I’ve been seeing this idiotic meme floating around Facebook, since Kanye cancelled his tour and was admitted to the hospital this week. It goes like this:
It makes me uncomfortable to resort to defending Kanye West, because I think the dude is a self-important asshole. His line of clothing and shoes is as far from what I would want to wear as physically possible, and his music has never been high on my list of stuff to play on my iPod. Plus, he’s married to a Kardashian.
The guy was admitted to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. And I don’t care who you are, how big a douche, if your mental health is in question, it’s not a fucking opportunity to mock someone. Sure, Gord Downie has been awesome to go out on tour while battling brain cancer, he’s an amazing guy. That isn’t the issue. The issue is that a psychological breakdown is serious, no matter who is having it.
The official reason for Kanye’s tour cancellation is exhaustion, but the reason an ambulance was called by his physician? Psychiatric emergency, according to multiple sources. Apparently his doctor said he was experiencing temporary psychosis, due to severe exhaustion and dehydration. I don’t care why Kanye was experiencing psychosis; this isn’t “being too tired to tour.” Now, of course, there’s all kinds of conflicting information out there, but I think the initial reports, before they had any spin, are probably the closest to the truth we’ll get, for the time being.
So, is it ok for people to be making fun of Kanye, right now? To be using the opportunity to get snarky and minimize what is likely really going on? I guess maybe if we had a clearer picture of why he’s in the hospital (meaning, if there was an official statement that addressed the whole “psychiatric evaluation” issue), I’d be able answer more clearly. For now, though, shouldn’t we be giving the dude some space and allowing him to recover in peace?
I’ve been doing some serious pondering about celebrity recently, and while I know Kanye and his ilk are the subject of many people’s scorn (including mine) for about a million reasons, I kind of see becoming famous like getting on a train that you think is going to go at a certain speed, and then it becomes a runaway. You thought it was taking you somewhere, when you got on, and you’re not sure if you should stay the course (after all, it might turn out ok!) or jump off the damn train and save yourself (but it’s scary and you might get hurt! and lose everything!). I wouldn’t wish celebrity status on my worst enemy, if I’m being honest. All those people trying to ingratiate themselves to you, but 100% ready to stab you in the back, if it serves them. But that’s another blog post for another day.
Getting back to Kanye, the guy has been unpredictable for a long time (just ask Taylor Swift). I’m no medical professional, but some of that erratic behaviour may be an indicator for bigger issues, and his recent admission to the hospital only seems to confirm that. The fact that people are so quick to mock him only shows how far we have to go, when it comes to eradicating the stigma surrounding mental illness. And I am ALL about eradicating that stigma, having battled my own demons.
I wish Kanye the best, while battling his.