Saturday, August 17, 2013

The American Dream



During a recent interview concerning “the American dream”, President Obama bemoaned the societal shift from aspiring to a good job and a good home to seeking the ubiquitous celebrity excesses appearing on television. Further elaborating on the point he said, “Kids weren't monitoring every day what Kim Kardashian was wearing, or where Kanye West was going on vacation, and thinking that somehow that was the mark of success."

This prompted Kim’s mother and manager Kris Jenner to publicly respond by saying “Kim Kardashian is the hardest-working young lady in the world. She never sleeps, she never stops, she never slows down and works so hard for what she's got." 

The absurdity of such a claim, even if it is taken as a hyperbole, validates the very criticism it was meant to repudiate. Your entire business model exists only because your daughter was willing to film herself having sex with a marginally-successful R&B singer and then accept $5 million to allow an adult film company to globally market it. Since then the Kardashian empire has become a self-sustaining enterprise of material excess and televised narcissism that nets its flagship member over $6 million each year while contributing nothing more to society than an obligatory fragrance line and enough reality programming to keep Ryan Seacrest’s accountants busy.

Kim’s 2010 wedding to NBA star Kris Humphries was so well-marketed that she received compensation for allowing the E! network to film it ($15 million) and People Magazine to photograph and announce it ($2.8 million). They kept expenses down by having the wedding dress, wedding cake, invitations, and champagne donated in exchange for publicity. All this and she still managed to release a “wedding fragrance” before filling for a divorce a mere 72 days later. The brevity and profitability of the marriage led many to speculate that it was merely another publicity stunt (a charge Kim denies). There were even a number of gay-rights memes inspired by the nuptials.
The Kardashians were already wealthy before they became a pop-culture phenomenon and while there is nothing inherently wrong with economic security; our infatuation has allowed them to become the type of Americans who can have a discussion about cashmere burp cloths while being financially compensated for allowing us the privilege of witnessing it. To suggest, even for a moment, that participating in this entrepreneurial model is “harder” than working two jobs as a single mother is as insulting as it is delusional. A more correct statement by Mrs. Jenner would have been, “no woman is more adept at commercializing her public persona than my daughter”.

1 comment:

  1. This prompted Kim’s mother and manager Kris Jenner to publicly respond by saying “Kim Kardashian is the hardest-working young lady in the world. She never sleeps, she never stops, she never slows down and works so hard for what she's got."
    -----------------------------------------
    does this mean that she cleans her own house and mows the yard !!!!!!!!



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