Unreal vs. Surreal

Would you like to see a neat trick?

I’m going to pull a modicum of depth out of an otherwise shallow topic.

Let’s talk about Kim Kardashian.
K.K. is a socialite, famous for being famous. She is, in essence, this minute’s Paris Hilton, which is all too fitting, as her association with Hilton is what first put her in the public eye, and like Hilton, what really propelled her was a sex tape.

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with sex, nor sex tapes, nor the release of sex tapes, as long as all parties are consenting adults. In this case, K.K. claims that the video was leaked without her consent, and should not be taken as a calculated ploy to gain the limelight. You know, just like Paris Hilton’s tape was leaked. Only a cynical person would speculate otherwise, so nothing to see here. Move along.

In any event, it’s not that K.K. gained her fame through sex, but much of what she chose to do with her celebrity status which rubs me the wrong way.

I have a special loathing for reality shows.

While skilled, insightful writers and trained, talented actors endure hunger for the sake of their art, a low form of entertainment misnamed “Reality T.V.” dominates ever more air time. Viewers tune in and squander hour after hour watching other people behaving poorly so that they may feel slightly better about themselves by comparison. We might instead elevate the spirit through the arts rather than wallow in a sad simulacrum, but alas, the cheapest spectacle often wins.

SIDE NOTE: Attached is image not of Kim Kardashian, but an elaborate and surreal painting, the War Bride of Frankenstein. I include it here not just because you apparently can’t talk about K.K. without displaying a shiny backside, but because I want to show you what several weeks worth of painstaking work looks like. Rather than a vapid reality show, this is art, bearing a not-so-subtle anti-war message.

Still more distasteful than Kardashian reality shows are that someone famous for being famous increases her fortunes by endorsing countless products you don’t need. Exactly why should her word on any product carry any weight at all?
That was a rhetorical question. It shouldn’t.

Yes, K.K. has put in a handful of acting appearances. I suppose that might count as an attempt toward artistic expression, and not just fame feeding on itself. Let’s just leave it aside in favor of a trendier topic.

K.K. has modeled nude for Playboy and Paper.

It may seem strange in this puritanical culture, but I maintain that Kim Kardashian’s nude modeling is some of the most honest work she ever does. Having been on both sides of the camera, I can tell you that modeling is work. If you don’t think so, just try to see how long you can hold a series of unnatural poses while hot lights blind you and roast your flesh. It may not be ditch digging, but it ain’t easy either.

Did the internet trolls come out in force to poke fun at K.K.’s pointless reality shows or shameless shilling?
Hardly. What drove them into a farcical PhotoShopping frenzy and crude comment conniptions was a picture of Kim Kardashian’s ass. The fundamentalist right, the militant left, and every smart-ass in between weighed in on it.

You’ve heard of Slut Shaming? The trolls’ take on K.K.’s modeling work is but one of many examples.

Astute readers may have noticed the foul flavor of slut shaming in the paragraph above regarding Kim Kardashian’s sex tape. If you didn’t, do you now see how insidious a misogynistic mindset can be? Many men and even women subscribe to it, for it’s taught at an early age and pervades our culture.

It’s time to reorder our priorities. Tune out the so-called “Reality Shows.” Abstain from buying products endorsed by over-privileged socialites. But don’t shame someone for showing their skin. Skin is one of the best parts of being human. Revel in it!

Master Nick Roberts © 2014

“War Bride of Frankenstein”
Acrylic on 24″ x 30″ canvas
Thanks again to the model who posed for this art among other paintings. Your work was and much is appreciated! 


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