http://www.digitaljournal.com/internet/op-ed-bloomberg-memes-and-how-to-be-self-righteous-on-instagram/article/567131

Op-Ed: Bloomberg, memes and how to be self-righteous on Instagram

Posted Feb 14, 2020 by Paul Wallis
Is a paid meme ethical? Will success spoil the Republican Party? Should freelancers get paid for expressing their own opinions? Just keep saying No, and you have the Anti argument against Bloomberg’s paid memes.
A new national poll shows billionaire Michael Bloomberg vaulting into third place in the US Democrat...
A new national poll shows billionaire Michael Bloomberg vaulting into third place in the US Democratic nomination race
Mark Felix, AFP/File
It’s hard to tell how Instagram memes got so moral all of a sudden. There’s a lengthy, not to say excruciatingly turgid, tale here. It seems Bloomberg is paying people to help him look cool, and build an “ironic self-aware image”. The more likely reason is online visibility, but let's not let practical issues get in the way of a good excuse to be verbose about something.
Is there some holy of holies about memes, their origins, ethics, and reason for existence? Apparently there is. On that link above you’ll see some of the most pompous, pathetic, and pointless objections to paid memes.
So the story on the part of the objectors is that 3 years of pure narcissism and megalomania on the part of some boorish, pig like fat pointless imbecile are OK, perhaps? Where do you get this double standard crap? It’s OK for Trump, but not for Bloomberg? Or are you worried it’ll work?
Trump's memes and publicity are presumably made by chaste nuns in some trashy Louis XIV furniture warehouse, while hymns to Breitbart, the NRA and ALEC softly waft through the air? Where the sincerity and incorruptibility of the place is so intense you suddenly turn into an evangelist for Crispy Crème, advocating a life of stoicism and stern inner contemplation?
You’re idiots, hypocrites, and fools at best. Realists, you are definitely not.
To explain – If you monetize a meme somehow (it ain’t easy), it goes viral, and you make some money, you’re a hero. You’re an inspiration to other artists. You’re a leading light on the strictly Zen foundation of Instagram. If you get a 1 year in 4 chance to get paid for doing a meme, and supporting someone in opposition to someone you loathe, you’re a terrible person.
Would you like to explain this little dichotomy?
Here come the internet saints again, despite public demand
Meanwhile, something called “micro-influencers” has got involved. Groan as required. Yes, more saints of the internet are at hand, thundering in the empty coffee cups online.
If they’re as useless as most “influencers”, that’s not too impressive. Influencers are supposed to sway public opinion. They barely hold attention, except to the less focused, more totally lost online demographers. Name one damn thing they’ve ever actually influenced.
Micro-influencers apparently work in Petrie dishes. They’re the demographic equivalent of plankton. If you search Twitter for Bloomberg memes, you’ll see social media at its babbling best. This is influence? Will Lassie make a comeback? Come off it.
Memes are memes, morons
A meme is a perspective. A meme is a point to make. A meme is a type of logic. A meme needs to be understood to have any influence at all. Everyone who’s ever spent a little time online has seen thousands of memes. They’re a look-or-not thing.
What’s right about the meme idea is that it’s a good visual cue. That’s the strict definition of a meme. Being visible is a good idea for a presidential candidate.
Also right about the meme idea is taking some space away from Trump’s insufferable face, which is everywhere. That’s “area denial” for you technical guys. The less space Trump has, the better.
This is also apparently a non-dictatorial approach to memes. Bloomberg isn’t trying to look good in the classic ultra-clean Disney sense, just make a visual impact. Payment for memes is obviously selective, but so what? Every artist and every photographer knows that it’s a Yes/No thing when trying to sell an image. Is that so bad?