It was a foregone conclusion that one day, eventually, the cold war between Gen-X and Millennial culture would finally go full-on nuclear. It turns out all it took to make it happen was an upset win at an otherwise tedious Grammys presentation.
You already know what happened on Sunday so there’s no sense recapping it in detail other than to say Beck beat Beyoncé for Album of the Year and Kanye West then responded by being every bit the petulant, narcissistic, humorless little douche we’ve come to expect. He’s already tried to walk back his post-Grammys comments, which came in the form of an extended rant about how Beck needed to “respect artistry” and how he should’ve given his award to Beyoncé. He now says he was blaming the Grammys for not respecting artistry, which in Kanye’s mind means not having given Beyoncé the Album of the Year award just because she’s Beyoncé (as opposed to someone who plays a dozen instruments and actually writes their own songs).
Regardless, a hell of a lot of people have spent today openly mocking Kanye’s latest tantrum. But nobody has put him in his place quite like another legend of the Gen-X music scene: Shirley Manson of Garbage. She penned an open letter to Kanye on her Facebook page and it is a thing of absolute beauty.
“Dear Kanye West,
It is YOU who is so busy disrespecting artistry.
You disrespect your own remarkable talents and more importantly you disrespect the talent, hard work and tenacity of all artists when you go so rudely and savagely after such an accomplished and humble artist like BECK.
You make yourself look small and petty and spoilt.
In attempting to reduce the importance of one great talent over another, you make a mockery of all musicians and music from every genre, including your own.
Grow up and stop throwing your toys around.
You are making yourself look like a complete twat.
P.s. I am pretty certain Beyonce doesn’t need you fighting any battles on her account. Seems like she’s got everything covered perfectly well on her own.”
For some reason I’m picturing that iconic shot of Ali standing over Sonny Liston right now.
Since it’s well known that Kanye can’t take even friendly, constructive criticism without immediately running down his résumé and lashing out about how nobody shows him the proper respect, God only knows how he’ll respond to this kind of beat-down. If he knows what’s good for him, he’ll see the writing on the wall, or at least on social media, and shut the fuck up for once. As for Shirley Manson, she goes right on being what she’s always been: a complete bad-ass.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.