinking about what Kanye might have said and to prepare you for this coming weekend's blog post.

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