Leonard Cohen, during the Geneva concert of his 2008 tour.Rama
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Leonard Cohen Wrote a Poem About Kanye West, Who Intimates Crypto-Nietzscheanism to the President

Things are gonna slide in all directions

Jacob Siegel
October 11, 2018
Leonard Cohen, during the Geneva concert of his 2008 tour.Rama

Today the rapper and music producer Kanye West, wearing a red “MAGA” hat that he said made him feel like Superman, visited the White House to speak with the president of the United States of America, Donald Trump.

Also today, the musician Amanda Shires revealed that the late troubadour Leonard Cohen wrote a poem about the rapper and music producer Kanye West, husband of Kim Kardashian, who, on Oct. 11 of 2018, met with President Donald Trump.

In their meeting, West spoke reverently of the president who he said is “on a hero’s journey,” a possible allusion to the mythical archetypes popularized by the philosophy of Jordan Peterson. It is reported that during his conversation with the president, West also used the phrase “eternal return” a clear sign of Nietzschean influence.

Leonard Cohen’s poem about Kanye West is titled “Kanye West Is Not Picasso.” It appears in The Flame, a book of Cohen’s final songs and lyrics, published last week.

What to make of this …

An excerpt from From the Wikipedia entry on hyperreality:

“Baudrillard challenges McLuhan’s famous statement that the ‘medium is the message’, by suggesting that information devours its own content. Hyperreality is the inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from a simulation of reality, especially in technologically advanced societies”

The “simulation thesis” posits that once present conditions indicate a future likelihood of creating a simulated facsimile of the universe, then odds are it has already happened and the present reality is a simulacrum.

If Kanye West is not Picasso, who is he?

Did L. Cohen “diss” Kanye West as some have claimed? Is it such a bad thing to not be Picasso? Ask yourself: would you really want to be “the Kanye West Kanye West thinks he is.” Cary Grant had to ingest large quantities of LSD to cope with the burden of not being Cary Grant.

Here is Leonard Cohen’s poem about Kanye West.

Kanye West is not Picasso

Kanye West is not Picasso
I am Picasso
Kanye West is not Edison
I am Edison
I am Tesla
Jay-Z is not the Dylan of Anything
I am the Dylan of anything
I am the Kanye West of Kanye West
The Kanye West
Of the great bogus shift of bullshit culture
From one boutique to another
I am Tesla
I am his coil
The coil that made electricity soft as a bed
I am the Kanye West Kanye West thinks he is
When he shoves your ass off the stage
I am the real Kanye West
I don’t get around much anymore
I never have
I only come alive after a war
And we have not had it yet

March 15, 2015

Jacob Siegel is a senior writer at Tablet and editor of The Scroll.

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