The Wednesday Weigh-In: Creative destruction edition

In the video for their first single off the new album “Watch the Throne”, Kanye and Jay-Z take a $350,000 car and cut it to pieces. Then they plop some models in the back and go joy-riding.

The car was on display in New York City this past weekend, and a few friends of mine went to see the thing. They said it was cool to look at (no touching allowed), but I’m more interested in another aspect of the well-received video: the last frame, which declares “The vehicle used in this video will be offered up for auction. Proceeds will be donated towards the East African drought disaster.”

The bidding is rumored to start at $280,000. Is this a creative act charity or one of senseless destruction? This week’s weigh-in centers around creation and destruction:

What do you think of Jay and Ye’s ploy to raise money for the famine in Somalia? And has there ever been a time in your life when you justified destroying something valuable to create something even better?

Disclaimer: While I enjoyed this video, I recognize that there are aspects both of the video and of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s collective bodies of work that are problematic, including the fact that the only women in the video are models giggling in the backseat. My intention with this post is to focus on YOUR opinions about charity, creation and destruction, and not necessarily to rehash is-it-or-isn’t-it-sexist arguments.

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is a writer and advocate focusing on race, gender, and sexual and reproductive rights. In addition to serving as an Executive Director at Feministing, Lori is the Director of Global Communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Lori has previously worked at the United Nations Foundation, the International Women’s Health Coalition, and Human Rights Watch, and has written for a host of print and digital properties including Rookie Magazine, The Grio, and the New York Times Magazine. She regularly appears on radio and television, and has spoken at college campuses across the U.S. about topics like the politics of black hair, transnational movement building, and the undercover feminism of Nicki Minaj. In 2014, she was named to The Root 100 list of the nation's most influential African Americans, and to the Forbes Magazine list of the "30 Under 30" successful people in media.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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