Brandon Wetherbee is the host of the talk show You, Me, Them, Everybody. He’ll be hosting YMTE at the Wonderland Ballroom in D.C. on June 20, The Creek and the Cave in NYC on June 27 and The Comfort Station in Chicago as part of The Comedy Exposition of 2014 on July 13.
Kanye West sent me a postcard. Someone from Kanye West’s circle sent me a postcard. Kanye West’s label sent me a postcard. Kanye West’s fashion team sent me a postcard. Kanye West’s shoe line sent me a postcard. Some intern for something related to Kanye West sent me a postcard. Someone Googled “Kanye West” and found the most popular 225 sites that said nice things related to the search term “Kanye West” and had their intern write quotes Kanye West said in interviews and hand wrote addresses to the writers of those 225 sites. I received a postcard that most likely was not signed by Kanye West.
Postcards with the words “Kanye West’s New Testament – Available June 10, 2014” were received by 225 writers on June 5. A Reddit thread was created once postcards began to roll in. By the end of the June 5 workday, Complex (What does this all mean? Who knows, but just off a first glance it doesn’t appear to be official in any way.), Gawker (There Is No New Kanye West Album Called The New Testament) and others had declared that there will not be a new Kanye West album on June 10 and the postcards 225 people received are part of a hoax.
Very few people know what’s actually going to happen on June 10. A postcard has piqued interest in some and allowed others to dispel things that were never promised. Kanye West has not made any proclamations about what New Testament might be. Kanye West has not made any cryptic statements about June 10. This may be a hoax, but once again, so what? Why not wait until June 10 and until then, just wonder? Instant anger, cynicism and doubt surrounded what could have otherwise been a neat, affordable for all artists promotional stunt. The reaction from a very nice gesture (receiving a postcard is always nice) is making it harder for special things to happen. You’re not letting Kanye, or whoever is behind this, be great.
If this is Kanye, I can relate, albeit on a much, much smaller scale. My talk show begins with a monologue. Whenever I try to emphasize a point and use certain trigger words, I run the risk of losing my target audience. People that would most likely agree, laugh and think because of (hopefully different) idea presented are so turned off by certain vowels and consonants, they’re unable to process the many more vowels and consonants that follow. I’ve been called racist, homophobic and sexist because I used triggers words to emphasize the absurdity of actual racist, homophobic and sexist actions.
While the Kanye speculation was occupying part of my June 5 Internetting, reaction to the piece BYT’s Guide For Straight Guys Getting Laid At Gay Pride was occupying another large chunk. This site has run this guide for the last four years. This is the first year it has been harshly criticized. It was called sexist and homophobic. Below the headline are the following tips: if you’re single and looking you should ask you friends if they know any single people, don’t pretend to be gay, personal care matters, don’t say homophobic stuff, people like cute things, people like vodka and that’s it. If the piece was titled “How to be an ally with 7 of the bestest tips for making the bestest friends on the most scandalous weekend,” I don’t think anyone would have commented or cared.
The headline isn’t everything. The trigger words aren’t the message. The lack of information does not merit vitriol.
My friend and fellow writer Chris Kelly reminded me of something that I may get crocheted and placed above my desk. “The outrage machine is strong and needs to be fed everyday.”
He’s right. He’s obviously right. After editing sites and hosting talk shows for more than five years, I still do not understand why people comment on anything that’s obviously not for them. If you don’t like Kanye, don’t listen. If you don’t like my show, don’t listen. If you don’t like a headline, don’t click. Let things exist without comment. The best way to protest something is to ignore it. Not everything is for everyone. Though curated, our Facebook and Twitter feeds are not perfect. We will not love everything that pops up. We’re not supposed to.