I’ve Been Living Under a Rock–So Who are the Kardashians?

I’ve been living under a rock, or so it would seem, because until today when I looked up Kardashians on Wikipedia I really didn’t know who they were.  For weeks I’ve been hearing the word Kardashians and wondered if they were a band. 

Friday at work, I overheard three students arguing about the K named people.   When two left, I asked the remaining young woman, and she smiled and kindly explained they were people who were paid to be famous.  “Umm…  They do that now?” I wasn’t so clueless that I hadn’t notice tabloids exclaiming gossipy stories about K named women at the checkout.  Something about an expensive wedding and a marriage gone bad in 72 days.

Today I looked up the name Kardashian on Wikipedia and found out about their television show.  Even when I had cable I never watched E!.  I really don’t need to know any more about the Kardashians than I do now, and would not recognize one if I saw one.

This amuses me and I chuckle at my own cluelessness.  To the young, knowledge of the famous is a sanity check.  Not knowing the glitterati often gets me a sneer or sarcasm, that tells me I’m out of touch with reality and implying I’m over that famous hill.  I turned 60 last year, and I can’t name the young people who are currently famous as movie stars, TV stars, sport stars, and I would stay rock stars, but is rock is even famous anymore?  I’m just now memorizing Kate Winslet’s name and I saw Titanic twice at the theaters – for the shipwreck.

My pop culture education grades took a nose dive when I gave up cable TV and quit reading TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly.  I do read The Rolling Stone on my iPad, so I know a few new groups, but I had to buy two Arcade Fire albums before I could remember their damn name, and I still can’t remember any of their dang song titles.  Starting in my late 40s, and all through my 50s, I’ve been losing the ability to remember nouns – so maybe that’s why I lost interest in pop culture.  Following the famous requires noun memorization.

I know who Kay Francis and Robert Montgomery were, and I doubt millions of young people do – so there!  Who is clueless now?

Luckily, forgetting doesn’t hurt.  Oh, it’s annoying when I struggle to recall a name I used to know, but it doesn’t hurt.  And it’s not even embarrassing at work when young people make fun of me for not knowing the people they worship.  I remember being 13 and baffled by parents, aunts, uncles and teachers that reveal their low IQ by not knowing The Byrds and Robert Heinlein.

The 21st century is so passé, the 19th century is where it’s at.  My new idols are Anthony Trollope, Louise May Alcott, John Singer Sargent, Edith Wharton, Charles Darwin, … so back under my rock.

JWH – 1/16/12

10 thoughts on “I’ve Been Living Under a Rock–So Who are the Kardashians?”

  1. Jim, I don’t have a clue who the Kardashians are. I’ve heard the name often enough, so I assume they’re celebrities of some kind – probably just famous for being famous – but I haven’t cared enough to look it up.

    No, that’s not putting it strongly enough, I guess. I deliberately don’t look it up, as my own little spot of resistance against that celebrity culture.

    And I don’t think it’s age, or not mostly, at least, because I felt the same way back when the Beatles had obsessed, screaming fans.

    1. I used to love keeping up with pop culture. Growing up in the 1960s was exciting and I got hooked on news and culture. But over the decades it started taking more work and I slacked off. Now that I spend so much time alone it really doesn’t matter, so I pursue my own little interests.

      We live in a far-out reality, but it’s overwhelming.

  2. Kardash is a remote region that is renowned for the very short life span of its inhabitants. The Kardashians typically live for about 15 minutes and then they disappear.

    1. Mike, that should have been true, but when I looked them up on Wikipedia it turns out their TV show has been on since 2007. Somehow I was able to elude them for 5 years.

      Maybe that 15 minutes of fame relates to how long individuals remember the famous. My fifteen minutes of interest is already over, but there are so many people in the world that needs 15 minutes of exposure that the show has to stay on for 5 years.

  3. I’m 19 and until tonight I had never seen or heard Lady Gaga and….Wow…I have no respect at all for pop music these days. I think I have the mindset of a 60 year old as well.

    1. How can you be so young and not be part of your youth’s pop culture? I wouldn’t think that possible, unless maybe you’re a musical prodigy practicing classical violin 8 hours a day.

  4. And have you people seen Nikki Minaj? She has a shirt that is made of a bunch of randomly assorted colored fuzzy balls. I can’t wait till people look back a few years from now and laugh at this crap…at least, I hope they will.

    1. I actually know who Nicki Minaj is because I bought her album. She’s very beautiful, but she does dress bizarrely. I’m curious how far she can go, or if all her talent comes from a producer in the studio. I didn’t expect much from Madonna when she was a kid, and she’s matured pretty well.

      Lady Gaga and Nicki’s costumes do seem silly but I guess in a world of self-promotion its a way of getting attention. Of the young women in pop music at the moment, I like Ke$sha best. I love her snarky lyrics.

      I do keep up with pop music some because I subscribe to two streaming music services and can listen to all the new albums. I probably missed who the Kardashians were because I don’t get cable TV. But it does blowmy mind Dylan that you could avoid Lady Gaga. Even in my little world of over-the-air TV she’s made herself known.

    2. Heh, heh. Have you ever seen leisure suits? And everyone was wearing those, not just some celebrity trying to stand out from the crowd.

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