“Eccentric” and “crazy” don’t really do Ron Artest justice. “Artestian” is the only adjective that fits anymore.
At his best, the L.A. Laker comes off like the Wu-Tang Clan’s Ol’ Dirty Bastard—a willful buffoon whose country-dumb act is an attention-grabbing smokescreen for cleverness. At his worst, he seems like a multiple-concussion victim raised on a steady diet of lead paint chips.
The brilliance of Artest is that he, better than anyone else in the recent media landscape, seems to obfuscate that line. Is he a performance artist for the ages, or does he really think changing his name to Metta World Peace is actually a good idea? We honestly can’t tell.
We hope it’s the latter, though, because his Twitter feed—already a must-follow, where lines like “Milli Vanilli should b in all your head phones Yal should buy Milli Vanilli sweaters!!!” are common currency—has never been better than when he went to see Celine Dion on Aug. 6.
He starts out slow, just letting us know where he is and what’s going on: “I’m at Celine Dion concert! Backstage!! Wow!!! Me and my boys!! Wow!!! She said she love my Jimmy Kimmel show when I had my beard on!!!!!!!!”
Quickly, Artest raises the stakes: “Wow!!!!!!!!!!! She bout to sing TITANIC!!!!!! Wow!!!!! Stevie Wonder came out!!!” (We should note that the show features a Stevie Wonder hologram. Stevie Wonders in this mirror are not as close as they appear.)
The next couple of Tweets are just (ostensibly) Dion lyrics and calls for his followers to Tweet along to the songs. Then Artest lowers the boom with a one-two Twitter punch from which we still reel: “Celine made me and all my thug friends cry with the French song!!!! She cried!!! Wow!!!! She hugged me!! I got chills!! My nipples froze!”
Then: “I think Celine show will entertain anyone! blacks to Russians, from skinny tight Jean denim leggin-wearing guys to old people with no teeth.”
ODB only ever said Wu-Tang was for the children. He never even considered the skinny, tight, jean denim legging-wearing guys.