All right, I’ve got a hypothetical for you. Say you’re a world-renowned rap superstar. You’re cocky. You’re bigger than Jesus. You have a homoerotic attraction to fish — see “Fishsticks,” “South Park” Episode 5, from Season 13 — and you’re not quite sure how to feel about it, but that’s beside the point.
You’ve committed yourself to your art form, and you have become a sort of champion of its purity and proper practice. In recognition, you get invited to an award ceremony that celebrates your art, so you’re understandably pumped. And, yeah you had a couple swigs on the way over, but so what? Who are you, the Sober Police?
Now, your first mistake — one of many — is that you take the celebration seriously. You mistakenly believe that their purpose is to award excellence, not realizing that they are in fact just an elaborate excuse for increased ad prices. The awards are taken about as seriously as one of those “You’re Grrreat” tiger stickers they gave you in fourth grade.
In the first category comes the one artist that your over inflated ego will admit may have bested your creation for the title of “perfect pop video.” In an art form that seems especially based in echoes of prior references, she has found the lifeblood running through it all, and has crystallized it. She’s found the genre’s pure, unbridled essence and made it shake its ass for dear life. No other nominee can even compare.
So, imagine your reaction when the name they call is not Beyonce.
It seems like a huge blow, you being unaware of the illogical possibility of losing lesser awards, while winning in more substantial categories. Nominated as a work of unadulterated art, and instead they give the award to a life-sized Barbie doll. So you storm the stage, full of righteous indignation, as with fundamental misunderstanding force you into an action that is, by all accounts, profoundly stupid.
We’ve all been there, right? Maybe not on quite as epic a scale, but it has happened. It’s the story your friends retell every time you all have had a few drinks. The time you forgot to wear underwear under your kilt at a Scottish funeral because you thought that was traditional. Or when you quipped that, “at least I didn’t bring a shitty bottle of wine” at a party, while the guest behind you stood clutching a bottle of Three-Buck Chuck. You misunderstand the situation and do something horribly inappropriate — maybe even offend those around you. The degree to which it was intentional is always in question, but the result is, you make yourself look like a complete ass. Being prone to the asinine is inherent to the human condition. We don’t normally have the misfortune of doing it in front of an audience of millions, to a person that is, by all objective standards, the Bambi incarnate.
And the killer part is you legitimately thought that everyone was with you on this. They were all, every single person, as flabbergasted as you by the obvious snub of a modern-day genius. They were each preparing to rush the stage, a veritable storming of the Bastille just moments away. You just happened to be closest to the microphone. And, I mean, it’s not as if this Taylor Swift character has a rabid following of intensely devoted minions that will painstakingly exact revenge for any perceived slight, right? So, you’re good. You were just telling the truth, preserving the art form, etc.
But instead it comes off looking as if a five-year-old was giving a mangy, homeless kitten sitting in the corner a homemade hand turkey that says “Best Kitty Ever” and you roll up and say “Bitch, please. My cat jumps through hoops and can sautee a chicken. Suck it.” And the helpless little kitten just sits there like it was smacked across the face because, you know what, it just did.
And that’s not what you’re about, you know? You’re about preserving art, that’s all; not smacking down kittens.
Now, does that mean you acted correctly? Of course not. Does it make you an arrogant ass with an air of self-entitlement? Oh, hell yes. Still, all I’m saying is, I feel you, Yeezy. I feel you.
__Kevin Mooney is The Flat Hat Confusion Corner columnist. His cat runs a circus and has a cooking show. Bitch please.__