Mindless Iconoclasm is a series where I present an unpopular opinion of mine concerning pop culture and attempt to defend it. This time, I take on the rich fame whores of reality TV.

These days, it seems as if you can’t open a magazine or visit an entertainment website without reading about the latest Kardashian drama or Real Housewives scandal. Any time we try to engage with entertainment media, we’re inevitably inundated with images and news of people who are famous seemingly for no reason other than the fact that they’re famous. With so many talented people in the world who are far more deserving of recognition, folks understandably get a little irritated at the veritable fame-whore bonanza to which they’re subjected every time they turn on the TV.

But from the level of vitriol hurled at these fame whores, you’d think that they’d murdered kittens or sold poisoned milk to schoolchildren. The Kardashians and their ilk might be self-centred egomaniacs, but I honestly can’t bring myself to hate them. Here’s why:

It’s easy to hate people like the Kardashians. They were born into riches, they have an easy life, and they seem remarkably oblivious to the concerns of ordinary folks like you and me. And if that weren’t bad enough, they broadcast all of that crap on television for the world to see.

But is it really that bad? