It’s Friday and I’m still thinking about Michele Bachmann and her rebuttal on Tuesday, which I guess was partly the point: to get herself on our radars. (Sidenote: If anyone saw her speech and reads this post and is all like, “Kerry, you are a liberal jackass! You totally missed the point!” Would you please email me or leave a comment? I’d love to hear what you think.)
Even on bad days, something I can always cling to is this: at least I’m having a bad day in 2011. Although I’m useless domestically (and borderline destructive), tall (5’11”) and unmarried (in my 30s!)—I’m obviously fine. Perhaps a little quirky or whatnot, but nothing that makes anyone like, sad for me. At least not to my face.
Find nice berries. Gather.
Eat more figs. Oil hair. Stop comparing myself to Athena!!!
Stop fucking talking to snakes.
Catch nice knight. Convince Mom and Dad to throw in extra pigs for dowry.
Ask natives how to plant corn. Teach myself to sink?
New Yorkers are mostly awesome, but—and I say this with love—they can be severely delusional about themselves. Primarily when it comes to just how tolerant they are. For some reason, it is socially acceptable in this city to make fun of/be snobby about certain groups, such as:
1) People from New Jersey
2) Right wingers
3) People who live in Manhattan and don’t leave it/don’t know the other boroughs
I bring this up because I am (big shocker!) #3. At least on weekends, I don’t go north of the 14th street frontier. I get how the tendency to stay in one’s neighborhood could sound lame, but it’s not like I’m prancing around the Coach store. It’s just that I like where I live and my friends are nearby.
I don’t want to brag, but I’ve read a lot of self-help books. Like, if they gave out PhDs in the genre, I’d be at least a third year grad student. Like, I can quote from Why Men Love Bitches. Which is why, for 2011, I thought it would be a fun cultural safari to read the American classics, to compare some of the “issues” of today with those of the 1950s or the 1980s.
However: Do you know how awkward it is to read self-help books on the subway? It’s like announcing:
1) Hey, everyone, I have this problem!
2) This is how I go about fixing it!
3) No, I can’t just “wait until I’m home” to read in private.
So you can imagine the confused looks I’ve been getting thanks to this gem:
Why is Kim Kardashian famous? Why is anyone? What does this say about America? I’m not being snarky, or evil-woman-blogger-y here. I ask because I cannot escape this woman. (And now, in a meta-twist, neither can you!) Simply because I live in a city with kiosks, I know an insane amount about her sisters, their salary—even their fertility.
I’m so clueless about this, in fact, that it reminds me of when I was a kid sitting in the back of my mom’s Subaru wagon and I asked her who she liked better: Tiffany or Debbie Gibson. (They were very famous pop stars, in case any millennials are reading this.) My mom couldn’t say, which pretty much ended our fascinating conversation. But it wasn’t because in her mind they were tied! It was because she didn’t know anything about either person. Frankly, I was horrified. HOW CAN THIS WOMAN LIVE HER LIFE THAT WAY?**
So anyway, one idea is to go on a “Keeping up with the Kardashians” bender to figure it out, but there are so many other things to learn about America. I’m hoping someone who reads this will illuminate me.
Just please don’t tell me “she’s famous for being famous!”
I think by now we all know this bogus theory has been debunked, right? Otherwise, I’d be passing William Hung’s face on my way to work, or reading about Elian Gonazales and Kanye every time I log into email.
And let’s not forget that people tried to say Nicole Richie was famous for being famous, too. But now, with time to reflect, I think we can all see that she gets her 15 minutes for having good style (oh, that ballerina wedding dress!) and the world’s greatest transformation story.
Ergo: she gives people hope.
And is that what Kim Kardashian gives us?
Could any trio of sisters with a sex tape, a twitter account, and semi-famous parents get their own Dash store in Soho and super successful media and retail empire? (Actually: no. Los Angeles is filled with pretty children of semi-famous parents who want to be really famous. And the town is littered with forgotten reality TV detritus.)
But maybe it’s this rocky rise to fame that makes one interesting? Like: all that clamboring up the C-list is the real reality show? Do Americans all secretly want fame and we are inspired by someone who achieves it in a way that seems (but really isn’t) doable for the rest of us? Is it voyeurism of life on the red carpet? Are editors of gossip magazines just following the herd? Do idiot bloggers like me write about this and keep the cycle going?
Please, dear readers, enlighten me!
**THIS IS MY MOM’S COMMENT:
SUBJECT: your post
I tried to respond to your blog but a message came up and told me that I had to enable my cookies. Is that slang for something vulgar? To use valley talk, who ever heard of cookies—chocolate chip, graham crackers or Lorna Doones having a character to enable? So, if you think I was OOT ( out of touch) in the eighties, I am hopelessly lost in this century.
When I started this blog, I often heard the advice “pick a really precise topic.” Which, of course, is exactly what I’ve done by choosing the oh-so-specific niche, “America.”
The nice thing about a really broad area of focus, if we can call it that, is this: I don’t have to be a genius to find connections everywhere. Whereas if I were learning about say, abyssinian cats, my little brain might miss the joys of EvilTeabagger, whose zeal for/knowledge of American politics is quite an inspiration.
Below are 11 ideas that inspired me during the past year.
Hooray to yours in 2011! Happy new year! God bless America!
My New Year’s resolution is to not take the world’s lamest photos. Fortunately there are some things in life—like photography classes—that money can buy.