Today was amazing. I’m still buzzing about it. The Ye Alex Jones show was the best thing I’ve seen in years. Not cause of what was discussed, but cause it was the most radical punk rock art I’ve seen for….decades?🤷♀️ They just grabbed the world and shook it by its balls. Shaking people by the collar, desperately trying to get people to see what we have got ourselves into and how far we have already given up our freedom, rights, artistic license and sense of fun and play. This used to be a normal sight in the mainstream. An outrageous counter culture was vital to the mainstream and for keeping power in check. Now there is no counter culture. It can’t exist on the internet. You can’t be too messy, push boundaries or act out of the norm in the corporate mall that is the internet today. You can loose your right to access the space and also loose your right to work, money, education and relationships in the real world, if you piss off someone who doesn’t agree or is too ignorant to see, online. And when counter culture ideas go viral, it destroys society. You only need to look at 3rd wave feminism and the LGBTQWERTY crowd to see that what works for a few is not right for the many. The lack of a counter cultural space, means the President of the United States reacts and makes a public statement about an internet TV show bit. Ye wins. He pulls the strings. The structure of power, or lack of, was revealed. There is no non political space in our communal culture. But we aren’t politicians. And neither is Ye. Why should the world react to shut someone down and condemn them, for something they said? Why does it matter? The only people who need their speech policing are politicians and leaders. They should have their feet held to the fire over ever word. But you and me? Who cares? Why should we have to be living up to these corporate standards in our social spaces? What are they scared of us saying?
Today was pure performance art. I could be projecting. Cause it’s exactly what I would have done if I was him. But it was exquisite. I was applauding and laughing and cheering them on. It was like a fucking ballet. In anti establishment performance art. The Mona Lisa of internet art. The new “culture”. Culture Jamming. It made me feel alive. It’s just a few men talking on the internet. And the world has lost its mind. Alex Jones is already being sued for trillions and Ye has lost billions. They haven’t assaulted a single person. They haven’t stolen. Or killed. Or raped. They just talked on the internet.
And boyyyyy did they talk. They said some truly outrageous shit. But also. It was tame. The cruel and viscous words said and written at the end of relationships cause infinitely more harm than any words said yesterday. Who, specifically, was harmed? Everyone’s sensibilities were shocked. But none of the speech caused anyone direct harm and was not intended to do so. If you can be offended by an opinion that you don’t believe, even if that is about a characteristic you hold, then you aren’t very secure in your own beliefs. It’s a good opportunity to examine why it hurts, what triggers what emotion in you, and why. The same effect is being had by the event yesterday on the social conversation as a whole. Why are we doing things the way we are? Why are there actually unmentionables? Why is the world reacting to that and not allll the other issues going on? Why are we not trying to awaken? What are our values? Why do we not want to be Christ like? Who is controlling the information, opinions, services and culture that shapes up? Is letting emotion get in the way of seeing everything actually helpful for authentic enquiry and future growth? All of these question, Ye brought up, in many ways, over the 3 hours. He performed these questions as well as posing them. He didn’t shy away from explaining what he was doing. There intentions are stated. It’s all there if you want to watch.
I am not saying the whole thing was controlled and organized. But it was an intentional performance. You have an intention, a concept to convey, and you embody it in the moment. You don’t have limits or a script. You are speaking the truth, but not believing it. You are being authentic but with intention. You are letting yourself go, but in a specific direction. The performance artist is director and star. What they do and how they do it is all intentional. Even if its natural. I have spent 12 years saying things I shouldn’t say, live on the internet. I have been operating in the only relatively Wild West part of the internet left, the porn space. I have been a live webcam woman on a variety of sites over the years. And my favorite thing to do, is to say things you’re not supposed to say. It’s a pure adrenaline rush. I’m sat in my bedroom alone. Talking to a camera. Reading text on a screen. I have no idea who, or how many people are watching….are listening. And I just can’t help myself. Someone asks a question, something basic and I have to say it. Someone says something I can use, I never shy away from stating what I see.
