By Brian Dann
Yesterday morning on the way to work I was listening to the left wing liberal progressive radio talk show host Bill Press, as I tend to do most mornings on the way to work, and he asked the question, jokingly, “what do you think Kim Kardashian thinks about politics?” My first thought was I wanted to call in and say, I don’t think Kim Kardashian can spell politics. I do have to admit though, I have actually watched the voyeuristic candy shop known as “Keeping Up With The Kardhasians” and “Kourtney and Kim Take New York” but I have sadly missed “Khloe and Lamar”. Hopefully they will release a collector’s box set soon that I can place under my rear tire and run over. Now just so that I can get my Man Card back (which I somehow misplaced when I scored that trip down under with Oprah, yes it was me who wrote in, not my wife), I do have to say that I have never actually turned on a Kardashian show but instead have been maniacally sucked in to watching them when my wife has made the unfortunate choice to “Keep Up.” There is definitely a higher power at work here when it comes to the Kardashian franchise, a higher power that causes you to stop whatever it is you are doing and forces you to “Keep Up” as well, no matter how much you resist. After about two minutes of hearing Kim whine to Kris Humphries about why she doesn’t want to be a soccer mom living in Minnesota, and Kris telling Kim that she does nothing and in a few years no one will remember here anyway … and what was with Scott watching porn on his laptop and wanting Kourtney to get it on with another girl, and why don’t they just get married already, really, they have a son, I mean I can’t believe that Khloe is always so mean to Kim, OMG! (SCREEEEEEEEEECH!) SEE WHAT I MEAN! It’s like you have to watch! We’re talking video heroin here. But before I go on I just have to say one more thing. Why the hell is Bruce Jenner mixed up in all this mishegoss (that’s Yiddish for insane rich people who get paid to publicly display their crazy senseless lives on national television)!? He is like the square peg in a round Louis Vuitton hole. If it wasn’t for some incredibly bad plastic surgery that has made his face look so tight you could bounce an Olympian off of it, I’d blame his involvement on bad casting, except for the fact that this is reality. You would think that legendary Olympian Bruce Jenner would be doing something great with his life, working with underprivileged athletes who have aspirations to follow in his footsteps, maybe running a youth sports facility training the decathletes of tomorrow, or giving lectures to inspire people to achieve the greatness that he achieved so early in his life. But no, he is a reality TV star with a bad facelift. And maybe that is what the problem is here. Maybe that is what there is to learn. Maybe we are all “Keeping Up” with the wrong things.
I get the obsession with the whole Kardashian thing. We enjoy watching the Rich and Famous, and even more, we enjoy watching the rich and famous crash and burn. Kim’s fairytale wedding turning into a nightmare, Lindsey Lohan appearing in court again, and again, and again, Charlie Sheen “winning” when that was the furthest thing from the truth, it is all very entertaining, and as a form of escapism it has a place in our society, but so should paying attention to real issues that can change our lives for the better, and it seems that unless politics starts to approach the circus level that the Kardashians reach on a daily basis, no one pays any attention. Herman Cain, and his countless sexual affairs, Donald Trump, well, being Donald Trump, this is what gets our attention. This is what the press pays attention to. We spend more time reading about Kim and Kris’s ridiculous wedding, but spend hardly any time finding out why it is so important that the tax cuts to the middle class don’t expire, and calling our congressmen and women to voice our support. We spend more time debating whether the wedding was staged or real, and no time reading about where Ron Paul or Mitt Romney stand on Iraq, or gay rights, or any other issues that are important to us. And I am certain that more people can tell you who Herman Cain had an “alleged” affair with then what his stance was on gun control. We are living in a country that is being destroyed by greed, we have become content with resigning ourselves to the notion that nothing will ever change, that the middle class will never get their fair share, that politicians are all crooks and the American dream is a dream that only a few will ever see. So to escape what we have excepted as a reality, that we are convinced we cannot change, we “Keep Up with the Kardashians” and we live for the moments when their lives fall apart because it shows us that rich people are often as messed up as the rest of us. We forget about the fact that “Keeping Up” with things that can actually make a difference in this world will actually make a difference. We forget about the changes that happened in the Middle East because people refused to accept the status quo. We forget about the Occupy movement that has swept the United States, Canada, and countries in Europe, and that politicians are taking notice, we forget all the change that has happened in this country because people “Kept Up” with our leaders, with issues that mattered to them, and made their voices heard. And sure the Occupy movement is still going strong, but it never received nearly as much press coverage as the wedding of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, which by most accounts was fabricated to get ratings for the E! Channel.
The true reality that we need to “Keep Up” with, is that the richest people in this country pay less in taxes than they ever have, and that we had to watch our President practically beg congress to give a tax break to the middle class. The true reality is that even with the Presidents Health Insurance reforms we still will have millions of people with no health insurance or insufficient insurance, and unless we can provide single payer insurance to all Americans we will continue to have millions uninsured, millions going bankrupt, millions who cannot start small businesses because they can only qualify for health coverage if they receive insurance through an employee group plan. The true reality is that half of all Americans will live at the poverty level at sometime in their lives. The true reality is that corporations are not people and until the courts change this, corporations will have far too much influence on the outcome of our elections. The true reality is that we need to bring manufacturing back to this country if we want to see jobs come back. The true reality is that two wars, which we did not pay for, have economically drained our nation. The true reality is that we actually can make a difference if we just “Keep Up” with the world and events going on around us and “Speak Up” about them instead of just accepting the status quo. This is exactly why the middle class tax cut was passed, because people spoke up and put pressure on the congress to do the right thing. We need to remember that our elected officials work for us, not for the banks, or the corporations, and we can take them out just as easily as we put them in there.
Hey, there is nothing wrong with living vicariously through Kim Kardashian and her equally shallow and annoying sisters as long as this is not all we “Keep Up” with. We have the power to make real change in this country. We do not have to accept things the way they are. Revolutions often start off quiet, and one voice can make a difference. Don’t accept the sound bites we hear on the news and in commercials but instead research the claims that are made before accepting them as reality. Call your congress members and tell them your opinions, sign petitions. “Keeping Up” with the truth behind what you hear is the last thing our politicians want us to do because then we control the information and not them. Information is power and power can influence change. Recently I actually had the opportunity to ask Kim Kardashian what she thinks about politics. I actually have no idea what her answer was because I was too busy staring at her ass! (YESSSSSSSSS!...I got my Man Card back!)