Video: Timbah on Toast takes an empathetic and educational look at Ye, and bipolar disorder

A couple days ago, I called Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) a fascist, while talking about the company he’s been keeping lately. I’m comfortable saying that, because of the misinformation and hate that he’s spreading, and because of the people and ideas he’s empowering. He is, as the philosophers say, “doing fascism”. There’s no excusing that, and I think that he’s in a quagmire mostly of his own making, from which he’ll have trouble escaping. Because of his cultural stature, he’s someone whose actions we need to consider, at least from time to time, and in doing so, it seems like a good idea to know at least a little bit about bipolar disorder. It’s also something that’s just generally good to know about, because the odds are decent that there are people in your life who have to deal with that set of symptoms.

Timbah on Toast has done a number of excellent videos on different subjects, and in my very inexpert opinion, this one is worth watching as well. It gives an overview of what bipolar is and how it manifests, as well as a description of what it’s like for the person living through those manifestations. The video also talks about treatment, and about Ye specifically. The combination of wealth (Beau of the Fifth Column likes to call money “power coupons”), cultural influence, existing bigotry, and bad company seems to act like a bit of a perfect storm for driving Ye into these waters. That said, there’s one prediction that Timbah makes that I worry may be overly optimistic.

He correctly points out that the people who’ve been encouraging and enabling Ye lately don’t care about his wellbeing. He’s profitable for them, and for some, he’s a potential pathway to power. Where I fear Timbah may be going wrong, is in the prediction that when Ye goes into a depressive episode, having pushed away the people who cared about him, his current crowd will abandon him.

They might, I suppose, but looking at the situation, I’m reminded of the radicalization funnel that’s been guiding people towards the extreme right. For that, extreme low points are often an important part of the process. That’s when you can really convince someone that everyone else has abandoned them, and that only you, the fascist benefiting from his involvement, can be trusted to take care of him, and to guide him when he needs it. I don’t know if someone like Fuentes, Yiannapoulis, or Owens will be the one to do that, and I don’t know whether they’ll succeed if they try, but I think it is inevitable that someone in his current orbit is planning to take advantage. For all these are horrible people, they’re perfectly capable of being kind and caring when they think it will pay off. I don’t think it’ll be hard to convince Ye that nobody will forgive him, and that they’re the only ones he can rely on.

I could be wrong, obviously. I hope I’m wrong. I don’t know the man, and I know very little about him. With luck, he’ll extricate himself and go spend some time out of the spotlight. People do de-radicalize themselves all the time, when they have a way out, and it sure seems like someone of Ye’s stature has a number of options in that regard. Time will tell, I suppose, but regardless of how all this turns out, it’s a nasty situation.


  1. says

    Yeah, no. Manic episodes don’t last for years on end, and bipolar doesn’t make you say shit like “I loooooove Hitler.” I have no sympathy or empathy for this man, because he’s burned it all up.

  2. says

    I would never say that his disorder justifies or really explains anything, it’s just a part of the picture, and something that I think is useful to know about.

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