"So who in the hell is Kim Kardashian?"
- My father, this morning.
Honestly, I didn't have a good answer for him: "this annoying chick who I've gotta tune out for a couple of minutes before The Soup comes on E!" didn't really help him so much. Really, though, that's about all I've got. Years ago, before Moonstruck established her as an actress to be taken seriously, music critic Dave Marsh described Cher as being famous for being, rather than doing. It's a concept that applies nicely here.
Alright, I'll fess up. I do know a bit more than that. She's an annoying chick who got married ten weeks ago, and sensationally filed for divorce on Halloween. I'm aware of that because the stupid hours-long special derived from the ill-fated wedding takes up nearly all of the time on E! not already allocated to either The Soup, or Chelsea Handler and Joan Rivers appearing on different shows as a sort of sunrise, sunset version of the same mouthy, occasionally amusing-in-spite-of-herself harpy. Quality programming over there - although, seeing as they've now got some time to fill where that wedding special used to live in their schedule, I'm no less talented than anyone I've already mentioned in this piece save for Joel McHale, and I do need a job. Just sayin'.
Back to my point, if I indeed had one. Oh yeah: Kim Kardashian marries, divorces ten weeks later, gossip and exaggerated moral panic ensue. I don't truly understand why people give a damn in the first place about the personal lives of celebrities, even ones who have careers that have actually amounted to something more than being. Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, the Royal Family? Yeah, don't care, unless they're all so crazy in love that they want to share it with the world and thusly agree to bankroll my wedding. In that unlikely scenario, sure, I'll at least send a thank-you card. Otherwise, who can really be bothered with any of it? Gossip-hounds, that's who, and maybe just normal, smart folks who need a diversion as well. As I type these words, my fiancée's People subscription is calling me a curmudgeon. So be it.
The other half of this equation is the one that interests me a bit more: the exaggerated moral panic. It's demeaning to the concept of marriage! No, no it's not. It's a drunken mistake at best, a calculated, cynical publicity stunt at worst and likeliest. It would be demeaning to the concept of marriage if you, o moral crusader, as someone who firmly believes in its sanctity, married some bozo on TV and then dumped the creep before the holidays. It would also be demeaning to the concept of marriage if I, who am no moral crusader nor fan of religion but rather just a guy who believes heartily in saying and doing what I mean in my heart, did the same. These, however, are just dumb people on television, no more real than Eric Cartman or Stewie Griffin no matter how much the continuance of their "reality" shows depends on them desperately attempting to convince you otherwise. If you dig the plot of what they're selling, that's fine: a bit of mindless entertainment never hurt anyone, says the guy with Bait Car playing on mute behind him as he types this. Just remember that the fantasy/reality line is your friend, and be grateful for those among your family and friends who aren't mindless idiots, televised or otherwise.
So, Dad, I guess I can answer your question now: Kim Kardashian is a bad actress. And, speaking of calculated, cynical publicity stunts, she is now also a way for me to get a bit of that Google random-hit love at a time when I'm looking to transition my blog back to the 50/50 music/non-music ratio that I inadvertently got away from somewhere around the time Charlie Sheen stopped self-destructing so publicly. Thanks, Kim, you're a doll.