On Monday, December 7, 2015, Kim Kardashian announced that she and Kanye had named their son "Saint West."
And on that day ... a star was born.
But what child is this, whose name is West, on Kimye's lap is sleeping? Whom bloggers greet with traffic sweet, while Seacrest's watch are keeping?
This, this is phenom the Saint, whom Kardashians guard and Kanye sings. Haste, haste to bring him laud — or a steady stream of Twitter jokes and heavy eye rolls.
Whichever you prefer.
So why, exactly, did this news spread so quickly, and with such frantic purpose, across this wide and wild internet? Why does this celebrity child rate any more interest than any other? And why, oh why, did Kim and Kanye name their child "Saint," and announce it via emojis besides?
In short: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West know how it sounds — but they also know exactly what they're doing.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West know how to push your buttons — and push they will
This isn't the first, the second, or even the 50th time either of Saint's parents has set the pop culture conversation ablaze with controversy, admiration, shock, and/or awe. And it won't, if Saint West has anything to do with it, be the last.
Both Kim and Kanye have leaned on their unique ability to tap into social media, public outrage, and the 24-hour news cycle's insatiable — and ever-growing — appetite.
Kim, with the help of her manager and mother Kris Jenner, turned a leaked sex tape into a career in the public eye, anchoring the wildly successful reality show Keeping Up With the Kardashians and launching a bevy of businesses that depend on her name. Kanye went from a producer to a rapper to a rapper-slash-singer to a major force in cultural conversations, thanks to his willingness to both call people out and piss them off.
When the couple got together, two prominent figures in pop culture banding together in fame and matrimony, it really just made sense. It seemed inevitable.
By the time Kim got pregnant with their first child, their prominence was undeniable. Kanye was one of the biggest names in music, and the Kardashians had solidified their spot in the conversation as both a family and a brand. Fans and haters alike salivated over news about them, and as any tabloid knows, pregnancies yield plenty of opportunities for news.
When Kim and Kanye announced in 2013 that their daughter's name was "North," the reaction was swift and varied — but if any of those reacting were truly surprised, they had to be kidding themselves.
Of course Kim and Kanye gave their daughter a name worth headlining. (Though, notably, Kim has mandated that North, a.k.a. "Nori," will not appear on Keeping Up With the Kardashians.) Both their careers and public personas depend on the ability to drum up massive attention, not to mention the sheer confidence it takes to declare themselves unparalleled forces in culture — and the huge waves of both admiration and animosity that came their way immediately proved them right.
Saint West doesn't actually need your approval — and neither do Kim and Kanye
Whatever you think of Kanye and the Kardashians, their impact on pop culture is undeniable.
Kanye has veered into questionable fashion ventures, but that doesn't change his singular ability to start big conversations in almost any venue. Just think of his interrupting NBC's Hurricane Katrina fundraiser with, "George Bush doesn't care about black people." It shocked at the time, but today it would fall right in line with the rising tide of pop cultural figures pushing back against what they see as a damaged status quo. (And it's exactly the kind of upfront honesty he just might push in 2020 with a presidential campaign — which may or may not be real, but honestly, who knows.) Kim, meanwhile, turned the attempted slut shaming of her leaked sex tape into a flourishing career that depends on her ability to create publicity out of nothing.
Sure, "Saint West" is a ridiculous name. But think back to the face you made when you heard it. If it was any mixture of confusion, horror, or admiration — either begrudging or reverent — it was at the very least a strong reaction. And that, no matter in which extreme, is probably what the Kardashian-Wests were going for.
Or, alternatively: They're just too powerful at this point to care.