Cash me outside. A socialist cry?

Cash me outside howbow dat definition:

Come talk to me outside so that we can sort out our issues and potentially get into a physical fight.

In late September 2016, the American talk show, Dr. Phil featured the appearance of a thirteen-year-old girl by the name of Danielle Peskowitz Bregoli who proclaimed the soon to be immortal words: “cash me outside howbow dat.” Little did she know that those words would not only become an internet sensation, but would also assist in the ignition of a light that would fuel the socialist flame in not only America, but the world at large. It is an understated but carefully constructed criticism of capitalism as the driving force behind the West’s downfall; specifically pertaining to materialism and the unequal distribution of wealth. In five words, Bregoli managed to summarise the flaws in the system.

Before Bregoli’s now viral colloquial call to arms is analysed, we must extrapolate the use of costume as a symbol of the class that she is evidently representing. This is especially revolutionary when combined with her controversial speech. She is obviously imitating mainstream stereotyping of the working class ‘hood.’ Thus she is herself, the oppressed worker Karl Marx wishes to free from their chains. Her nails especially symbolise this radical idea. They are fake acrylics and extremely long, almost claw like. They epitomise the fakery and plastic rigidity in consumerism, the length, highlighting the almost mythically witch like aspects of consumeristic trends. Bregoli is illuminating the animalistic connotations that lie in conjunction with beauty stereotyping in the modern world. Even her hoop earrings encompass this. All consuming in nature, they are vast and golden, insinuating that she must have great wealth, but alas, just as with her nails, they are also fake, an attempt to gain superficial enlightenment. They are all an attempt to fit into a society based upon beauty standards and the flaunting of possessions. Bregoli symbolises capitalisms key saying: fake it until you make it.

In addition to her working class, inorganic costuming, Bregolis vast repertoire of anger feeds the revolutionary aspect to her philosophy. She embodies all the working class frustrations against an unjust system under current capitalism. In the Dr. Phil studio, she becomes the Grecian mythical Gaia, an all consuming mass; she envelopes not only the audience with her aggression, but also the nation. “All these hoes be laughing” is another example of her carefully thought out phrasing. Bregoli, here, is attempting to show the globalised world the faces of capitalisms robotic community. The audience is shown to be brushing off Bregolis mannerisms and progressive speech as mere comedy to escape the reality of their caged lives. For if they too accept her criticisms of modernity, they also have to accept that there is a need for subversive change. Just like her hoops represent falsity, they also symbolise the cyclical and unrelenting nature of consumerism, as well as the audience’s refusal to accept her blatant attempt to create a more equal world. The more she addresses the audience, the more they laugh and ignore her warnings. In the end, we can only hope her prophesy does not come true.

Now, to her tantalising manifesto, the words that will inspire a generation. There is a melancholy in the phrase “cash me outside.” Although in colloquial lingo this phrase means, ‘lets take it outside’, there are underlying materialistic connotations. The mere fact that the word ‘cash’ is used as a replacement for the original pronunciation is warning enough. Here, Bregoli is expressing how the constant use of monetary exchange will be the global downfall. And the most distressing part of this, she cannot fully express these negative connotations in the studio, instead she must take it outside, away from the hub of broadcasting and the eyes of the nation. Thus, if she must express her philosophy, it must be away from the public eye; away from the masses that are unknowingly capable of inciting change.

In addition, the conjunctional word “howbow” also emphasises the absurdity of this system. Here, in order to criticize the establishment, Bregoli has had to make up a ludicrous slang word to express her distress within the society that has ill equipped her with the tools and language to question its authority. The only way she can vocalise her inherent frustrations is by creating a rhythmic term. There is an anaphoric undertone which elongates the o’s creating an ‘ow’ sound. As with the pejorative word ‘cash,’ Bregoli utilises the connotations of the ‘ow’s’ assonance to symbolise the hurt caused by a societal fascination with corporations and consumerism. She therefore poetically and subtly begins to devolve systematic injustices.

Lastly, Dr Phil is also vital to Bregoli’s critiscism of the neo-iberalist plight. He represents the static status quo of the ruling class, who are in opposition with her radical ideas of societal reform. In his attempt to belittle her frustrations and showcase her frustrations to the globalised world for profit, he transforms into not only an agent of a passive and acquiescent regime but a symbol for the coarrupt world. Just as Bregoli is attempting to depict the flaws within a monetary system, Dr Phil is attempting to pacify the workers struggle. He is part of the problem, part of the class that is allowing Bregolis message to become clouded in the web of corruption, deception and desperation. Dr Phil attains an unjust profit from his show that is essentially a zoo for the public to exercise faux sympathy for the unfortunate; he dehumanises individuals for financial gain and acclaim. Perhaps, even Bregoli deciding to go onto the show, in question, is a form of rebellion; a way that she is attempting to take control of an unjust world from the inside out.

But in the end, although she attempts to help the proletariat rise up, the defeatist reality is that her message was lost, and still is, in a swirling and saturated media. Perhaps the final irony of this all is that through her fame, Bregoli has become the very product of the system that she so despised.


Ruby Angel

The author Ruby Angel

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