Article originally published on Unwritten.
We just rang in 2015 and alas, a new epic 365-day adventure begins. But for as new as it will be, it'll most likely stay very much the same: The Kardashians will still rule the damn universe from their Calabasas castle. Same story, different year. And it hurts me.
More people than they'd like to admit regularly follow these fame seekers. As for why, the mystery still remains. After all, Keeping Up with The Kardashians at its conception was a simply a show about a Southern Californian family of socialites whose claim to fame was a daughter who was part of Paris Hilton's elite (smothered in irony) coterie and a last name shared with a prominent lawyer in the O.J. Simpson trial. Of course, we've come a distressingly long way since then, seeing as the Kardashian clan has since risen from the ashes of irrelevancy to entertainment royalty. But I suppose you have to hand it to them for capitalizing on their 15 minutes of fame, transforming it into an eternity's worth of celebrity, wealth and tabloid headlines.
The sisters have a fashion line, "The Kardashian Kollection" (enabling them to use alliteration narcissistically); their brother Rob has a sock line (yes, SOCKS); and the most sovereign sister of them all, Kim, recently released a video game app about her life in which you can, "create your own aspiring celebrity and rise to fame and fortune!" Did I mention that it made her a reported 85 million dollars richer? With $30 in my bank account, I suppose I'm doing something wrong here. Touché, Kim. Toufrickenché.
EIGHTY. FIVE. MILLION.
The Kardashians, for all intents and purposes, basically set a new precedent for stardom in the 21st century. Notoriety has since expanded its limitations. You can become famous for virtually no reason at all and then perpetuate that fame so people often forget how you started out in the first place, (ahem, Kim K sex tape).
After all, this is a society in which you can have an unfathomable amount of money and then make even more of it as a, "real housewife," on television; you can be adorable, English, under the age of 8 and make a YouTube video and then land your own gig on The Ellen DeGeneres Show; you can become the next teen sensation after a six-second video on the app Vine; and just when you think it's all been done, you can become an Internet phenomenon just for being a good-looking teenaged Target employee working at the check-out line. But hey, 10 points for that guy. Even the New York Times is talking about him.
So many of us are enamored with pop culture and the celebrities who encapsulate it. I, like many, fall victim to this trap. Who really cares about Beyoncé and Jay-Z's holiday trip to Iceland, you ask? Well, apparently I do, since that's a legitimate headline I clicked on (not under duress) this morning. And I come forth, tail between my legs, ready to admit I have also spent countless hours lowering my IQ watching the Kardashians and other reality television shows (which are ironically the farthest cry from the real world) that I so heavily criticize.
We care less about what's going on in the world and more about what someone's wearing on the red carpet and other superficial undercurrents of pop culture. This is not to say that not a single member of Generation Y cares about real issues affecting our world. It's just a veracious fact that we're less engaged with hard-hitting news than our counterparts of the older generations.
And as an aspiring journalist, this is disheartening, to say the least. But we are in control of our futures and how the rest of society labels us. Our perennial fascination with the rich and famous doesn't have to eclipse everything else in our lives. Not even Kim Kardashian's Paper Magazine cover can do so, despite its being undoubtedly one of the biggest stories of 2014. Pun absolutely intended.
Let's rise above and make 2015 different. Pick up a newspaper, or if this is too prehistoric for us digital natives, click on one (the Internet is a great place, isn't it?). Read a book -- it can be paperback or on a Kindle. I don't care. Engage in a political debate with your peers (after first taking a political stance, of course). Fight for a cause you believe in. Do something. Then soon we'll find the Kardashians are far less interesting than the E! Network would like them to be. And maybe, just maybe, then, they'll be dethroned.
Keeping Up With Other Things And Doing Just Fine
Caroline Cummings writes for Unwritten. You can follow her on Twitter @ccummingss.