Up in the Hollow: The case for K-rationing 

Well, it has finally happened and I feel as if I have completely given up what few, meager principles I had left. I feel as if I have sinned against all that is righteous and that I deserve the obloquy of a sensible and caring community. Above all, I have failed myself and the strict standards of behavior that my conscience demands. And now I ask public forgiveness from the readers of this great metropolitan newspaper.

For brothers and sisters, I have Kardashianed. For several years now I have prided myself on the fact that I didn’t know who Kardashian was, or what Kardashian looked like or why anyone could care a whit about Kardashian. I first started hearing about Kardashian several years ago, but could not connect the name with anything that mattered. Then the name started appearing everywhere: in newspapers and magazines, and on television, radio and the internet. Especially on the internet.

This name seems to be as ubiquitous as the old “Kilroy Was Here” likeness that once adorned everything that wasn’t nailed down and much that was. Out with Kilroy, in with Kardashian. Here a Kardashian, there a Kardashian, everywhere a Kardashian.

Until today, neighbors, I refused to succumb to whatever or whoever or why-ever Kardashian is. But then, in a weak moment . . .

Let me explain. When I first became aware that everything in America was being inundated with Kardashiania, I asked my best friend Alma what Kardashian was. “You don’t want to know,” she sighed. “They’re on one of those reality shows.”

“What do they do on the reality show?” I asked.

“Nothing really. They don’t do anything.”

“Are they going to go away soon?”

“Eventually, maybe. But they’re famous for being famous.” 

“Oh,” I said. “Well, I’m not going to be a part of that.”

A man has to stand for something, and so I did. I became an ardent anti-Kardashian.

And yet the word wouldn’t disappear. In fact, it seemed as if the Kardashians were multiplying exponentially, like rabbits or Starbucks locations or Rappahannock stinkbugs. And it seemed that I was the only one not “in the know,” and that lack of knowledge started to bother me. But I was strong and would not give in.

Until this morning. The AOL homepage, which has long since been overthrown by the brain-devouring Kardashian cult, had a headline which read, “Kardashian Cat Dies.”

And so, in a weak moment, I caved.

Here is what I found out. There is a Kardashian named Kim whose boyfriend Kanye gave her a teacup kitten which was Kim’s “beloved” kitten, but she gave it to her sister Khloe to give to Khloe’s assistant, who is not a Kardashian because her name does not start with the letter K. The kitten died and the story is all about what a tragedy this is for the Kardashians and their krazy, kooky fans.

I don’t know any of these people, but that has never stopped me from being judgmental, now has it? I don’t like them, and with good reason, according to me.

(Pause here for sermonette.) When we create heroes out of people who seem to be totally without any standards or ethical or moral values; when we reward them far better than we reward our nurses, our school teachers, our police, fire and emergency workers; when we push up the talentless and unscrupulous past those who labor honestly for a day’s pay, then we are a culture in trouble. Yeah, I know, this is nothing new and many a good-hearted soul has raised this point many a time. But it seems to me that the “social media” has lowered this “dumbing down” of America to epidemic and dystopian subterranean levels. That is to say, we are going to hell in a handbasket. (End of sermonette.)

The internet still holds the promise of enlightenment and progress. Many wonderful ideas are being made instantly available to literally billions of people. But one must work through a jungle of mindless slop to find it. To once again quote that mensch of a marsupial, Pogo Possum, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

May you all be blessed to live longer than the last Kardashian.

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