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Entries in Taylor Swift (1)


A Tale of Two Tantrums - Chris "Preach" Smith

New York City, for this weekend, got some fireworks before the
official end of summer from a usual suspect and an unlikely one. It's
now been 24 hours since the interruption heard and seen around the
world courtesy of Kanye West at MTV's Video Music Awards held live
at Radio City Music Hall last night. West took to the stage and brazenly
grabbed a microphone during 19 year old Taylor Swift's acceptance
speech for winning the Best Female Artists' Video award, declaring that
Beyonce had the better video in front of a shocked audience. After being
booed lustily, West then flipped the bird to the audience. After the
display, West apparently was not only asked to leave by MTV staff but
also nearly was assaulted by Pink according to a couple of reports.

Kanye West with Hennessy in one hand and Amber Rose in the other
(MTV Photos)

There is considerable outrage over Kanye's act last night and rightfully so.
What he did was shameful and disrespectful for someone who claims to
be a staunch defender of artistry. What makes it worse is that Taylor Swift
is 19, on one of the biggest stages of her life and someone who she looks
up to as a musician comes in and drops a load of manure on her moment.
Beyonce, in a wonderful move had Swift join her on stage when she won
an award to give her acceptance speech again. Which will probably make
Kanye cringe on that next phone call to Jay-Z. But there are some people
calling for a boycott of West for his actions. While I wouldn't dispute
anyone who wishes to do so, I don't think that will happen. Mainly because
West is someone who feels absolutely comfortable in acting out this way
with little to no reprocussions. When you consider the fact that he has
done this before to MTV, and has had other outbursts yet still gets a lot
of acclaim, the fact of the matter is this: Kanye does it because it gets
people talking. He does it because he follows that cliche of 'there's no
such thing as bad publicity.' If there were a call to boycott Kanye's
music it would have the same effect as the drive to boycott R.Kelly. And
you remember what he was charged with. And how he still made money.
If MTV were to stop giving him airtime then maybe episodes such as
last night wouldn't happen again. But money talks louder than virtues
like courtesy these days. Maybe this is Kanye's wakeup call.

The other tantrum of note this weekend happened in Flushing,
Queens at the US Open during the womens' semifinal between
Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters. Serena was frustrated
throughout this match, smashing her racket on the hard court
earning her a code violation. But her frustration boiled over
and exploded in an expletive-filled tirade directed at the
lineswoman who called a foot fault on her. Williams lost the
match and was later fined $10,000.

The backlash may be greater than expected, but what may truly be shocking
is how many people are calling for Serena's expulsion from future Grand Slam
events in addition to heavier fines. Her actions were disgraceful and shocking
without question. You can safely say that such an outburst was out of
character for her. But one has to have greater perspective here. Tennis as a
sport has had a few volatile personalities, arguably none greater than John
McEnroe who has a lifetime of anger management issues. Ask Tatum O' Neal.
But he has been elevated to the status of a legend partly due to that part of
his personality. And he's been able to make a mint off of it. Serena's display
was terrible, but to ban her from future Slam events is reactionary and sets
a bad double standard for tennis. McEnroe himself suggested that as a fair
punishment, the United States Tennis Association should have her play the
fall tournaments which Williams normally avoids. I would advise them to
take it a step further and also have her submit an apology to the lineswoman
directly rather than the statement on her website which after her
unapologetic stance after the incident seems too rushed and therefore
rings hollow. But to ban one of the top players from Slam events would be
rash and give more heft to the argument that some in tennis don't want
the Williams sisters around anymore for reasons other than their play.

One can only hope that both Kanye West and Serena Williams can regroup
from their respective outbursts to the point where it would be a blip on
their careers. And leave the tirades for other individuals with less talent
and more mouth who we can ignore easily.