- 15 Oct 18
The news that the controversial rapper and friend of Donald Trump, Kanye West, has been handed the most coveted gig in the Irish arts industry right now is being hailed as a masterstroke by tourism chiefs. Meanwhile, a government spokesperson has insisted that the inevitable inquiry will only be confirmed in a few years’s time, when it is already far too late.
In a shock development that is likely to stun Ireland’s already beleaguered arts community, Galway 2020 has announced Kanye West as its new Artistic Director. The decision ends a period of major controversy for the project, with a series of high profile resignations having culminated recently in the decision of the Druid Theatre Company to withdraw its commitment to the European City of Culture project and to tell the organising committee to go and fuck themselves.
The appointment of Mr. West (41) was hailed by local Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil politicians as a coup for the city that would surely resonate with white Americans, who after all are our biggest tourist market.
Asked why Mr. West was chosen for the position, a spokesman for Galway 2020 issued a statement from the company's recently outsourced headquarters in Mumbai, India...
“It was a very straightforward choice,” Hot Press was told. "Galway is a city in the west of Ireland, which itself is a country at the very west of Europe. It was one of those extraordinary, collective lightbulb moments for members of the committee, when it came to us all in a blinding flash, that to have somebody called West as Artistic Director would turn Galway 2020 into the kind of celebration of Irish-ness that we could all be proud of.
"We did approach Adam West, the guy from Batman,” the spokesperson elaborated, "but that approach was unsuccessful, as we discovered belatedly that he is unfortunately dead or at least that is what it states on the Wikipedia page devoted to him, lord have mercy on his soul. However, it says a lot about the spirit of the city that we, as organisers, were not deterred by this enormous setback to our plans. We knew that we had to find another West, but we also sadly established that John West also died a long time ago, despite the fact that he is still very much alive as a brand and we really love his tuna here in Galway – I mean Mumbai. And so we finally realised that this role was truly tailor-made for our man, Kanye West."
The spokesperson emphasised the extraordinary cultural legacy of the hip hop superstar as the crucial deciding factor.
"We are thrilled with Kanye’s acceptance of what is a very prestigious and influential position,” the spokesperson added. “Like everything else associated with him, his appointment will doubtless bring with it a lot of misplaced optimism, and a soupçon of total bullshit, which is precisely what we are hoping to spread across the city over the next two years. There has been too much cynicism and negativity regarding #G2020. People asking legitimate questions about funding and transparency – what’s that all about? The constant harping on about these issues by certain cosseted members of the media, who like to think of themselves as champions of democratic accountability, is an example of political correctness gone mad and it really puts people in bad form, especially members of the organising committee."
Accusations in the media that Kanye West is 'so overwhelmed by delusion' that he will think #G2020 is happening when in fact nothing is going on at all in the Western capital have been dismissed by the spokesperson, who insisted that Mr. West would be inviting his friend Donald Trump to visit and that this was likely to result in what he described as “unique spontaneous artistic statements” of a kind never seen before on this island.
In an attempt to highlight how he feels his message is often misinterpreted, Mr. West, who indicated that he still wishes to be called Ye, addressed assembled media outlets via video link from his ranch in Wyoming. In a gesture to multiculturalism which has been applauded by activist groups, Mr. West, communicated through a series of six interpreters (from English to Mandarin to Swahili to Dari to Welsh to Flemish and back to English, or ‘YeSpeak’ as it is more commonly known). Asked what he hoped his appointment would bring to the city of Galway, he was typically candid in his response.
“Sneakers,” he told he watching members of the media corps. "Specifically, $450 sneakers. That’s where it’s at right now.”
Pressed by one interviewer regarding the relevance of sneakers to the social, cultural and political reality of life in Ireland, at this precise moment in time, when the very future of our planet is under deadly and increasingly imminent threat, in a move that underlines the originality of his thinking, Mr. West decided that the best way of fighting fire was with water, pulling no punches in what he had to say in response.
"This city is wet as fuck,” he said. “I mean that city. Wetter than nothing I ever seen. But it seems to me that getting rained on is a choice. Like all you Galwegians been getting rained on for hundreds of years and y'all standing there in the rain doing nothing about it. ‘Cept getting wet. That’s why there’s no climate change. Because you just stand there and do nothing about it. Which is why I am planning to run for President of the United States in four years time. Or maybe eight. Or twelve. This job is just a stepping stone for me but I am really looking forward to the challenge immensely.”
Mr. West, who looked fetching in a Connacht Rugby jersey (customised with diamond cufflinks by Kim Kardashian and for sale through her merchandise outlet for $10,000 a pop)) and a Philip Treacy hat, which he wore specially for the media conference, confirmed that he did not intend to visit Galway during his directorship, but would send his sneakers instead to meet Donal Trump.
“My latest collaboration with Adidas is called ‘In Absentia’, and it’s inspired by my attitude to my G2020 role. I haven’t been there. I probably won’t go. I ain’t seen the place. But I can feel the place and I know that President Trump will get on like a house on fire, there in England.”
Mr. West confirmed he would not draw down the salary offered to him, but would instead donate it to the development of his wife’s latest appetite suppressant mineral water product H2No.
“Charity. It starts at home. I said this. Ye said this,” he stated.
In a terse Skype exchange between members of the media and the organising committee of Galway 2020, who insisted on hosting the conference at 3am Irish time, local Galway reporters expressed concerns that the monies being spent on the year-long celebration might be better used on vital structural improvements for the city.
“Of course," the spokesperson for Galway 2020 reacted, "you could argue that we could take some of the €45.7m budget, approximately €27m of which is Irish taxpayers money, identify some sites around the city, develop them into playgrounds for kids and create ambitious, purpose-built public spaces, where our children could run and play, express themselves and, you know, do their own thing.
“You could argue exactly that – especially as the city has no such space, and doesn’t bother maintaining what it does have. You could also argue that we should lay proper cycle-lanes, and encourage our children to cycle to school. Indeed you could also argue that this would potentially tackle the obesity problem, not to mention the traffic jams in the city.
“But that’s all hypothetical. We’ve always said – alllllways said! – that what we really want is for visitors to Galway to have a good time, just like the one we are having now in Mumbai, which is a model we should be looking closely at, and of course we are. That’s why the appointment of Kanye West is so important, because he is very used to having a good time.”
A spokesperson for the Government said that at some time in the distant future it would be setting up a Tribunal to see what went wrong in relation to Galway 2020, and that the Government hopes that we will learn from the subsequent in-depth 1,850 page report – and that things like this should "never, ever, be allowed to happen again."
A spokesperson for Knock Airport said that they hoped that President Trump would fly into Knock Airport. They are hoping to have Donald Trump Plaza – a new shopping mall – open by the time the President arrives in Ireland. The spokesperson confirmed that they will be selling Kanye West sneakers.