The Provocateur team is buzzing this morning about the latest video from Belgian rapper Stromae, one of Montreal’s favourite international artists in the past few years.

“Carmen” is a scathing critique of social media, Twitter in particular, and an appeal for us to not get too absorbed in our online networks to the point where it destroys offline friendships, relationships and love.

Jessica Mailas’ take: “A pop star, for better or for worse, tends to be a mirror for society — the pop star represents the average person’s desires and expectations and vision of success. Originally the pop star was kind of like a latter-day ubermensch but nowadays has become more of a human happy meal, which is a testament to how self-absorbed we’ve all become. But Stromae brings that old tradition back and amplifies it — he’s got talent and showmanship AND a brain in his head. He can cleverly use the medium of the pop song to address real issues; the sometimes grim reality of what it’s like to live in the modern world.”

And Dan Delmar’s: “Social media was always destined to be about us; our lives, our loves, our meals…it is the great equalizer for those who find traditional media celebrity appealing, but inaccessible. In that sense, networks like Twitter are powerful tools, but they can also have a dark side. When competing egos are trying to build up personal brands at the expense of others, conflict, bullying and isolation are inevitable. Sometimes, we’re so wrapped up in our own brands, who we aspire to be and who we project to the world, that we lose some of the fundamentals of our own humanity. That’s not good for love, or for business — the best deals are still made with a handshake.”

What do you think of the latest from Stromae?

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