Beyond the fact that, as Status pointed out, there should be a moratorium on “The Passion of X” headlines (the last good one was “The Passion of the Kleist,” for an article about a softcore porn montage based on the work of German playwright Heinrich von Kleist), can we talk about how boring this cover is? How far a cry from the truly “shocking” Rolling Stone covers, be it the naked Lennon/Ono, so tender beyond the thrill of glossy flesh, or the Chili Peppers cocksocks one, which was just sorta funny? Here the shock is so transparent, the board room meeting and aha! moment so needlessly vivid, so too the night they opened up the “Kanye Jesus” issue boxes and saw the cover and started laughing, hee fucking haw, about what they were about to do to the American public.
At best maybe this cover’s actualizing West’s opinion of self, but the mag takes no stance–does nothing beyond the literalization, so toothless, dickless, humorless, unsubtle but the bad kind of unsubtle, motivations so primitive and transparent. This is bad teenage poetry, “fire” rhymed with “desire” and “liar” (probably dad–I mean father), and the last line the poet throws himself–wait–on a “pyre.” Another: dire.
Notice I’m not flipping out about the sacrilege. But if I wanted to, the Stone would surely respond by pointing me or your local Xian sparkplug to the top cover line–“God’s Senator: Inside the War Room of the Religious Right”–as if to say: “Look, Riff Raff or local Xian sparkplug, this is a shocking cover, this is how people sell magazines, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to hear your piece. Give me a hug–give me five hugs.” So they hedged their bets, cut their losses (or something), tried to be sensational but “balanced” too, and yet all that underscores is how dull the blade is here–nothing more than that Blackface Jesus schmuck running around downtown New York to gossip sites’ delight.
Kanye’s been doing the I=Jesus thing for a while, sorta sloppily I might add but wishy-washy enough that people haven’t been able to pin down/call him out a la Voice/Public Enemy. But this cover could have been a chance to bring it all into high relief–why not commit to a real shocker? The crown of thorns is cute. But why not have Kanye on the cross, with a boner, fucking a bag of gay Eucharist? Why not have the cross played by Terry Schiavo, and Terry Schiavo’s life support machines played by the ghost of Hurricane Katrina? Why not have Pope John Paul II jerking off to it all?
Meanwhile, looks like Battleship Galactica is both the toughest and smartest show on television.