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Kanye West’s failed redemption

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I respect this publication's opinions on economic, business, and political matters - however, as an esteemed publication, perhaps it is best to understand one's own limitations and not broach lightly on matters of the spirit and soul, especially when 1) there is a clear deficit in the breadth and depth of understanding of, and/or 2) the discussion of the subject only serves as an empty social signal to promote one's brand. As it is not necessary to take seriously Mr. West's political opinions, which his understanding of lacks breadth and depth, it would be much more appreciated if the Economist focuses on this publication's strengths instead of diluting the quality and clarity of their insights with weak, insincere puff pieces such as this one.

And please, it's "070 Shake", not "707 Shake".


I have no interest whatsoever in Mr West or his 'music'. Chiming in here to express my disappointment that TE has no comments anywhere except in useless articles such as this one.

- A Long time subscriber to The Economist.

WT Economist

I think subscribers deserve an explanation of why The Economist no longer has a comment section on most articles, and why it does have a comment section on this one.
For example, there is no comment icon on this article on the level of and changes in wages, and factors affecting it.
But there is one on Kanye West and Taylor Swift.
Given the title of this publication, which does it believe its readers would be more interested in discussing?

guest-aaawwwmj in reply to WT Economist

Perhaps management has decided to go the way of "Time" magazine, and dilute its content to become more like "People Magazine."
LCD... Lowest Common Denominator.
Go for low-brow stuff and attract more people - more subscribers.
Remember, TE started its downhill slide once it added links to Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and the rest of the Social Moron sites.

TS2912 in reply to WT Economist

It is fairly obvious that TE outsourced its site and its comments section.
Which has led to ...
1) A dreadful layout and obviously horrible programming (on far too many fronts to recount). I actually did not renew my subscription for 6 months (and I have been subscribing to this magazine since 1978 which is FORTY YEARS so far).
2) People administering the comments section with NO CLUE as to what constitutes a bad comment. As a result some awesome commentators got blocked and the comments section is a shadow of its former self.


Judge artists by their creations; over a long period of time.
That defines a classic.
My guess is that West will long since be forgotten.

California Man

Love it, love it, LOVE IT!
The Liberal press adores the horrible men who make up the hip-hop movement. Movies like "Straight from Compton" get huge critical reviews due to liberal bias. Journalists ignore the words of their 'songs' while describing these punks as "entrepreneurs' and 'role models'.
But let one say ANYTHING POSITIVE about President Trump and their guns are out. They are 'outraged' and 'incensed' and 'offended'.
Who knew that the liberal members of the Western Press were so sensitive? Or so hypocritical...


You say fans disagreed with what he says, yet you have nothing to back this claim up, is he not wrong in that the Government at the time did not do enough to assist the recovery efforts of Katrina? Could his frustration of the situation of seeing his demograph and his fellow Americans not being cared for cause a reaction like "veering of a script"?

Not much reviewing on the actual music on the album, & you say he hasn't given himself enough time & space to construct something memorable, yet this is 1 one a few short albums he wishes to release this year. A chapter of a book might not be grandiose, yet be apart of something more bigger & beautiful. #1 on the US iTunes chart album already tells me all is fine in the 'Ye camp, maybe even scorned fans.


“My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” (2010) is regarded by many as the finest of this decade"

And those being who exactly ... ?


How come we get to comment on this, but not on the Xinjiang piece?

There must be some way to distinguish between bots and real readers.
I am a long-term subscriber. My occasional comment history proves I am not a bot. I also travelled through Xinjiang last summer and have something to contribute on that topic (I know nothing about modern music, although I'm here, which is better than nothing).
TE's on-line side is incompetently managed. After months not sorting this out, it has become a danger to itself, more than any number of China bots.
If the editor can't sack the on-line manager, the owners need to intervene.

I agree wholeheartedly. considering they did away with facebook and other login types and have restricted it to subscribers only I would have thought that since bots don't buy subscriptions, it should be fairly easy to restrict comments to only subcribers. I think you can still create a new login, get your 3 free articles a week and comment, which is how the bots cause havoc. Restricting commenting only to paid subscribers should be fairly easy.
I had high hopes when commenting went offline for a few weeks, thinking they'd come back with a functional system but still most articles have some sort of lost lover spam it drives me insane.

I'd be interested in hearing your Xinjiang contributions if you'd care to share.

You are so right.
My comments on Xinjiang can wait. The bigger question is how to get action from TE.
I suggest we form a guerrilla movement which plasters the Comment section wherever it opens up. Our message could be:
" How come we get to comment on this piece, but not on others?
Is it because on some subjects the bots might go wild and destroy the comment thread?
You would have thought that since bots don't buy subscriptions, it should be fairly easy to restrict comments to only subcribers.
Why can you still create a new login, get your 3 free articles a week and comment, which is how the bots cause havoc? Restricting commenting only to paid subscribers should be fairly easy (the FT does it).
There were high hopes when commenting went offline for a few weeks, that TE would come back with a functional system.
However, the issue drags on. Evidently the on-line manager is incompetent.
If the editor can't sack him/her, the owners need to intervene".
The danger is that we would have our subscriptions revoked. That would be petty, but we may be dealing with petty people.
I have tried writing to TE, and answering the survey. But still nothing happens. I seen no other way to get action. I will start with the article on dry USA which you just commented on, and see what happens

I have some sympathy for the Economist in restricting the articles people can comment on. Even with paid subscribers there are just far too many people who hide behind anonymity to publish abhorrent racist, sexist and otherwise bigoted views. I am all for holding controversial views, I probably hold many myself in the eyes of others, but I still try to articulate them with respect and civility.

The FT also frequently doesn't allow comment on certain topics because it descends into a hate frenzy. Anything involving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is generally off-limits (it descends into "jews are evil" and "arabs are vermin" opposing camps) and also topics like gender pay gaps.

The Xinjiang article has potential to be hijacked by China bots and the "muslims are backward terrorists I'm glad China is sorting them out" brigade so I suspect that even with the commenting settings sorted out they will not allow comments on some topics at all going forward.

So, here's a way to get rid of the Bots, but keep access to all the topics and most of the anonymous pot-stirrers.

If comments are resticted to subscibers, TE will know the subscriber behind the alias. A policy could be published around this, perhaps including the "Report" button.

For example, it would be easy to send a subscriber a warning of exposure if many more "Report"s were triggered against it's comments. Gratuitous over-"Report"ing could likewise be exposed.

Although I appreciate my anonymity, I would stand publicly by everything I have said on this Comment section since 2012, if I absolutely had to.

The whole racist, sexist, bigoted scene might vanish from this comment section (though not the wider world) if it faced a risk of exposure. That would free up the rest of us for interesting (and often expert) debate.

Even if that doesn't work for you, I still say TE's online team is grossly mismanaged.


P, ease up on Ye.

I am not a fan, however, just because he is intelligent enough to realize the left has been using certain demographics as a means to keep/buy voters, doesn't mean you need to malign his work...

'Course, what would one expect from a left-leaning rag like the E (too bad, used to be a solid read).


I understand that The Economist wishes to appear "relevant" to its younger readers but... in a world rich in art that really is worth spending column inches on, why on earth waste everyone's time with an article about a mindless irrelevant nobody whose only claim to fame is that he connected with an undemanding audience in order to pursue his ambitions? This is akin to ignoring the latest Shakespeare play in favor of writing about an inept Elizabethan carpenter who scrawled "I does luv lizzie" on a plank of wood.