The Kardashian Era: Forging an identity for our times
There are events that are so great that they define an era. Sometimes, the events are associated with transformational trends — like the Industrial Revolution or the Information Age. Sometimes they are linked to great individuals — as in the Napoleonic or Victorian periods. And sometimes they are linked to a pivotal action or occurrence ...
There are events that are so great that they define an era. Sometimes, the events are associated with transformational trends -- like the Industrial Revolution or the Information Age. Sometimes they are linked to great individuals -- as in the Napoleonic or Victorian periods. And sometimes they are linked to a pivotal action or occurrence that captured the spirit of the adjacent years -- Woodstock or Watergate, for example.
There are events that are so great that they define an era. Sometimes, the events are associated with transformational trends — like the Industrial Revolution or the Information Age. Sometimes they are linked to great individuals — as in the Napoleonic or Victorian periods. And sometimes they are linked to a pivotal action or occurrence that captured the spirit of the adjacent years — Woodstock or Watergate, for example.
The most recent such epoch ended yesterday.
Forever we will look back on this moment in time and we will define it in terms of the event that above all others embodied and communicated our own zeitgeist. I speak of course, of the marriage of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, which tragically and unexpectedly ended yesterday.
Why, dear God, did you deprive us of this and leave us with Hamid Karzai? Why did you take away this manifestation of what is purest and best about humanity and leave us with the festering problems of the Arab-Palestinian divide?
Of course, we can only for so long rail against providence like King Lear on the heath. Ultimately, life is about learning to come to terms with loss and about appreciating what is elevating and ennobling as best we can even if it must — heart-breakingly — be in retrospect.
And we did have our time with them, with our two shining examples. The 72 days of marriage don’t seem like much, but take them and the months since Kim and Kris first looked beneath each other’s strangely furry eyebrows into each other’s eyes and saw that something special that cynics might call sponsorship dollars but we know in our hearts must have been true love and you have an entire year — not just of good ratings, but of transformational changes in the world.
In the Era of Kim and Kris…
…Osama bin Laden was spotted and killed.
…Anwar al Awlaki met a similar fate.
…The Arab Spring kindled and freedom swept through the Middle East bringing down autocrats in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya.
…The Tea Party rose.
…Michele Bachmann rose and fell.
…Rick Perry rose and fell.
…Herman Cain rose and is falling.
…Mitt Romney remained the whitest white man in America.
…The Eurozone teetered on the brink.
…Wall Street was occupied … as were 900 other cities.
…Steve Jobs died and the St. Louis Cardinals proved that reincarnation is possible.
Think of it, in that short time, ancient civilizations in Europe and the Middle East were shaken to their foundations. Capitalism went deeper into crisis and revolution brewed around the world. The earth shifted on its very axis.
And in that time, this simple beautiful act, this daring leap into love, elevated and distracted us and allowed us to cling to hope. Because if these two virtual strangers with no education and almost no talent other than ambition itself could will themselves into a marriage that made them millions — even if it did last no longer than the Tweets by which they announced each of their carefully calculated mood-swings and spats — then maybe riches were not just for Wall Street geniuses who went to Harvard, maybe TV shows were not just for the beautiful or the gifted, maybe marriage was not just for those who found real love. Maybe sub-average, sub-interesting, sub-useful people could fake their way through this mess just like the big time financial fraudsters and get loads of good gifts, press coverage, and big fat checks for their efforts.
No, this marriage may not have lasted long but that doesn’t mean we won’t always have its memory to remind us of precisely what kind of world we lived in back then in, well, you know … last week.
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