The Runaway film happened. On three TV channels, which are kind of like one TV channel, but that’s still impressive. I think. I don’t have cable. It offers, if my memory serves correctly, a univoca dissemination of media that forces the public to be passive receptors in simultaneity. That seems impressive. I watched it on YouTube, though,
The music is clearly the best part of the film. And Adrien Chen at Gawker said it best when he said if you already think Kanye’s a genius, then it will make you think he’s a genius. And if not, then not. That’s a pretty sober assessment.
I think Kanye espouses, perhaps unconsciously, a hermaphroditic form of self-understanding. Of course I’m not going to elaborate on this thesis quite yet. I don’t want to be boring and publish the same (wait, I just caught myself—heh, “publish”) the same sort of piece twice. Shoot. How am I going to get pageviews, now?
I suppose I can cover the Michael Jackson float scene, since I didn’t write about that at all. Of course, Kanye identifies with MJ. MJ is famously misunderstood and popularly reviled. Just as Yeezy sees himself. That he and the Phoenix were at a weird, beachfront parade to celebrate Michael Jackson is a form of showing his expressing homage. As well, it is a way to again objectify Kanye’s various conceptions (facets of a blood diamond?) of himself. The whole film is, in short, various scenes meant to show—that is make into objects, objectify—the various selves of Kanye West. It is a very, say, artistic enterprise.
I often wonder if Kanye’s constant maundering on and on about ART detracts from the possibility that he is an artist. And then I realize that there’s a literally thousands of years old tradition of artists going on and on about what it means to make art and be an artist. Whatever. Fuck it. I think Kanye is a great ARTIST. I mean, and also, literally despite himself.
It’s probably fair to say that the other title to Runaway is Despite All My Rage I’m Still Just Kanye West(s) In A (Really Nice) Cage. Have you noticed all the cage imagery in the film? Even the Green Hanger? Especially the way that, as the Phoenix talks about how statues are just phoenixes with their wings torn off, what’s shown on screen is a still of the ballet dancers?
Don’t you think, deep inside, Kanye West is just a scared lil deer-ballet dancer? Isn’t that, come on now let’s be serious, the absolutely greatest thing about the man? Perhaps it’s because I’m an actual thinking human being, finally, as if I were just born at the age of twenty-six (or seven?), but I think Kanye West is the first living person I think is actually, really great. Like, let me spell it out, GREAT. Like that. If I were talking to you, you would have noticed the first time, without me needing to repeat it, that I’d placed special emphasis on the word so that you knew I meant to make a likely overwrought, kind of silly sort of statement you think I don’t really mean.
Also, (and what’s up with that?) this dude looks like he’s a Klansman. Kanye, why are you putting this sort of imagery in your film?
I also realized earlier today when I was taking my dog for a walk that “Runaway” is probably the best song Kanye’s ever written. I mean, I know on the one hand the bar isn’t that high. But still. That means something—and a lot.
I think Kanye knows that “Runaway” is probably his best song, too. Why else would he make this ridiculously awesome, thirty-something minute promotional video for his forthcoming album? (Well, because assholes like me will write about it and you can convince three channels to simul-cast it.) (Shut up, parenthetical you.) (No but for real, he could have made a film called Monster, and it would have been mad cool—like a Creature From The Lanvin Lagoon type thing. And it woulda gotten him closer to MJ.)
I am 100% and 10% combined sure that “Runaway” will be a song everyone remembers, and that it will be a footnote in history that Taylor Swift (WHO?!) debuted some song about the guy who wrote “Runaway” on the very night “Runaway” was first performed. How weird and, is that ironic? I don’t know I wasn’t an English major.
It’s a song for the ages, and the eight minute extended video is fucking awesome. The man admitted he wrote it as a lady and as a man and that he cried when he made the auto-tune voice solo thing, and it reeks of triumphant failure and self-effacement, which we all know are the cornerstones of seriously great ART. Of course, I for one am super excited to be alive right now.