Let’s discuss rapper Cardi B.
Wait, wait, wait!” Don’t turn the page just yet. Y’all might find this interesting.
You see, Cardi B has a new song out titled, “WAP.” It’s an acronym. The first letter stands for “wet.” I can’t tell you what the other two letters stand for, and to tell the honest truth, even if I could, I don’t want to.
As you may have already guessed, I also cannot quote any lines from the song. Let’s just say the only words I could quote from the song would be a few conjunctions, a preposition or two and maybe some personal pronouns. The nouns, adjectives and verbs, not so much. And to tell the truth again, even if I could quote them, I don’t want to.
Unsurprisingly, this song so greatly offended Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, he felt the dire need to voice his disdain for Cardi B and her music on his show.
Now, you might not think Cardi B really cares what Tucker Carlson thinks of her music, because he and his audience aren’t her target demographic, are they?
But in a larger sense, they really are …
Sure, Cardi B wrote the song to appeal to her target audience, but she also wrote it specifically to outrage people like Tucker Carlson and his audience.
Outrage fuels pop culture. Get people outraged, and they click links on their phones, devices and computers. And when a lot of people click links on their phones, devices and computers, people make money.
Translated; Tucker Carlson goes on his show to whine and complain and generally make a fuss over Cardi B’s latest song, which naturally makes his audience curious as to why he’s so flummoxed. So they fire up their computers, devices and phones, click a lot of links, and chances are every time they click, Cardi B makes money.
The internet world doesn’t care why people are clicking on links to Cardi B and her songs. They only care that people are clicking, because that means more people are watching the ads, and the sites in turn can charge advertisers more money.
If a writer wrote a science fiction story 50 years ago about this sort of thing, no one would’ve bought it, because let’s face it, it’s beyond stupid. But that’s the world we live in.
Unfortunately, though, like pop culture, outrage now fuels politics as well. That’s why the president regularly tweets outrageous things. And in this regard, he’s a lot more like Cardi B than he and his supporters would think.
You see, when the president tweets he definitely does it for the edification of his supporters. More than that, though, he does it to raise the ire of the people who don’t like him. That’s because like Cardi B, he wants lots of clicks on social media and news sites, because when that happens, his face and name appears a lot on those sites, and that’s free publicity.
So like Cardi B profiting off the outrage his detractors generate, the president profits politically from ticking his critics off.
The name of the game is attention, and there’s no such thing as bad attention. All that matters is people are paying attention. And the best way to get people to pay attention is to outrage them to the point of curiosity.
Two problems: 1. People quickly get used to outrageous behavior, and 2. People have painfully short attention spans.
What this means is in order to get the attention that is so sorely desired to thrive in the social media, reality television world, you have to keep ramping up your outrage game.
That’s why Cardi B raps outrageously dirty songs and the president deliberately tweets the most outrageous things he can devise.
The solution to this, of course, would be that the audience got wise to it.
Yeah, I ain’t holding my breath, either.