the circular runner

Kim Kardashian, are you a real person or a TV personality?

In media, observations, Uncategorized on June 30, 2010 at 9:36 am

My wife is, and I know this will sound biased, but still, she is one of those quietly impressive people you meet from time to time. She’s smart and she doesn’t feel any great need to remind you of it. But talk to her for any amount of time, and then, suddenly, you get it. She’s brilliant. I’m not being overly modest when I repeat the words of an ex-professor of mine who at a party once told her, “dear, I’m so glad he has you to help him in life. He needs someone smart.” My prof was joking (I hope), but I am thankful that my wife is around. She is smart and I am not always the same.

This disparity in intelligence is why my wife can indulge in certain little guilty pleasures whereas I write blog entries about my “theories”. The guilty pleasure in question is my wife’s love of gossip magazines. She’s not only into the highbrow (relatively so) People, she also loves her some Enquirer and Star and InTouch. My wife treats these the way most sane people do. She laughs at the starlets and the good looking guys and the silly things they say and do.

I, on the other hand, will flip through a copy and I’ll look at all the pics, and I’ll read some little factoid about some star and get all Socratic: why do we all care? Why? Why? I scream at our cat. I know I can’t answer the question (my cat knows it, too). It’s a question for the ages, but I can’t just accept that. A life not examined, etc. etc. Even a picture not examined, I’d say.

All of this leads me to a question that I should ignore but am unable to. So here it is: Why/how does Kim Kardashian have the same look on her face in every picture? It never varies, especially the eyes. They give a tenderness out, but not really human tenderness. Think robot tenderness. Maybe you think I’m a fan, or that I am obsessed with Kim (who is referred to as a socialite and TV personality in most of the fine gossip publications my wife picks up). If you can believe me when I say this, I am not a fan, nor am I obsessed with her. What I am is more than a little troubled by Kim’s smile as I am the title of “TV personality.” I’ve never thought about the phrase before. I usually just assume it stands for someone we see on TV often who is not an actor. But looking at Kim’s pictures, I realized why I’m uncomfortable. What if, and I’m just putting this out there, what if “TV personality” denotes someone who has no personality when not on the screen. I think the only plausible explanation for Kim’s smile is that she doesn’t really exist. She is a figment of our collective TV imagination.

(I don’t think Kim’s the only one, btw. Paris Hilton, I put to you, is also a “TV personality,” but I’ll let you look her up on your own and write a blog posting.

Just in case you don’t believe me about Kim, let’s now go to the photos above. I give you these two photos taken at different times from a cross-selection of gossip sites. Look at the U-shaped smile and the soft expression in the eyes. Notice, they are the same–exactly the same. This kind of exactitude must be computer generated. It has to be. It’s too identical. Too practiced to be human. It says, “I’m cute. You think I’m cute. Everyone will think I’m cute. Human beings are frail-minded. Resistance is futile.” The message is relentless, like Hal in 2001. The computers are taking over. Beware!

Think about it, and I think you’ll see what I mean. My wife won’t agree with me, and she’s brilliant (like I said before). But maybe she’s wrong this time. Maybe this time, I’m going to help her.

Stranger things could happen. (Like computer-generated TV personalities taking over the world–just to name one)

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