I see this spiraling push from Ye. Telling someone like that no, over something illogical and arbitrary, is like a red rag to a bull. They have to say it. It becomes an obsession. The more rules imposed, the more you wanna say fuck you. Until yesterday I couldn’t care less about Kanye West. I don’t like rap, I don’t like his fashion, I don’t like the Kardashians. But yesterday helped me see him in a holistic way. I read the whole of YeS career like Andy Warhol. He isn’t a rapper who then did fashion. He is a artist. He is the art. Each piece is a valid piece in its own right, but the whole thing is a body of work, a creative narrative. He isn’t a normal person. Everything is intentional. Marrying Kim Kardaahian. A part of that was an artistic decision. He had to marry the most famous woman in the world. I relate, I had to marry someone I met one night in Vegas. It’s part of the arc, the bigger picture, the life’s work. It’s an intentional sculpting and control over one’s life. Living as ones self while simultaneously aware of yourself being your life’s work. He isn’t just a person. And he cannot be read as such.
I’ve had dinner, drinks, sex or worked with people from every walk of life, a terrifying array. But I haven’t ever heard anything that has shocked me or made me want to shame the person speaking. I have had so many people tell me their secrets. I haven’t ever been offended by anyone else’s story, perspective or opinions. I am an observer. I am just there, able to see and hear others without my own perspective getting in the way in the moment. Ye is a observer. He is naturally aware of patterns in people and things and thus able to be ahead of his time, predicting or directing future trends. You cannot allow things like judgements of others getting in the way of how you experience other people and the world. You can’t properly observe the world otherwise. It’s an elevated state of being. It is a fundamental foundation stone when embodying love. He was trying to demonstrate it.
But. There is something of the early David Ike about this whole latest expression of Ye. There is something of the newly converted about his insistence on love and desire to shout his revelations from the roof top. He has seen it and can touch it, but it isn’t true yet. It’s so exciting when you first break through and realize things can be different. A shift in perspective, an elevation of understanding. That excitement and revelation turns you into a corner street preacher. Ye isn’t a classically trained academic. He hasn’t formally studied or learnt to write about the complex issues, opinions and experiences he has, from a completely unique life. But he has had a completely unique life, and sees the world in a way others don’t. He may not be the most intellectually through. But his instinct and way of seeing the world allows him to see the things without needing the fancy words to say it. I know how that feels. It’s incredibly hard for me to form my thoughts into sentences rather than the immersive experience of my understanding of the world in my head. The need for performance and alternative means of communicating ideas has thus been the medium Ye works in. He doesn’t need to form articulate essays, or be a good politician, he embodies his ideas, he pursues creative projects he aligns with. His ultimate skill is distilling complex ideas down into songs that resonate around the world. If he is rambling and inarticulate on a podcast, then the content of his words isn’t the point, it is the piece as a whole that should be judged accordingly. You cannot hold a artist to the standards of a politician or a journalist or a academic. Its a completely different language of communication. And to demonize people over their ability to use the “right” langue and tone seems incredibly elitist, snobby and intentionally missing their point.
Using langue as a way of controlling people and what they are allowed to say has exploded in internet age, however 50% of the population of America have the reading and writing comprehension of a 13-14 year old. Is it at all surprising the level of discourse is that of a high school playground? Considering how ill equipped the masses are for handling the infinity of information on the internet, a considerable amount of individual and collective power has been ceded here. Our social focus has been shifted into these corporate spaces that set out the rules we can play by, and we are expected to fill the role of politician, advocate and corporate drone. Part of the reading of yesterday was Ye highlighting how much more Power and attention there is on the internet than in reality. Real life should matter. The internet should mirror life not shape reality. It’s not real. It isn’t a place. It’s power and importance needs exploding and reassessing. Ye seems to want to be that bomb. He sees the need for it. And with what he has already lost, he is willing to smash what he can in the process. “I love Hitler”….and then what? What happened? Nothing. He has already been cancel and had his money taken away, there is nothing else they can do to him. He is showing us where we can end up if we keep placing this weight and value in internet speech. Why does it matter more than real life? Words in the ether over evils in reality? We are choosing democratically as a society to give our attention to this electrical ether, the internet. We are accepting a reality that would never have happened before our priorities shifted to online society. Massive news items of the corruption in politics and corporations, the wreck the real lives of everyday people, are overlooked for a few word a man said on a screen. The trafficking of children, the homicide in the black community, the fentanyl crisis, the housing crisis, the failures of the pandemic, all of gets no attention, compared to the latest viral moment. We are being controlled online so we accept the unacceptable crimes happening to people in reality. We don’t improve our own lives. Reality takes a back seat to online life and fantasy. Limiting the concept of intellectual freedom by policing language online, starts to slowly shrink the size of the box we are playing in. Shrinking our worlds conceptually, shrinks what we think is possible in reality.
