Artists Using The Internet For Good

I’m not exactly sure Al Gore had this in mind when he–singlehandedly–created the internet.  When the world wide web was created, it was like an extension of the library:  a place to get a never-ending supply of information.  Mostly scholastic.  Then, after a bit of time, it was used for mostly porn.  And while the porn is still there (and thank god for that) the internet is also becoming a more and more fertile ground for artists to share their craft and their thoughts.

Kanye, the lucky man who gets the image on this post, gets the nod as the person who uses the medium the best (and yes, “the internet” is now a medium – get used to it).  This is nothing new to Ye.  For years, he had a blog where he could air his grievances and considering it was exclusively written in all caps, it was quite surreal to have Kanye e-yelling at you from his office.  He has since moved on to the 140 character format of twitter, recently getting anointed the best musical artist on twitter by pitchfork, because they just can’t have enough lists, can they?

From this feed, he has pretty much done everything.  Kanye tweets about how fur pillows are tough to sleep on, then puts over Diddy’s new single, then goes on a 20-tweet apology to Taylor Swift while going through the machinations of how he felt then and how he feels now.  He’s an incredibly artist who, like a lot of people, is just struggling to figure out how to live.  God knows it has to be difficult seeing your faults shown over and over and over again (as was illustrated in the recent Today show interview which Kanye tweeted about) while also being held up as a musical genius.  The fact that he lets us in to his life in that way, with such candor and humor and pain, is something that no interview could illicit.  Essentially, he’s decided that the media is for Them, and the internet is for the people, his people.  When you watch the Today Show interview, it’s easy to see why.  I don’t blame him for getting upset with Lauer putting on his Serious Voice and instructing Kanye to look at Bush’s face, as if he was a child forcing an apology for stealing someone’s cookie.

Luckily, we all benefit from the media’s overbearing, self-righteous manner with free shit.  Kanye recently started G.O.O.D. Fridays, letting people get tastes of songs from his upcoming (brilliant, incredible, audacious, ridiculous, insanely great) album and putting the rappers on his label to the forefront.  You’re damn right I know who Big Sean and Cyhi The Prince are now.  And all of this comes courtesy of one of the biggest entertainers in the world, just giving the people what they need and giving us all a reason to celebrate.  And that’s not even mentioning the free 30 minute plus short film he made, just sitting there on his website, ready to be viewed.

I’m sure the WGA loves this movement so.

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Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather live in Antartica than LA most days of the week.  But, every now and then I get incredibly jealous of my left coast friends, like recently when Guillermo del Toro hosted a screening of the super, super awesome Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and held a Q&A afterward with the creator of the comic, Bryan Lee O’Malley, director Edgar Wright, and star Michael Cera.  It’s 80 minutes of wonderful film geekdom (highlighted by del Toro cursing like a sailor and being hilarious in general) and is well worth your time, especially if you like the film (and why wouldn’t you?).  The fact that I can experience an exclusive event held in LA from anywhere in the world is a helluva boon.  You can find that starting here with Guillermo’s introduction.

And it’s only getting to get better the farther we move forward, as noticed by Spike Jonze just throwing a short film of his online ho hum no big deal.  In the end, like most things connected with the internet, we all win.

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