Kanye and his unabashed support for Trump deftly defended against the liberal OUTRAGE!!! machine by…ummm, Bret Easton Ellis?
Instead of getting outraged, they should have realized that a figure like Trump would seem appealing to him: brash, a gangster, his own man whether you liked him or loathed him, a loner, transparent, a truth teller not to be taken literally, flawed, contradictory, a rebel, awful for some or wonderful for others but certainly not vanilla or middle-of-the-road, incapable as a bureaucrat but skillful as a disruptor. This was also, of course, what a lot of other people I knew liked about Trump in the summer of 2018.
The media became derisive and speculated that Kanye had to be on drugs to say anything of the sort. He’s destroying his career! How could a black man like Trump? Anyone but an idiot could tell what Kanye was trying to say, however garbled and clumsy it was, but given the bias infecting everything in 2018, the press worried that he was having “delusional episodes” and probably needed to be treated for drug abuse. The consensus, in postmortem editorials everywhere, was that he would never have a career again after the slavery comment and the Trump tweets. It was all over for Kanye.
Except for the fact that, true to their ignorant prejudice, the Trumpers they reflexively blow off as “racist” are perfectly willing to flout Hollywood-shitlib assumptions and offer their welcoming support to Kanye for daring to exit the Lefty plantation and choosing a different path for himself.
And then Ellis makes the Tinseltown rubble bounce.
I MET up with Kanye during the week those controversies were exploding across social media. Kanye reached out because he was interested in resurrecting a TV project we had discussed in 2015, which he was now considering as a film. I promptly rearranged my schedule and made the drive out to his Calabasas compound, flittingly apprehensive that I might be meeting, as the media kept reiterating, a man who’d lost his mind.
After being ushered in by security, I was brought into a room where he was multi-tasking: assembling the movie team, overseeing his fashion line, rehearsing new material. In the five years I’d casually known him, I’d never seen him so attentive and focused and happy. This was Kanye at his most lucid, and this afternoon confirmed for me that he was, in fact, sane: his own man, no apologies, not some drugged-out freak gibbering on Twitter. People simply needed to acknowledge — not approve or to embrace — that here was someone who saw the world in his own way and not according to how other people thought he should see it.
What Kanye was championing in his Trump tweets was an idea of peace and unity, imagining a place where different sides could work together despite vicious ideological differences — that’s it.
Since November 2016, I had heard that a horrendous economic collapse was about to materialize, the planet was going to melt, countless people would die, the fraught situation in North Korea would send the United States into a nuclear Armageddon, and Trump would be impeached, brought down by a pee tape — leaving no jobs for anybody and Russian tanks in the streets.
We also idly noted that the filmmaker David Lynch couldn’t say in an interview that he thought maybe Donald Trump would go down as one of the great presidents in history, not without groupthink forcing him into apologizing for this immediately on Facebook. And where was a resistance that was so attractive and cunning that it managed to sway you, that maybe made you see things in a broader, less blinkered light?
But the one we had in 2018 seemed bent on advocating mostly vandalism and violence. Trump’s star on Hollywood Boulevard was destroyed with a pickax, an actor resembling a septuagenarian Lorax said “F–k Trump” at the Tony Awards, a television hostess called the first daughter “a feckless c–t” on her TV program, another actor suggested the president’s 11-year-old son should be put in a cage with pedophiles. And all of this from Hollywood: the land of inclusion and diversity. Maybe it was just another episode in the reality show that is still unfolding. Or maybe when you’re roiling in childish rage, the first thing you lose is judgment, and then comes common sense. And finally you lose your mind and along with that, your freedom.
Hoo boy, that’s gonna leave a mark.