If there one thing we can all agree on, it’s the existence of a singular true God. Right? We all know who the one true God is, and absolutely everyone is fine with it. Nobody would ever want to kill anybody else, blow somewhere up, bully somebody, or write something horrible about that kind of thing, because everybody is on exactly the same page. It’s impossible to have a problem with another’s beliefs about God when they’re precisely the same as your own, and what a relief, because the world would be a pretty awful place if they weren’t. Thank the God we all agree on that things aren’t like that.
What remains highly contentious is to claim that you a god. That is something Kanye West has taken to doing recently, for which he has been met with much derision. In an interview with BBC Radio, when asked who he thought he was calling himself a god, Kanye gave the excellent reply ‘I just told you who I thought I was: A god. I just told you. That’s who I think I am.’
In some respects you could argue that Kanye is a god, using the same logic with which you might describe the pub as the new church, or football as a new religion. He has many followers, over whom he has a considerable influence. That’s kind of what a god is, in a sense, a powerful leader of people and informer of their beliefs. So yes, maybe he’s right. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. He is a god. But that is perhaps not the issue.
The problem with being a god is the part where you tell everyone else about it. Along with writing your diary in excrement on the inside of your own pillowcase, or paying to see JLS on their farewell arena tour, declaring publicly that you’re a god is a fast track way to make people think you’re mad because it is something that mad people do. Charles Manson did it, just after killing lots of people. David Koresh did it, shortly before leading lots of people to their deaths. It is symptomatic of a mind so adrift from the reality of everyday normal life that it can only comprehend its own existence by identifying with something or someone that is above and beyond everything else, i.e. a god.
For Manson and Koresh it was insanity that got them to that point. For Kanye West it was being a celebrity. Nothing in his life has its roots in a normality you or I would recognise and hasn’t for a long time. His girlfriend is famous because her dad was OJ Simpson’s lawyer. He once called out President George W. Bush -- then the world’s most powerful man -- for racism in the wake of Hurricane Katrina whilst standing next to the voice of Shrek. And he can lay claim, with some relatively irrefutable evidence, to having invented the leather jogging pant over six years ago. Of course he thinks he’s a god. Wouldn’t you?