As we all know, the dreadful Kim Kardashian was attacked and robbed while in Paris attending some fashion show or other, several months ago. Needless to say, as this chick (and the entire Kardashian coven) has become rich by being, well, famous and Kardashian, whole swathes of the population experienced some kind of schadenfreude because, the thought went, she’d brought this on herself by her exhibitionism of wealth and endless self-promotion. Of course she was going to become a target for thieves and other lowlifes.
I remember commenting on this when it first appeared at Insty’s site (can’t find the link, it’s too long ago), but thanks to the eidetic memory of Disqus, I was able to retrieve my comment on the topic:
I’m calling “bullshit” on this whole disgusting line of thought. On that basis, nobody should drive a Bentley because it “invites” car thieves and/or carjackers, no pretty woman should wear sexy clothing because it “invites” rape, nobody should seek celebrity because it “invites” stalking, and no one should live in a showpiece home because it “invites” burglary.
The essence of self-control and civilized behavior is that one does NOT give in to temptation, no matter how severe the apparent provocation. Believe me, if I were alone in a room with some foul liberal, there would be considerable temptation to beat the crap out of him, but of course I’d never do that because it is a.) wrong and b.) illegal. (And if you think there’s no difference between the two, the Clinton Foundation has a job for you.)
I yield to no man in my distaste for the entire Kardashian coven, but to suggest that they’ve “invited” wrongdoing upon themselves by their revolting behavior is simply excusing larceny, and it says more (unpleasantness) about the speaker than it does about the Kardashians.
For some reason, this whole thing has stuck in my own memory, and my disgust towards the Perpetually Envious (for there is no other explanation for the phenomenon) has not dissipated over time, but grown.
We see this over and over again in other manifestations, not just of celebrities like the Kardashians, but even leveled at heroes or people with some kind of exceptional ability. Here’s a good example: Tiger Woods. Tiger became famous like few other sportsmen ever have other than maybe Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali. Tiger did this by being a Black (okay, half-Black) kid who invaded a white-shoe Male Patriarchal country-club sport and absolutely crushed it under his Nike golf shoes. Yet, when it came out that he’d been a busy little beaver — or maybe busy with little beavers — and his beautiful White wife threw him out of his own house, most of his sponsors dropped him like a rock because of his immorality or some such bullshit. His career tanked (unfortunately coincidental with a series of devastating injuries to his back), and the Jackals Of The Press had a field day, lording it over the unfortunate superstar with allusions to Icarus and other such smug, condescending crap.
As I said, all this schadenfreude stems from no other emotion than envy — the envy that small-minded people have for others who have done better than they have in their own miserable little lives: “too big for their boots”, or “the higher they fly, the harder they fall” and similar disgusting tripe.
Well, I called bullshit on this back then, and I’m doing the same now, only with feeling. Actually, I feel even more sympathy for Kim Kardashian than I do for Tiger, because at least one can say that Tiger engaged in self-destructive behavior; all Kim ever did was flaunt her body, celebrity and wealth to a fawning media — the very same media that trashed Tiger, lest we forget.
And I’m not blaming just the journalists (especially the loathsome British tabloids and magazines) who published this nonsense; quite frankly, if people didn’t want to read their crap, those articles wouldn’t be published, so clearly there is a large group of people who feel that way.
We need to be better than this. It doesn’t matter whether we approve of how the Kardashians make their wealth — how someone makes their money should be of no concern to anyone (unless it’s illegally done, in which case we have police and such to deal with it). And if we’re going to be talking about distasteful ways of making money, let’s talk about the disgusting record industry… [25,000 words of angry rant deleted] …and yet nobody would say, if some record company executive’s wife was robbed, that she had it coming.
No: if hundreds of thousands of people are going to tune into “Life With The Kardashians” or whatever they call their stupid TV show, and buy the merchandise that is quite unexceptional but for the “Kim” brand on it, then it is a perfectly valid way for the Kardashians to make money. Hell, talking about shit products, even I paid good money to watch the Chicago Cubs fail, year after year; I’m not going to call someone stupid for buying some celebrity-endorsed cat-piss perfume. (Yeah, I know the Cubs finally won the Series last year; we can all now look forward to another hundred years of failure while the franchise fleeces the rubes again.)
The whole mindset comes from the “tall flower” syndrome — the notion that the person who stands out of the crowd will have his head cut off (corollary: and deservedly so) — but speaking as one who has often been that tall flower (mostly because of my big mouth), let me tell you, it’s a stupid, disgusting notion and we would do well to be rid of it.