We now return to our regularly scheduled programming: After two weeks of nothing but Darts OR Laurels, we’re happy to say that the past week not only dished out the good and the bad in equal measure, but did so with gusto. For a change, we’ve actually found ourselves with too much to cover. So without further ado, here’s this week’s edition of …
Darts & Laurels
As has been well covered by that trending box on the side of your Facebook, basketball legend and “Kazaam” star Shaquille O’Neal paid a visit to Gainesville Jan. 23, to publicly support the Gainesville Police Department and officer Bobby White. On Jan. 15, Officer White responded to a noise complaint concerning a game of street ball by joining the kids in on the fun rather than dealing out any disciplinary measures. After footage of the game went viral, Shaq, who once squared off against Aaron Carter in a particularly riveting round of street ball, swung by our fine city to acknowledge Officer White’s good police work.
Even in the eyes of cynical bastards like us, there’s nothing to dislike about this story. Being beneficially involved in the community ought to be the norm for policing in America rather than the news-generating exception. In light of ongoing revelations about the Chicago Police Department, including their tampering of dashboard cameras, it’s more important than ever to reward constructive law enforcement in order to truly contrast it with the bad. Officer White gets a Laurel.
Kanye West’s Twitter feed has long been the stuff of legend, capturing both his amusing observations on the mundane (“I make awesome decisions in bike stores!!!”) and exhibiting the height of his bourgeois mania (“I specifically ordered persian rugs with cherub imagery!!! What do I have to do to get a simple persian rug with cherub imagery uuuuugh”).
With the recently announced Feb. 11 release date for his long-awaited seventh studio album “Waves” (formerly known as “Swish,” formerly known as “So Help Me God”) approaching, the last few weeks have seen a tremendous uptick in activity from his account. Nearly all of it is positive and exciting — that is, until yesterday, when a regrettable Twitter beef with forthcoming UF performer Wiz Khalifa began over Kanye’s use of the word “Waves” for an album title, followed by a possible misunderstanding over a tweet with the initials “kk.” Khalifa maintains “kk” is his preferred strain of weed, while others thought it was a subliminal message directed toward Kanye’s wife, She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
What followed was… unfortunate. Although now deleted, the Internet never forgets, and when someone of Kanye’s profile tweets something as strongly worded as “13th You own waves???? I own your child!!!!,” well, it’s kind of impossible to forget. And we’re not even going to get into the slut-shaming on Kanye’s part and subsequent sex-negativity from both him and Khalifa’s ex, Amber Rose (hip-hop is nothing if not a soap opera).
Why, Kanye, why? We WANT to root for you; we WANT to be able to defend your behavior in light of your musical oeuvre. For as much as Kanye’s albums have elevated hip-hop and popular American music as a whole, his behavior unfortunately continues to undermine his own work and fuel a noxious culture concerned with celebrity worship, deification and justifying unfortunate behavior. Sigh. An artistically gifted yet irrefutably douchey Dart for Kanye West.
On a lighter note, we know all of you saw Tian Tian, a panda at the National Zoo in D.C., frolicking in the snow during the blizzard last weekend. A Laurel for Tian Tian for serving as a necessary reminder that there is so much beauty in the world.