“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”
That’s a quote frequently attributed to George Bernard Shaw. And it also served as the grand finale in an epic series of tweets issued last night by Kanye West, who managed to announce the launch of his new design company (Donda), suggest how to improve our education system, confirm that he is no longer represented by William Morris, lay out a potential path toward world peace and namedrop “The Cosby Show,” Michael Jackson, Spike Jonze and Nike all in the span of a just a few hours.
The Hollywood Reporter was kind enough to calculate that West issued more than 70 tweets in three hours, each of them seemingly well intentioned, many of them total non-sequiturs and all of them, collectively, reassuring us that when Kanye West gets going, he is the greatest tweeter of all time.
To put this in Cameron Crowe-style terms, if I may, West essentially tweeted the equivalent of Jerry Maguire’s mission statement, in real time. But what does it all mean? Only he knows for sure, but as a public service, here’s an attempt to make sense of some of his more significant and/or cryptic tweets.
West tweet: “My Mom would wear blue jeans with a fur and an embellished “Cosby Show” sweater : ) to pick me up from school.”
Translation: West was really just making a larger point here about how much fashion, via his mother, influenced him during childhood. But I also am convinced that he’s really implying that he could make a much better Gordon Gartrell knock-off than Denise Huxtable. Read between the lines, people.
West tweet: “I designed a sneaker called the YEEZY with Nike. I’m “allowed” to design 1 pair of sneakers every 2 years. I have more ideas...”
Translation: If Nike would only allow it, ‘Ye could come up with enough shoe designs to ensure that no one, in the world, ever walks barefoot again. Nike, why must you limit creativity in this way?
West tweet: “I was just discussing becoming the creative director for the Jetson movie and someone on the call yelled out.. you should do a Jetsons tour!”
Translation: Okay, clearly there’s a lot to process here. (Are the plans to make a ‘Jetsons’ movie really still active? If so, can Elle Fanning play Judy Jetson? Also, what would West do as creative director for the movie? Design the sets? Do a rap with Rosie the Robot on the soundtrack?) Let’s just focus on the obvious: Kanye West should do a Jetsons tour. A later tweet confirmed that he was insulted by the suggestion, but I would totally pay to watch West offer his take on this “space-age” classic:
West tweet: “I have started a new company and I’m so excited about the name. ... it’s got the best name ever of all companies of all time!!!”
Translation: The name of this company is wayyyy better than Nike.
West tweet : “DONDA is a design company which will galvanize amazing thinkers and put them in a creative space to bounce there dreams and ideas.”
Translation: Its offices will totally look like this:
West tweet(s): “I am assembling a team of architects, graphic designers, directors musicians, producers, AnRs, writers, publicist, social media experts ... app guys, managers, car designers, clothing designers, DJs, video game designers, publishers, tech guys, lawyers, bankers, nutritionist ... doctors, scientist,teachers ... DONDA will be comprised of over 22 divisions with a goal to make products and experiences that people want and can afford.”
Translation: Either West just named every occupation he could think of off the top of his head (including the always coveted position “app guy”) or he is singlehandedly going to save the economy. I’m going with the latter. I’m also planning to apply to become a DONDA writer.
West tweet: “We would also like’ to design the MTV awards.”
Translation: Wait, West wants his new company to design the MTV awards, but he’s refusing to do a “Jetsons” tour? Look, he didn’t ask for my opinion but he might want to rethink that. At the very least, he should consult the Donda board of directors, which is made up of teachers, grocery clerks, philosophers, poets, assistants to the regional manager and at least one e-book development guy.
West tweet: : “Spike Jonze and I want to do a Summer school that tries new forms of [curriculum].”
Translation: West and Jonze are going to found a school in which all classes will be held on the 7 1 / 2 floor and taught by John Malkovich.
West tweet(s): “Instead of kicking kids out of schools for using [their] iPhones ... why not promote it? Allow kids to use search engines to do test ... like the real WORLD!!! Give kids the amount of test they would have in a year in one day but they have to get everything perfect...”
Translation: West has arranged for every school in America to start handing out free iPhones. Also, he believes that all standardized tests should be administered in a single day and that the rest of the school year should be canceled. At least, I think that’s what he means. I didn’t have access to search engines when I was in school, so this all may be way too complex for me to comprehend.
West tweet: “We need to take what Michael Jackson felt and Mcqueen and Steve Jobs and we need make things better...”
Translation: West is suggesting that we take a look at ourselves and make that change. He is making this suggestion while using an iPhone and wearing the designs of Alexander McQueen.
West tweet: “I sit everyday and ask what can I do to make a difference...”
Translation: All joking aside, I think West genuinely does think about this. Can he solve all the problems he laid out in this mega-onslaught of tweets? Probably not. But his optimism is admirable.
After all, if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas. And, as an added bonus, if we’re lucky, we’ll also have “The Kanye West Astro Tour: Watch the Throne and Watch the Jetsons.” Someday.
We all have to have dreams.