Monday, November 19, 2007

The Top Story of The Week

by Lyndsey Parker in That's Really Week

We here at That's Really Week usually keep on the lighter side of the news. But this week is heavy, man. There's no way we can crack any jokes about this week's top story. So we're not going to even try.

We're sure by now you've read the news that Kanye West's beloved mother--inspiration for his song "Hey Mama," author of Raising Kanye: Life Lessons From The Mother Of A Hip-Hop Star, and major influence on Kanye's music--passed away last Saturday. Until now, 2007 had been a year of amazing highs for Kanye (winning that 50 Cent sales war, releasing one of the most successful albums of the year, triumphing at the BET and Mobo Awards, upstaging almost everyone at the Concert For Diana, planning his wedding with fiance Alexis, etc.). But now the year is ending with the lowest of lows, as Kanye has lost one of his biggest supporters, Dr. Donda West.

What compounds this tragedy is how Donda passed away. The woman was only 58 years old, and she died before her time due to complications from cosmetic surgery. One look at any photo of the good Doctor shows she looked pretty damn great for 58 (and we're sure Kanye thought she was beautiful just the way she was), but even a wise professor like Donda was susceptible to societal pressure on women to stay 25 forever. And so she went under the knife for a breast reduction and tummy tuck, and sadly never recovered. Any woman of a certain age who's been seduced by promises of firmer flesh, as peddled by surgery shows like Extreme Makeover and The Swan (which conveniently condense the often harrowing post-op recovery period into about three minutes of airtime), should think long and hard about what happened to Donda before making their own appointment with Dr. 90210.

Speaking of surgery shows, the Discovery Health Network has announced that for the time being it will stop airing Plastic Surgery: Before & After, which was hosted for five years by Donda West's surgeon, Jan Adams. And speaking of good doctors...well, it's looking like Dr. Adams might not be one. All sorts of unflattering allegations have surfaced against him since Donda's death: That he agreed to perform Donda's operation even though at least one other surgeon had refused to do so because of her pre-existing condition. That malpractice lawsuits had been filed against him in the past. That he'd had two drunk driving arrests. That the state medical board had recommended his license be revoked. That his ex-wife once took out a restraining order against him. The list goes on and on and on--and it's not pretty.

In fact, only six days after Donda's death, a $30,000 warrant was issued for Dr. Adams's arrest, because he failed to appear at a hearing (for a case stemming from a malpractice lawsuit by a patient who claims he left a sponge inside her). However, eventually Adams did turn up (he said he was stuck in traffic). We're guessing Kanye will soon want his day in court with Dr. Adams, too--and we hope the doctor doesn't show up late for that case, because we know the famously hot-tempered Kanye wouldn't tolerate any tardiness.

The usually outspoken Kanye has actually laid very low this week. He understandably pulled out of his scheduled performance at this week's Victoria's Secret fashion show, and the only statement he's made regarding this tragedy is an obviously publicist-crafted press release asking that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made in his mama's name to the Kanye West Foundation/Loop Dreams Teacher Training Institute (

Meanwhile, Dr. Adams has issued the following statement: "I first want to express my deepest condolences to the West family at a very difficult time. Out of respect for the West family and in the absence of other verifiable information, any comment from me without first discussing that information with the family would be unprofessional."

Looks like this is going to be a much more serious feud than that whole Kanye-vs.-Fiddy media stunt.

We could write about other stuff this week...but frankly, poking fun of the latest Britney debacle, Boy George arrest, Wacko Jacko rumor, or band reunion in light of this tragedy seems in bad taste. Yes, believe it or not, even That's Really Week has a good/bad taste line (albeit a thin, fuzzy one) that we refuse to cross. So we'll sign off for now with a shout-out of sympathy to Kanye. Remember, Mr. West: That that don't kill you, can only make you stronger.

No comments: