Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Recently, Kanye West has been occupying human minds as only, well, Donald Trump can.

West's apparent admiration of the president and his suggestion that slavery was a choice have caused discussions, ructions and conniptions.

One character in all this is Adidas. 

Its collaboration with the famed Yeezy fashion designer and rapper has been going on for some time.

It's been good for Adidas. It's brought the brand back to some sort of street relevance.

Some have wondered whether West's latest pronouncements might signal a good time for the sportswear company to untie its laces with such a controversial figure.

Yet, unlike so many brands that leap to dissociate themselves from any controversy, Adidas appears unmoved.

Could it be that Adidas is desperate not to lose its association with the coolness it believes comes from being associated with West?

Or could it be that the company knows more than it's letting on?

I ask only because of a gloriously stimulating theory that's suddenly bouncing its way around Twitter.

Presented by Kansas City radio host Spencer Wolff, the idea is that West is acting out one large, perfectly acted performance art piece. 

It involves friends and collaborators of West's and a level of artistic planning that, if the theory turns out to be true, qualifies for its own sort of Oscar, Emmy or even digital Pulitzer.

Well, perhaps. Or perhaps, at least, a Theater of the Grotesque prize.

Here's a taste of Wolff's theory.

From there, we go on a Twittered journey that involves artists Joseph Beuys and David Hammons, as well as famed, deceased comedian Andy Kaufman.

Kaufman's act involved creating a discomfort in his audience by never relenting from his chosen character.

Which, some say, is exactly what West might be doing.

For his part, Beuys once locked himself inside a room with a wild coyote for three days. By the end, the coyote became much quieter, even tamed a little.

The theory goes that this is what West's doing with his embrace of those who are more right-sided. Politically, that is.

Think of it, says Wolff, like a magic trick from The Prestige -- a book and movie in which the elements of a great magic trick are revealed in some detail.

As for how the performance art piece might have a forerunner, Wolff references Joaquin Phoenix.

Some years ago, the actor began to behave (more) oddly, to people's uncomprehending stares.

This turned out to be a real-life performance for the dryly amusing movie I'm Still Here

Wolff presents the elements so cleverly that it's worth reading his whole Twitter thread.

There's a certain tempting plausibility about it.

But let's go back to Adidas for a moment.

Yes, it could be that it just can't quit Kanye and his constant news presence. 

But what if the company knows that performance art is the purpose of all West's pronouncements, or, at least, has some inkling that this might be the case?

Might this explain its reluctance to bid him goodbye?

Naturally, I contacted Adidas to ask. I will update, should I hear word. 

West has five albums which he either produced or performed on coming out over the next few weeks.

Would anyone be surprised that Wolff's theory is at the heart of these albums' launches?

And would anyone be surprised if Adidas at least suspected that this (hopefully) brilliant artistic endeavor will suddenly reflect upon its brand gloriously, raising it to far greater heights, as its rival Nike struggles?

Of course, it could be that West's just gone off the rails -- again.

If that's the case, where will that leave Adidas?

Well, its revenue is up 21 percent last quarter. Nike was down 6 percent.

Published on: May 5, 2018