Here I am going to add, he does have a real bee in his bonnet about the Jews. The content of his speech and his performance as an artist can not really be separated from him and his experience of reality. He is going through a hard time and he has a entirely unique life. No one can comprehend the perspective he is viewing the world from, or what he has seen, done and been through. If he has had lots of bad experiences with people in power that he thinks are Jewish, then to him, Jewish people are fucking him over. If lots of the people in power in the media, Hollywood, fashion and porn industries are Jewish, then it may seem like they are influencing culture. Stating the fact that there are powerful Jews does not mean there is a satanic cabal of Jewish peaophines running the world, or that you want your Jewish neighbor Janet to be shipped off to concentration camps. When you understand cronyism, and the mantra its not what you know, its who you know, the concentration of ethnicities in certain fields makes sense. If you want to twist that to be a intentional conspiracy cause you have been personally harmed by this group, go ahead. That’s your perspective. But blaming others for your situation is never the way to solve your problems. Ye is currently being attacked from all sides and is undoubtedly in fight or flight mode. In this state the brain isn’t functioning clearly enough to act from a place of wisdom and personal responsibility. And that is ok. His trauma and baggage and prejudice and blind spots being present in the art sparks more questions. for the viewer. And in the end, he just said some crazy shit on the internet. He is only really hurting himself.
He knows this, but the whole world and politicians on all sides, will react to a man in a mask waving a net and bottle of Yoo-hoo doing silly voices. A point this performance seemed to be making, is already proven. If no one took it seriously, it wouldn’t matter. If the audience, commentators, media and politicians didn’t mention it, or instead laughed at it, or talked about it as show or a skit, then it would have no power. People are offended cause they are told to be. Tell them it’s art. Tell them it’s ridiculous, laugh. Art is subjective. You can think it’s poorly executed but I don’t think you can take clips and judge content, as political commentary, or a statement on his views, without viewing the whole piece. By being clipped and taken seriously as independent statements with an effect in the real world, the art has become the thing he was trying to highlight was happening. The President of the United States responded. You can think “oh he isn’t that smart”, but let’s remember he is the man whose ideas made him a, now ex, billionaire. He is an artist who has been so successful he has lost billions and still has enough fuck you money to keep going on his artistic journey.
To me, today was a big screaming, crazy, hooded, middle finger to the weight, limitations and hypocrisy everyone feels, in todays culture and being online. He exploded the shrinking box of creative expression that has been allowed to exist in the public sphere, even if just for this news cycle. He showed a glimpse of something we have forgotten. That it doesn’t fkin matter. Not everything on the internet is life and death, proclamation set in stone. He is a fkin rapper and he was having creative fun. They all were being naughty. Pushing buttons they knew they shouldn’t, with a snicker and a grin….and the whole world jumped…just as expected. It was a great show and now the media and the masses are performing their roles in the second act. I may be projecting with this whole reading. He may just as plausibly have done it for many different reasons, from a mental health issue to it being an establishment psy-op. I have no skin in the game. I’m not a fan of Ye. This isn’t a defence of Ye. I am a fan of art and freedom of expression and pushing intellectual boundaries. And this is the reading I see from my perspective as a fellow performance artist, and person treading their own unique intentional path . I applaud Ye for the freedom he has reminded me is possible, intellectually and creatively and the added bonus of endowing ability to see who is a intellectual NPC.