MY first thought while watching the Kanye West meltdown was: “Well, there goes his US presidential campaign.”
Though, let’s face it, stranger things have happened.
My second was that Taylor Swift must be sitting back with a smirk and reciting the age old adage of “stand by the river long enough and the bodies of your enemies float by”.
For without doubt, Kanye West has made plenty of enemies over the years with his egocentric grand-standing that has been put down to, at best, towering arrogance and, at worst, an uncontrolled narcissism amounting to a God complex.
But now, following the deeply uncomfortable footage of him unravelling before an audience in Charleston, South Carolina, in the US, it’s pretty clear that his mental health is in freefall.
And his marriage can’t be far behind after he revealed that he and wife Kim Kardashian toyed with the idea of aborting their first born North — a horribly insensitive revelation that no child should read on Google.
Kanye has long been open about suffering from bipolar disorder and back in 2016 he cancelled a string of tour dates because of a “psychiatric emergency” that forced him to spend time in hospital.
But this latest episode is potentially the worst yet, and many observers are now putting the onus of his recovery on wife Kim with unhelpful “why are you allowing him to do this?”-style comments.
Getting an independent adult to accept they need professional help is difficult enough, and getting them committed is even harder.
Troubling to watch it may be, but fevered sobbing and revealing family secrets in public doesn’t fit in to the required category of being a danger to yourself or others.
So, intervention-wise, Kim and anyone else close to Kanye faces an uphill battle — as illustrated by his now deleted tweet that his wife “had tried to bring a doctor to lock me up”.
Like Britney Spears famously shaving her head, Kanye’s public unravelling looks like a classic cry for help, but already there have been attempts by some to brush it off as a PR stunt.
“Ima focus on the music now,” he tweeted later, before following it up with a plug for his new album Donda — named after the mother who, in the same erratic speech, he praised for not aborting him.
Does confecting a nervous breakdown sell albums these days?
I think not.
Besides, unless he’s an Oscar-winning actor, his distress seemed wholly genuine to me.
So what happens next is crucial.
Tesla billionaire Elon Musk, a friend of Kanye, put out a “nothing to see here”-style tweet saying: “We talked about an hour ago. He seems fine.”
Let’s hope this was just an attempt at media distraction and that, behind the scenes, he and other influential friends are telling Kanye the truth he so badly needs to hear — that he needs serious, prolonged treatment for his mental health, and fast.
And if, like so many famous people, he’s surrounded by “yes men” who put profits before their clients’ health, then they too need to support his wife and family in their bid to get him treatment.
It won’t save his presidential chances, but it might just save his life.
Tatum is a spud we like
JOHNNY Depp reportedly referred to Magic Mike star Channing Tatum as “potato-head”.
A hot potato though, right?
Dominic pals are spot on
SHOW me the boy of seven and I’ll show you the man.
Fellow pupils who attended the private Durham School with Dominic Cummings describe him as divisive, argumentative and “contemptuous” of his peers, with a look on his face that suggested: “I know better, I’m tolerating you.”
A description that will no doubt sound familiar to the entire Cabinet. Without the tolerance bit.
GLEE star Naya Rivera managed to find the strength to push her four-year-old son back on to her boat before she drowned.
A last-breath act of motherly concern that was perhaps down to the phenomenon known as “hysterical strength” – where human beings suddenly find an extreme power in a life-or-death situation.
Either way, how heartbreaking that she couldn’t also save herself.
THIS is the cover of Sports Illustrated’s 2020 “swimsuit” issue.
Or, in the case of Jasmine Sanders, centre, three strategically placed pieces of dental floss.
Bells for Andy but not for Meg
DESPITE ringing them for Prince Andrew’s 60th in February, Westminster Abbey won’t be sounding its bells for The Duchess of Sussex’s birthday next month.
Max left looking drawful
GHISLAINE Maxwell broke down in tears while appearing via video link in a New York court.
Reportedly, this was because she was denied bail. Either that or she caught sight of this court sketch.
Childhood memories stir up delight
THE sales of packet trifle kits have soared during the pandemic as we make a nostalgic return to the 70s favourites of our childhood.
As someone who has recently consumed bucketfuls of butterscotch Angel Delight (and has the swollen midriff to prove it) I can concur with this finding, though I draw the line at powdered mash brand Smash.
Tinned peaches has been another, resurrected favourite, and I was very excited to find a jar of Sandwich Spread which I adored as a child but now tastes slightly too vinegary for my adult palate.
We had ready-made custard in a cardboard carton the other day (delicious) and The Bloke had a sandwich filled with Shippam’s “classic” beef spread.
Perhaps lockdown has reminded us of family life back when restaurants were solely a treat, takeaways non-existent and we cooked most nights at home before gathering in front of the TV to watch, say, Mike Yarwood.
A time when we busied ourselves with playing board games, doing craft activities and reading books during long periods of quiet contemplation with little else to do. And so, consequently, we have gravitated towards the nostalgic food brands that remind us of that time.
Though it has to be said that The Bloke’s Heinz Mushroom And Bacon Toast Topper he purchased back in 2012 is a step too far and remains untouched.
Just paddling along
LAST week, a desperate migrant tried to reach Britain on a pedalo stolen from a French beach.
He was stopped by Border Force teams.
Either that or, just like the rest of us, he hired it for an hour and, a few minutes in, drifted aimlessly after becoming paralysed with boredom.
I spy a conman
ONLINE dating frauds have soared by 86 per cent as con artists exploit loneliness in lockdown then ask to borrow money.
The most vulnerable targets were women aged 50 to 59.
With this in mind, here is my cut-out-and-keep guide to hopefully minimise the chances of this happening to you.
If he tells you he’s a spy then he almost certainly isn’t.
If he says he’s an airline pilot, only believe it when you see him sitting in a cockpit in full uniform.
If he claims all his money is “stuck in Panama”, he’s penniless and after your cash.
And finally, if he goes incommunicado for several days and claims his phone broke, he’s probably been away with his wife and four kids.
You have been warned.