Culture Clips: The Kanye by Kanye West Edition

Kanye West

For years, faith-based films have been largely ignored in the secular entertainment establishment. They never—

I’ma let you finish, faith-based film guy. But first, we have to talk a little about Kanye West.

Love him or not, the influential rapper sure says some … interesting things. And with his new album, Ye, out, West is talking again. Especially to The New York Times.

In the interview, West insisted he had never said that slavery was a “choice” (as he reportedly did to TMZ Live); that he thought his wife, Kim Kardashian, might leave him over the comments’ and that, yes, lyrics that reference suicide are indeed autobiographical. “Oh yeah, I’ve thought about killing myself all the time,” he admitted.

But while West may be talking, some of his fans wish that artist Rita Minissi would just pipe down. Recently, West tweeted out pictures related to his new campaign, “Supermoon Yellow Yeezy 500.” But when Minissi said on Instagram that the images looked strikingly like ones she’d created first—and when Diet Prada posted some incriminating side-by-side comparisons on Instagram, too—she received a note saying that she must have a “death wish.” Minissi, however, continues to speak out about the alleged plagiarism: “This is not an isolated instance, to the corporate entity in question or to the industry as a whole,” she wrote.

Ahem.

As we were saying, faith-based films have been largely—

‘Course, West is hardly the only celebrity to generate an, er, passionate response from a loyal fanbase on the internet. The Daily Beast’s Erin Biba says woe to female journalists who cover and criticize Tesla impresario Elon Musk. After Biba tweeted that “journalism and science” were both under attack from Musk, Musk tweeted a denial—and a legion of what Biba calls “MuskBros” chimed in with profane, sometimes threatening tweets. “Let’s be honest, I’m a pretty small-bananas science journalist with a medium-size following,” she wrote. “But after Musk replied, my mentions descended into madness.”

Faith-based films hav—

And West’s not alone in making eyebrow-raising comments, either. Why, we’re only a couple of weeks removed from Roseanne Barr’s own debacle that seemingly destroyed (or at least temporarily derailed) her career. She’s still talking in the aftermath. “I’m not a racist,” she said during a recent podcast with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “I’m an idiot.” And she spoke about her Jewish faith, too:

I said to God, “I am willing to accept whatever consequences this brings because I know I’ve done wrong. I’m going to accept what the consequences are,’ and I do, and I have. But they don’t ever stop. They don’t accept my apology, or explanation. And I’ve made myself a hate magnet. And as a Jew, it’s just horrible. It’s horrible.

Rian Johnson—director of the divisive Star Wars: The Last Jedi—also has become something of an online hate magnet, but for entirely different reasons. Some die-hard fans despised his film so much that they’re now pushing a Twitter handle (@RMTheLastJedi) to encourage Disney to remake Jedi and, thus, “course correct” the Star Wars saga. Johnson seems in favor: “Please please please please pleeeeeeeaaaase please actually happen please please please please please,” he tweeted.

Faith-based fil—

But Twitter is no place to have meaningful, civil conversation. Unfortunately, the real world is becoming more and more like Twitter, according to The Federalist’s David Harsanyi.

And some experts suggest that social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook may be getting too big for their own good. Writing for USA Today, brain scientist Jeff Stibel says there’s a limit to the social connections we can maintain (150 relationships, give or take), and so folks who have thousands of Facebook friends not only are next-to-meaningless, but “actually interfere with your true relationships.” (And the whole social media thing can be literally depressing, too.)

Not that Facebook wants you to interfere with their relationship with you. When Slate’s Henry Grabar left the site for 10 days, he received 17 emails begging him to return—and he’s not the only one who feels it’s like trying to breaking up with one of those old mail-order music album services. (Not that its youngest users, Generation Z, seem to care.)

Fai—

And let’s not forget the dangers of selfies, for heaven’s sake! Not only can they warp the body image of teens, but they can be pretty, literally terrible for our actual bodies, as well.

Faith-based films … oh, what, I can go on? After being largely ignored in secular circles for years, faith-based films saw a strange level of traction in, of all places, the Cannes Film Festival. An Interview With God, Samson and God Bless the Broken Road all have Christian themes and were screened at the fest. Meanwhile, I Can Only Imagine is hoping to add to its $83.4 million box office with a release in, of all places, China.

Finally—please ‘fess up, whoever bought Han Solo’s blaster (from Return of the Jedi) at a Las Vegas Auction for $550,000. I will trade you an empty soda bottle and, um, a Plugged In coffee cup for it. Straight up.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

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