...but you caused one of the greatest meltdowns of all time. Of all time!

And for that, I cannot thank you enough.

You see, Kanye, I love the smell of meltdowns in the morning. And midmorning, noontime, teatime, bedtime, and anytime in between.

This time, your patented self-aggrandizement inspired the best Tumblr Photoshop thread I've ever seen. Not to mention the inadvertent comedy of people assuming the role of Taylor Swift's e-guardian angel. Seriously, it was priceless.

With all due respect to Kayne and Taylor Swift - and pretty much everyone else at the VMA awards - meltdowns are, unequivocally, the most redeeming aspect of pop music & the culture derived from it. Take away all the non-ironic drama, and you're more likely to find Snooki at a MENSA gathering than any substantive content.

Want proof? Listen to your local pop station, uninterrupted, for fifteen minutes.

But before you begin, first imagine your Intelligence Quotient is a tract of land bordering the sea. A levee – Rational Thought – is what protects your IQ from a Gulf of Gibberish.

ACT I: When the dial settles, Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” will be playing. This is no coincidence. Using cutting-edge technology, Clear Channel ensures everyone, everywhere will hear “Love Story” when first stumbling upon a pop radio station. Anyway, as Ms. Swift warbles about works by Shakespeare and Hawthorne (whose allegorical social commentary she comprehends completely, I’m sure), the Gulf of Gibberish will become tempestuous. Accordingly, the Levee of Rational Thought will feel acute pressure.

ACT II: Next will be A Song by Lady Gaga. The actual track name is irrelevant, because the Gaga-ian oeuvre is aurally homogeneous. Or you could just say “all Gaga’s f*%#ing songs sound the exact same.” Either way, a minute or two of Gaga going gaga will cause The Levee of Rationality’s weakest parts to fissure.

ACT III: Now The Fray will enter the fray. The Fray do not own a fax machine. If they did, they would’ve gotten the memo that Train, after years of macabre conflict, was at last exiled from mass airplay. During its reign, Train’s regime scarred millions for life. Many who encountered “Drops of Jupiter” at young ages may never experience the joys of a palatable taste in music. Yet The Fray drone on and on, disregarding the atrocities of their predecessors. Meanwhile the Levee of Rationality breaches even more. Gibberish begins to deluge your IQ…

ACT IV: Then Nickelback will come on. Just one slap from any ham-fisted Nickelback track...and you are officially drowning. In a deluge. Of. Dumbness.

You can argue how annoying the alliteration above may be, but you can’t contest this point: Pop music is engineered to be as disposable as Huggies diapers. Which is fitting, because like Huggies, said music is chock full of turds. Thus, stinks to high heaven.

However, the extents to which people emotionally invest in the purveyors of this excrement are nothing short of golden. Case in point, recall the recent Video Music Awards.

(Which are an irony in themselves, since the “M” was amputated from MTV before some of the winning “artists” were even born. But I digress from Kanye.)
Sr. West’s latest stunt was bigger news than the award winners themselves. Had Taylor Swift not gotten Kanye'd, I doubt two Nobel Peace Prize winning Presidents would have taken interest in the VMA's. And gone on the warpath. Jimmy Carter called Kayne’s outburst “completely uncalled for.” Barack Obama got caught saying Kayne was a “jackass.” Meanwhile, Kaynegate was a top Twitter trend for days. Scores of celebrities and millions of regular folks couldn’t stop tweeting about the deed. Facebook status boxes everywhere reverberated with howls of anguish. Message boards and blogs fielded enough virtual stones to smash servers.

And people absolutely delighted in chucking them. Repeatedly. Weeks after the “incident,” Twitteratti were still spouting everything from drivel (OMG, Kayne is still such a loser) to cleverness (Yo Kanye, Imma let you finish, but J. Howard Marshall had one of the best Golddiggers of all time!) to brilliance (Kayne West is a walking episode of When Keepin It Real Goes Wrong).

You’ve got to hand it to Kanye. His musicianship is debatable, but when it comes to stoking controversy he’s a virtuoso beyond compare. Handing Kanye a mic in front of a live camera feed is like presenting Mozart with a rosined Stradivarius. The results are guaranteed to first render you speechless, then keep you talking for days.

Don’t be fooled. Kanye’s rants are anything but ad-libbed. He plays out the possible scenarios in advance, and knows damn well what he’ll say long before he barges in front of the lens. And more importantly, he knows how to articulate his thoughts in a manner that will keep haters hating – and apologists hating on the haters – for a long, long time. His recent efforts have all but guaranteed his legacy in the annals of Pop infamy, right alongside Paris's night-vision nookie and Britney going commando in Vegas.

Yet when everything is said and done, the true travesty isn’t Kayne raining on Taylor Swift’s parade. Despite what her self-appointed Praetorians might say, Ms. Swift is fine. I doubt she'll be haunted by visions of an apoplectic, sporting-sunglasses-despite-being-indoors figure swooping down upon her. No, the real atrocity is that awards including the phrases “Best” and “Music” are being bestowed upon the likes of Katy Perry, Soulja Boy and Lady Gaga. And of course, Kayne West.

Twenty years from now, I predict the music-buying public won’t be clamoring to buy the Greatest Hits collections of any of the above. But if Mr. West is shrewd enough to compile “Love to Hate: The Greatest Overreactions to My Attention-Seeking Antics"...

Well, then that would be one the greatest Pop albums of all time.

One of the greatest Pop albums of all time!

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