I feel like I have to chime in on this subject because I have been such an advocate of all things Kardashian in the past, so I will and I will do so half-assed because I’m tired and a little bit confused about almost anything that seems adult or connected to responsible behavior.
I am such a fan of Rob Delaney and consider him to be a pal (I say “pal” because I have a hard time calling anyone but Ed my “friend” because I’m not entirely sure what that word even means any more as it’s been bastardized and twisted so much in the second half of my life, although I do genuinely enjoy his company when I see him and support his career and voice, et c.), and I think his Vice piece about suing Kim Kardashian for misleading the public with her sham of a marriage is a great take on things.
However (and again, this is not to discount my affection for Rob and his opinions), I have to ask: Did we not know? Did we not know that this entire “marriage” and the entire Kardashian brand was built on a foundation of lies and paved with celebrity and cash? Do we not “get it”?
We knew. And most of us, the 4.4 million people that tuned in to watch the four hour wedding special, knew that it would not be an everlasting bond that perfectly encapsulated what the experience of falling in love with someone who we want to spend our lives with and that we’re willing to fight for come hell or high water is truly all about.
We live in a world where reality television started out as dolled-up mumblecore and has grown into a fully orchestrated and nearly perfectly produced fairy tale. If this family had ever been filmed in its natural state, we would see the deep-rooted tension that lingered far past family game nights and that eventually moved each adult member of the family who was living under that single Calabasas roof into their own homes. We would understand why, according to the show, Khloe and Kourtney are only at their boutique, Dash, when petty fights between the two of them and their mother take break out.
The Kardashians are there to deliver us a Brady Bunch-style lessons and happy ending at the end of each twenty-one minute episode and they get it done. Smart producers, who I hate to admit are Ryan Seacrest and his staff, make that happen every damn week and they do it well.
My only issue with Rob’s piece, which I think accurately and intelligently breaks down the general unfairness of presenting a traditional ideal marriage, which is a very real thing that a great deal of our country is fighting to have equalized for all citizens, is that the money that Kim and Kris received to televise their wedding ($18 M) could have been spent on public education.
Fact is, E!’s production budget is not taken from tax payers and I’m pretty sure that they money would have been allocated toward producing more episodes of E! True Hollywood Story, or maybe increasing the salary of some of their other celebreality stars. We would have never seen that money anyway, so why not allocate to funds to the network’s biggest star on what has been presented to us as the biggest day of her life?
Here’s the thing: If so many of us didn’t love or love to hate every minute of Kardashian-fueled entertainment, the televised wedding and the massive paycheck that came along with it wouldn’t have happened.
Every day there are celebrities getting married, fighting and splitting up, and we choose to care or not to care about these stories as they come down the pipeline. For whatever reason, we have decided that the Kardashians are interesting and worthy of our time, and therefore, they are allowed to capitalize on that and throw it back in our faces on a whim. It’s not their fault, it’s ours. All 4.4 million of us. And some of us don’t feel guilty about it.
My love affair with the Kardashians has gone from intense to nearly dead over the last several years, so I simply can’t sit by and pretend that I am not partially responsible for this special four hour televised event OR the demise of the marriage. I watched it, I loved it, I mocked it and I’m understand why it all burst in to flames.
Thing is, people, especially those who we glamorize and provide with a sense of celebrity by our interest in their freakish lives, are not perfect. If Susie and Pete from down the block can’t stay married after five years or five months or five minutes because they realized they made the common human error of thinking something would last forever, when life itself (especially in today’s society, which is so strongly affected by our senses of narcissism and deep-rooted fear), is so riddled with conflict and general panic, who are we to judge Kim Kardashian?
If anything, I think that the woman was smart to file for divorce after realizing that she was not going to drag someone through her life who was going to be miserable or to be dragged through his life at the same expense. In some ways, a two month marriage that’s full of misery and conflict seems more responsible to end than a two-year or twenty-year marriage full of conflict and pain. Especially when there could have been children and finances and families that could have been further destroyed by years of just “trying to make it work.”
Let’s face it: That wedding a fun watch. A fun and, at times, completely disgusting watch. But anyone who sat there on their couch and witnessed it could have told you that it would end the exact same way that any episode in the history of the franchise has ended: happily. E! paid for a fairytale and they got it. It’s upsetting, annoying and a little bit disgusting because now we’re reading about their true reality, but since when has true reality been anything more than upsetting, annoying and a little bit disgusting?
I got exactly what I wanted when I watched that wedding special, even though I kept poking my roommate in the side and telling her that she didn’t really love him and that it would end in flames. I got my black-and-white themed wedding with Lindsay Lohan in attendance and Khloe making crass comments all the way through the exchange of vows.
And now? I guess I don’t really care what happened. I guess I don’t view this as an example of what would happen with any idiot who’d be willing to put himself through a lifetime of me and vice versa. I guess I just thought of it as four easy hours of TV I could breeze through partially drunk when I was trying to forget the upsetting, annoying and a little bit disgusting aspects of my own life.
Frankly, I think the lady delivered the goods and we don’t need to throw stones.