Boycott this! I could use the publicity
This is where things get tricky. Let’s look at the most recent (as of three seconds ago; life moves fast these days) boycott target, Kanye West.
Who is deserving of a boycott, no doubt, talentless hack that he is.
(Ed. – The sound you hear is Yeezus fans clicking their plans for a boycott of AFP.)
I say talentless hack, but actually, Kanye has one talent in abundance: innate knowledge of how to get people to pay attention to him.
Latest example: dude decides to go on a social-media spree talking up his new, old buddy Donald Trump.
Now, until I started seeing mentions from my pissed-off progressive friends on Twitter yesterday about how Kanye was going off the deep end again, I couldn’t tell you I was thinking anything about the guy, so I have to presume he has something to sell us, or something in the works, maybe a tour, maybe some new songs about to go up on Spotify.
So, again, congrats, Ye, you have our attention. It’s not the good kind, because your fan base is, yes, talking boycott, but, really? If you didn’t already think of boycotting Kanye West because of his shitty music, you’re not going to follow through now.
This boycott is exactly what Kanye and his peeps wanted in terms of reaction from his fan base. The worst thing that could happen would be what I have taken to calling diminished enthusiasm, basically, eh, dude isn’t worth a boycott, his music is shitty, I don’t care anymore, moving on, Kendrick Lamar.
That’s why these B-listers push the envelope the way they do. Laura Ingraham is another for instance. Second-rate Fox News cougar lite hasn’t been working out so well for her career-wise, so, hey, LeBron, shut up and dribble, hey, David Hogg, eh, shut up and dribble, or whatever it is high-school kids who survive mass shootings are supposed to do, instead of launching gun-control mass movements.
Don’t let that unplanned vacation Ingraham took after the David Hogg controversy fool you. She and Fox got exactly what they’d wanted out of that generated nonsense, and if they hadn’t, oh, yes, you can guarantee the stunts were going to get more daring.
But, Chris, you’re thinking to yourself right now, she lost all those advertisers. You can’t be suggesting that she wanted that to happen.
As if they won’t come back. Come on. Really!
Thing is, yes, advertisers don’t like controversy swirling around the messages telling you to buy whatever it is they’re selling.
OK, again, things get tricky. See, controversy means people are paying attention.
You never hear about controversies involving personalities on NPR, for example. Think about why. God love ‘em, but the folks there are boring as hell to sit and listen to for more than three minutes, in between the now-daily fund drives.
Folk singers don’t have hordes of people boycotting their music. Issue there being: hordes of people aren’t listening in the first place.
And I’m not pointing fingers here, y’all. I’ve hosted three TV news-affairs shows on the local PBS station. You never heard of any of them, and I know this because I started asking to see the ratings.
Those shows went away – full disclosure: I pulled the plug myself on the last one – because nobody cared.
Do you see what I’m getting at here, telling you about how my pathetic TV career came to an abrupt end?
It didn’t take a boycott.
Diminished enthusiasm. This is the key.
Stop watching, stop listening.
The advertisers won’t have to bow to pressure. Their money flows to where the attention is, naturally, as water flows downhill.
Easier, I know, said than done.
Column by Chris Graham