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Newsflash! This week Kim Kardashian wore a THONG BIKINI for a photo shoot in Thailand!
Aren’t you enthralled? I know I’m not.
But the sad thing is, endless millions of people are enthralled at the idea of following Kim Kardashian’s butt all around the world. I mean seriously … this is considered newsworthy? Ick.
It’s not just Kim, of course. Americans are obsessed with celebrity culture. They follow the antics of “American Idol,” “Dancing with the Stars” and every intellectual giant that flashes skin in the Hollywood landscape.
Why? What has Kim Kardashian actually accomplished? What kind of cultural contribution has Britney Spears made? What significant event elevated Miss Gaga to the status of Lady? What am I missing?
Whatever achievements the Kardashians of the world make, they can be followed at a moment’s notice through every electronic device known to man. Through the wonders of the Internet, you, too, can view Kim’s thong bikini within moments of her donning it. Wheeeee.
And meanwhile, we have dire happenings in the upper echelons of government, banking and surveillance. But no one cares. They’re too busy watching Kim’s butt.
Some people thought increased availability of information through the Internet and personal electronic devices would increase America’s vigilance on our leaders. The opposite has happened. People (especially young people) have become so separated from reality, so drugged by media and so focused on those tiny little screens that they become immune to government actions that will have a vast effect on their future.
In other words, people are more interested in following the shallow antics of Kim Kardashian than they are in following the life-altering antics of our leaders. It’s the ultimate triumph of style over substance.
More startlingly, the heavy use of electronic media is proving to be addictive, reminiscent of drug use. A few years ago, Wired.com reported a strange phenomenon called “I-dosing” in which people are getting high on “digital drugs” through headphones. “Those who want to get addicted to the ‘drugs’ can purchase tracks that will purportedly bring about the same effects of marijuana, cocaine, opium and peyote. While street drugs rarely come with instruction manuals, potential digital drug users are advised to buy a 40-page guide so that they learn how to properly get high on MP3s.”
While the possibility of getting a physical high from sound is debatable, the addictive quality of personal electronics is confirmed. We have people texting during dinner, texting from the bathtub and texting while driving. One year during a religious summer camp – in which children’s personal electronics were not permitted – our (then) 12-year-old daughter woke up at midnight and heard one of her cabin-mates texting with a smuggled phone.
And it starts achingly young. There are parents who use electronics to pacify toddlers into drugged compliance. And yes, it started with television – “The Plug-In Drug” was first published in 1978, and things have only gotten worse.
Constant and instant information access has permitted millions to pursue the antics of Hollywood twits with breathless fascination. Following the activities of the Kardashian sisters supersedes following the activities of the Obama administration. Which, I gather, is just fine with the Obama administration. While we drool over Justin Bieber, the government is disassembling the First, Second, Third, Fourth and Tenth Amendments with frightening speed. And no one notices.
Saturated in this kind of constant stimulation, the one thing people miss out on is real life – and that includes how Washington is taking advantage of these distractions to disassemble our nation and rebuild it into something unrecognizable. Technology has truly become the opiate of the masses.
It is disconcerting to watch the eyes of young people glaze over when you try to engage them in conversation. They are so filled with Kardashian-style twaddle, so keen to communicate with their friends in every way except verbally, so accustomed to having their heads and backs bent over their little machines, that when they raise their heads and blink themselves into the real world, they’re lost. People have been known to text themselves into dangerous situations (rivers? subway tracks?) because they’re so engrossed in whatever useless information is being conveyed on screen.
Politicians wisely cultivate the allegiance of Hollywood and pop culture, for they know that’s how to keep the masses placated (the ol’ “bread and circuses” routine).
If I wanted to enter the realm of deep dark conspiracy theory, I would say that our obsession with celebrities to the exclusion of serious concerns is encouraged. It’s so handy, after all, when the American sheeple are anesthetized into complaisance by the latest news of some Hollywood twit’s personal meltdown, scandal, serial marriage, or wardrobe malfunction. That way we’re too preoccupied to object when the government fetters our great-grandchildren with trillions of dollars of debt and sells our American souls to terrorists. By filling our brains with Gwyneth Paltrow and Johnny Depp, we don’t notice Wall Street instability or the staggering unemployment rate.
My personal suspicion is that people would panic – absolutely blindly panic – if they were aware of what’s truly going on behind our backs. Whatever else her faults, at least Kim Kardashian cannot affect national policy, so we continue to watch her jiggling derrière while America’s health-care is systematically dismantled and our Second Amendment rights are whittled away. It’s less painful to drug ourselves with “snorts” of Bono or shots of Rihanna than to face the futility of voting.
I know it’s a lot easier to immerse ourselves in the trivial than face the serious, and I’m not implying we don’t all deserve a little R&R by reading or watching fluff. But for God’s sake, people, America is burning down around our ears. You need to put aside the digital bread and circuses and open your eyes to the real world we’ve been gifted by God. Just maybe you’ll see some things that need fixing.
Or at least you’ll avoid walking into a light pole.
Media wishing to interview Patrice Lewis, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.