Last night, you were probably sleeping or lamenting the incredibly anticlimactic return of ABC’s Revenge at around 11 p.m. Eastern time, but Kanye West was getting busy on Twitter. Because you’re a healthy, normal human being, you weren’t hungrily anticipating each golden tweet, but that’s why I’m here. Kanye took us on a journey through space and time, regaling us with the history of his apparently robust life as a fashionista – so robust in fact that all the best labels were actually clamoring after him and his aesthetic borne of his mother’s affinity for Cosby sweaters. The rant lasted a few hours – or 86 tweets if that’s how you measure your time – and I think it’s safe to say we all learned a great deal. Of course, there are few elements of Kanye’s lengthy internet epic that I really admire in the ironic way most of us secretly admire King Kanye.
1. His determined use of “LOL”
LOL is one of those tired internet terms that has all but lost its meaning. Your friend tells you over iChat that they saw this kid from high school on the train this morning and that they avoided eye contact by pretending the contents of their David Sedaris book contained a sure-fire formula to stop global warming. You reply with “LOL” and disinterestedly sip your soy latte and check your email. You are not LOL-ing. But when Kanye uses it, it assumes a whole new life. I don’t imagine him sitting on some padded antique chair actually laughing his head off. No. His LOL adds a layer of gravity and finality to each tweet, as in “I guess some critics would joke that I still don't know anything LOL.”
2. The ability to create suspense…on Twitter.
I generally hate the use of ellipses. They are the LOL of punctuation. But here I am, praising Sir Kanye for using them…so…effectively. For those sitting and watching their Twitter feeds, joyously gobbling up every bit of this tale of triumph and industry, Kanye employed ellipses to great effect, dropping bombs like, “I appreciate having the most nominations at the Grammies but I feel so conflicted by the fact that award shows sometimes are completely...” But wait, Kanye. Award shows are completely what? COMPLETELY WHAT? Seconds later, we would find out. “…illogical.” Story telling at its finest, people.
3. The fact that he can’t talk about anything without referring to “that MTV moment.”
While taking us down memory lane on his journey to creating his own fashion company – which, he revealed, is called DONDA (after his mother, let’s all say “aww”) – Kanye tells us about all the obstacles that stood in his way, like living in Paris without knowing French. He tells us about the time he was conflicted because he was contracted to Louis Vuitton and being approached by Versace at the same time. He later rectified the situation by becoming the James Bond of the fashion world and working “under cover” at Fendi. Of course, the biggest road block in all of this was “…having an office in LA that was shut down after the ‘MTV’ moment along with my tour with GAGA.” As much as we (and Taylor Swift) might want to forget it, Kanye will never forget – and apparently, he’ll never stop reminding us.
4. His take on the public school system.
He discussed his desire to teach a Summer School film course with Spike Jonze, and his desire for school to be what the definition of school is. But my favorite bit of this might have to be his journey to the correct use of “there,” but mostly because I’m such a big snob about it. It begins, “Instead of kicking kids out of schools for using there iPhones... why not promote it? Allow kids to use search engines to do test...” before he reaches two tweets that correct his errors:
Some kids have better memories than others... what about emotional IQs... what about kids who do bad in school because of how bad there..
...surroundings are? I meant to say their...
His demonstration of the learning process in a world where kids apparently aren’t allowed to learn because of a Steve Jobs invention that actually holds the keys to a universe of unlimited learning, Kanye provides an alternative path of learning. Of course, what this has to do with his new design company, I’m not really sure.
5. The use of a George Bernard Shaw quote as his conclusion.
"If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. ...."
and then "...But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas." - George Bernard Shaw.” No seriously, I actually enjoyed that he ended on this quote. Zero sarcasm. It’s succinct, to the point; all in all an effective, elegant punctuation on a two hour Twitter diatribe. Okay, it’s a little pretentious, but that’s how we like our Kanye.
What was your favorite part about the Kanye rant? Tell us in the comments or on Twitter (@KelseaStahler).