We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I have a very optimistic long-term outlook regarding our society. There are moments, however, which question my resolve. This is one of them.
It's articles like this that remind me Jean Baudrillard was right and I realize this isn't reality. It is an alternate reality, though. It seeks to simulate what the rest of us live. Kanye may feel comfortable calling out people like George W. Bush, or anyone else he doesn't like, but it's pretty clear he hasn't been in touch with reality for a long time.
The real question is why people like this continue to get coverage. My guess is they fear slipping into obscurity, and the best way to avoid it is to be outrageous and 'make news'.
Since real news isn't important to many people anymore, people like Kanye and the Kardashians can continue to dominate. Analysis is meaningless, the only thing important today (and don't think Obama isn't well aware of this) is a good photo, a headline, some Tweets to your peeps, and positive coverage on "The Daily Show" and any other Comedy Central program that purports to 'deliver the news'.
Remember it has always been this way. There was no era in American history (or anyone else's) that was not PR-driven and full of fools. Sometimes the fools won, too.
It is just that now the means are different, and we, no longer being adolescents, respond increasingly negatively to popular culture. Not that all adolescents swallow this crap now, nor that we had no sense at all ourselves when the popular culture was aimed at us. But the wheel tuns by degrees, and we view such popularity differently without even trying.
Assistant Village Idiot
There is a significant difference between the means by which the information spreads today, as well as how it is perceived.
Being older has nothing to do with how I (or almost anyone I know who is my age) react to this.
I agree not all adolescents fall for this today. However, it is a problem, as Frances points out above, that what was once supermarket tabloid material is now fairly common news and entertainment.
More importantly, the issue as I see it has nothing to do with PR-driven fools. Certainly, they've existed throughout history. Again, though, there is a difference.
In the past, the PR driven fools would at least create a pretense for themselves and their claims. Today, these idiots don't even bother. They are famous for being famous and being famous is all that matters in this alternate reality.
Buffalo Bill had his Wild West Show, Barnum had his show and circus. At least these self-promoters promoted a form of entertainment.
I suppose these current fools are a 'show' of their own, but I'm not entirely sure what it's all about or what makes them the "warriors" Kanye seems to think they are.
What's remarkable, to me, is not them or their desire to continually flaunt their moronic lifestyles to whoever is willing to watch. What's remarkable is there is still at least one person who is willing to watch and that's all the justification Kanye West needs to make his case.
Its kinda funny that Kanye sung about a Golddigger, and turned around and married one...
This weekend, one of our friends wife marveled over her wedding dress of white. I asked "Didn't she have a kid?" - the stare was priceless, and my wife asking "Kim who?"
Is there something more than irony? Face-palm?
We've always had posers, attention-whores, and, gosh, the Gong-Show (and every other 'reality'-based show), but we're just as liable for letting these leeches of our wealth and time take it from us without a struggle. And, that is the rub in most of our lives - we let ___ take our ______ with willing aplomb.
Can't really blame the media for providing what the public wants to see, whether its the latest scandal involving a philosopher and hetaira screaming match at the forum or a gladiator's endowment. Nor can I blame people for wanting an escape from the reality of underwater mortages, declining job prospects and duty.
While the tavern, lodge or sunday school was a place for "grown up" discussion, we seem to avoid those places now.
I don't blame the media for giving people what they want to see.
Of course, to a large extent that's like not blaming the heroin dealer who got his clients hooked by offering free 'samples'.
We all have the choice to watch or not watch, and there are enough people watching this to make it 'meaningful' to those who create the product.
I have no problems with this stuff being out there. It's imperative upon us, however, to provide context and counter the nonsense.
I'll let anyone, including my kids tell me I'm just an old curmudgeon (they don't, but I'm sure some would). As fred zeppelin points out, it's up to us to make a stand or we're just as liable for letting them take it.
I'm not interested in making an outlandish stand based on some nonsensical premise like "Elvis shakes his hips on TV and that's sexualizing our kids."
On the other hand, telling Kanye and Kim they are not remarkable, they are merely lucky to be where they are because there are plenty of people interested in low quality entertainment rather than focusing on how to improve their personal situation is not a bad stance to take. Yes, we can make fun of you, and as public figures you have to accept it. You wanted the limelight, and the bad comes with the good. Get over it.
If I were about to go on a honeymoon with Kim Kardashian I would say whatever it took to make her happy and in a good mood. Wait a few years and see what he says about her after she/he is caught going out with someone else.