Kim Kardashian sucks at bowling. That said, she looked really good while sucking at bowling when she hosted the opening of a new upscale casino in Connecticut a few days ago. That's not the point though. The point is, I really don't need to know this about Kim Kardashian. It's just there. My knowledge of her bowling skills will forever sit like industrial waste in the bottom of my mind, coagulating with all the other random facts about celebrities we're bombarded with everyday. Frankly, I feel violated. I don't seek this stuff out. I have tried to avoid it, but it never fails that someone will bring it up in casual conversation -- I have been known to plug my ears at social functions for this very reason -- or I will let my guard down for just a second while buying groceries, my eye will wander up from the sharp bead I had on the corner of a floor tile, and I'll see that Jessica Simpson's boyfriend is now divorced. I can't even procure my basic survival needs without being informed that a woman I've never met has questionable morals. Perhaps I should just stop fighting it and get with the pop-culture program. It would be easier.
I could indulge in the fact that Kim Kardashian recently did an ad campaign for Carl's Junior and "went nude" for W magazine, or that Christina Aguilera is getting divorced; heartthrob Joe Manganiello, from True Blood, is getting hitched; Mario Lopez has a baby; Jim Carrey was seen in public getting touchy-feely with a "hot" brunette; David Arquette cheated on that chick from Friends and Denise Richards apparently likes to adopt dogs. Good. I feel much better about my life now.
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This knowledge serves no other purpose than that it oddly feels good to know, right? Like I'm a part of something bigger than myself, not to mention that I feel superior to these people for all their embarrassing deficiencies -- it's basically the same thing as religion. As much as I don't want to admit it, the media machine that keeps us abreast of celebrities' every action is providing the American people with a truly valuable, and perhaps even spiritual, service.
The fact that celebrity gossip feels good means that, like drinking, sex and religion, it'll never go away. I will always know more about Kim Kardashian than I do about my next door neighbor. A lot more. And perhaps I don't want to see my neighbor in a racy body suit, but I would like to at least know his dog's name, or what kind of beer he likes. Sadly, I have no time to get to know my neighbors better, because I have the Kardashians to keep up with, and they give me a dose of vicarious friendship whenever I need it, without all the messy stuff that comes with having to look up from my smart phone to address someone.