“Trying to debate with your classmates the massive superiority of the free market is like this.” Ummmmm, the……hooooouuuuuuuusing….bubble? The dot com bubble? The fact that no one (regardless of political doctrine or caliber of ivy league MBA program they came out of) is very good at “predicting” any market? Conservatives get that the “invisible hand” was a metaphor in Smith’s writings and not either (a) a rigorous computational theory to explain market behavior or (b) an excuse to not explain anything, right? RIGHT?!
I find it interesting that the article focuses mostly on the dichotomy of white and black surrounding hip-hop and fame and doesn’t focus on the internal dialogues, struggles, and issuesbetween black artists. That is, there seems to be no “black story” or “black community” anymore, but rather “black storieS” and “black communitieS”. There’s certainly a broad narrative that one can tell as an origin story for black Americans and broad commonalities in the experience of living in a historically white-dominated society, but to lump so many differing experiences (no matter how slightly different) is to collapse how complex the idea of race in America is. And it tries to portray an issue that is multi-dimensional as unidirectional. That is, blackness not only struggles to define itself against whiteness, but against, and with the influence of, other forms of blackness. (For nerds, I’m thinking mostly of this.) Even more interesting, I think, is how Kanye (and certainly hip-hop) is increasingly becoming part of white culture. That provokes some interesting and difficult questions. When a large part of your listening constituency is white do the “fuck yous” lose some of their oomph? When you take part in a tradition of audacious self-love, do you also prolong the need for self-love and self-respect as a public, political act as opposed to a private one? Do you strip yourself of the freedom of saying “I’m going to love me for me because that’s what I personally want to do, not as a stand-in for ‘black people’”? Huge questions, no doubt, and not ones that can be answered in one article alone. Either way, definitely thought-provoking.