Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pay no attention to the reality behind the curtain

For every four events happening worldwide, Kim Kardashian must do something — anything, really — and we must pay her attention.

Add this immutable truth to Newton's laws and Galileo's discoveries.

Learn to live with it. Apparently, you have no choice.

My daily online news source (aside from the hunk of newsprint on my doorstep and National Public Radio whispering sweet somethings each morning) includes a collection of videos across the globe, in constant rotation.

"Old" videos (a whole two hours!) drop out of rotation, and new ones take their place, constantly, constantly.

You must have an iron constitution or money to burn in order to watch the videos, because each comes with a 30-second commercial first. You cannot avoid or truncate the commercials. The things I must endure to tell you useless things.

Something called the News Distribution Network aggregates the videos — some from hard news sources, some from entertainment news shows, some from companies that exist solely, it seems, for posting on these news aggregator services.

They're probably on your daily online news source, too. Check them out, and you'll see the Kardashian Konstancy in effect.

The headlines for a typical rotation of videos might go something like this:
Romney Concedes Defeat in White House
(Newsworthy; I might have missed it on TV the night before …)
Man Steals Gas, Catches Fire
(Not newsworthy, but I'm morbidly curious …)
Time-Lapse of Aurora Borealis over Minnesota
(Hey, maybe you've never seen the northern lights. You might even
learn something!)
Damage in Gaza from Israeli Missile Strike
 (News and action! Plus, more morbid curiosity!)
Then …
Kim K Debuts Slimmed-Down Figure
The mandatory Kim Kardashian picture usually comes from her cell phone, a self portrait in her closet, trying on something she has found there. She apparently uploads this to twitter, and the celebrity press distributes it for your enlightenment. Though a grainy low-resolution photo, the celebrity press examines it in breathless sweep like it's dissecting the Zapruder film.
After four more videos of mayhem and nonsense around the world, we are brought to our senses with a video headlined:
Kim Kardashian's Hot Bikini Shot
Another closet shot, another excruciating analysis by a celebrity news show, complete with innuendo and high praise for a woman who … what does she do again?
Except become anxious that the world might stop thinking about her, I mean?
In the rotation that includes, "Train Hits Texas Vets Parade," "UFO Mystery over Denver, Colorado," and "Killer Whale Chases Dog," we are guaranteed a video called, "Kim K Stuns at Marine Corps Ball." Again, not a video, just a grainy shot worked over like CSI: Miami evidence.

For every "FDA: 5-Hour Energy Drink Linked to 13 Deaths" and "Black Friday Mall Fight Caught on Tape," we can count on "Kim Kardashian Gets Death Threats over Gaza Tweets."

(Hey, wait a minute: That last video might have been actual news! Sure, Kim K's statesmanlike tweets may have inflamed Mideast tensions, but the ceasefire soon followed so … coincidence?)

Sometimes, believe it or not, Kim Kardashian cannot be as konstant as this rule suggests. No worries; plenty stand in for her.

While actual news may rock the rest of the world, we frolic to videos with headlines such as:
Miranda Kerr Rocks Sheer Top
I hadda look her up; she's a Victoria's Secret model; you know, thin waif, tall hair, great big insect wings trailing behind her?
Jada Rocks Teeny Bikini
I think this is Jada Pinkett Smith at the beach. The number of celebrities putting on clothes and then rocking them is an epidemic.
Beyonce's Revealing Photo (without makeup!)
Snooki tweets makeup-free pic
Makeup-free celebrities, also an epidemic.
Jennifer Lopez makes ET's First Annual Power List
As if anyone could doubt …
Rihanna's Nearly Nude Spread
Good old Rihanna … word is she sings, too.
Coco competes in booty Olympics
Coco Austin, married to actor/rapper Ice-T, gives new meaning to "well endowed." She returned TV to its awesome power to enlighten by keeping a coin aloft on the rise of her butt longer than another endowed woman on a talk show.
Let's see, it's Tuesday morning. It's been hours since Kim K made news. Maybe something's wrong.

Vaguely tangent segue:

One of my personal Thanksgiving traditions is listening to Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant Massacree," a joyful and hilarious rejection of convention and the absurdity of the Vietnam War, in the form of a true event that took place over Thanksgiving 1965 in Stockbridge, Mass.

It's proof once again that if you ever want to see or listen to something, Youtube probably has it.

It's also reaffirmation that nothing is free. Ads, as you know, precede many Youtube videos anymore. My pre-Thanksgiving listen-to of Arlo's great song came on the heels of a commercial for Lexus ("Buy one for Christmas, of course!")

I wonder what Arlo would think of that.

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