America, the strange. As the middle class shrinks like wet sand under a hot sun, we continue to be fascinated by the good life. Are we living vicariously or holding on to that '80s pipe dream of upward mobility?
Last month the Census Bureau reported that, by new measures, including spending power, almost 1 in 2 of all Americans are "nearly poor." Add to that the Great Recession's lingering effects and a near-record jobless rate, and we should all be having soup for dinner and dropping our AT&T wireless plans immediately.
But no, we dream of Chanel bags and Louboutin pumps thanks in no small part to the marketing juggernaut of ...
... L.A.'s Kardashian family and its reality show empire.
We all want the Kardashian, consumer lifetyle: The hair, the toes, the bootie, the lack of money woes.
You might chalk it up to hard-times escapism or a new kind of real-time soap opera in which we can follow off-air Rodeo Drive purchases in real-time via Twitter.
But some have had enough.
As the Occupy nation has brought the injustice of multi-billion-dollar bank bailouts and corporate tax loopholes to light, the beacon shines lower on the totem poll, on those rich celebs we savor (and who could also pay more taxes).
And so right before the media slumber we call the holidays went full-snooze, a Boycott Kim Kardashian campaign took hold.
The movement's website argues that she will do ...
... whatever it takes to extend her fifteen minutes of fame so that she can selfishly profit from her celebrity status. By aligning herself with brands and products to promote Kim has made millions at the expense of normal everyday Americans. Through a series of distasteful and carefully planned publicity stunts, beginning with a strategically released sex tape, a scripted "reality" show, and now a (for profit) 72 day marriage, Kim Kardashian continues to bait the media into giving her more unjustified coverage and allowing her to cash in financially.
They want you not to buy products that hire Kardashian for her celebrity endorsement, stating:
As our friends and neighbors struggle with real problems including inflated prices for fuel and groceries, a frightening job market, and a broken and divided government, we cannot continue to be distracted by moochers like Kim Kardashian ... We do not need the added burden of explaining to our daughters why they should work hard and get an education versus the pursuit of a materialistic lifestyle by any means necessary including selling out their principles and exploiting sex for profit.
About time. We have seen the devil. And she wears Prada.
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Some would argue Kardashian is just getting hers the way Donald Trump gets his or Bill Gates got his. What's wrong with a sister cashing in? Is this sexist?
Maybe. You have to give K.K. credit for hustling. That's about as American as camping out on a lawn.
But we'd also say, boycott them all. We can't afford anything anyway. Might as well make it look like we're making a political stand.