Warning: adult language quoted in this post.Dressing up like Jesus on a magazine cover
doesn't take any guts at all. In this Village Voice
editorial, commenter LB has it right:
If he's REALLY trying to get attention, he should've posed as Mohammad instead of Jesus. But of course the latter is safer and less risky than the former, isn't it?
LB is none other than La Shawn Barber. She's got the story blogged here. Glenn Reynolds echoes her sentiment.
Commenter Neil also references Mohammad:
Would Kanye or Rolling Stones have the balls to put a picture of someone mocking Mohammed? Apparently it's okay to make disgusting mockery of Christianity, but everything else we need to be respectful of, lest the Political Correctness cops come and get us. Kanye, you fucking asshole, if you think for one second that your "suffering" compares to that of Christ you are living in another universe. How dare you. And to the idiot above who thinks this has anything to do with Kanye being black is an imbecile (that means your stupid) and needs to get off your angry-black-man high horse and get a clue.
Some commenters like Kane don't get the clue:
I am no fan of Kanye's music or hiphop for that matter but WHAT ON EARTH IS WRONG WITH JESUS BEING PORTRAYED BY A BLACK MAN?? I can bet that these morons bashing Kanye would find it "tasteful" if it were Brad Pitt as Jesus on that cover.
This magazine cover is not the equivalent of someone portraying Jesus in some film. A Jesus flick is about Jesus; the actor seeks to give an impression of what Jesus was like. This article is about Kanye West. He is not portraying Jesus; he is using the Jesus imagery to portray himself, to give a spin on what Kanye West is about. Race is not an issue.
For the record, the idea of Brad Pitt as Jesus even in film makes me want to barf.
There's nothing brave about bashing an icon in a community where bashing that icon is a sacrament. Let someone mock Mohammad in the American entertainment industry, and the handwringing over "why they hate us" will begin in microseconds. And as La Shawn noted, that sort of audacity has risks.
Update: For those of y'all eager to play the race card - would you be offended to see a white guy portraying Malcolm X or Martin Luther King?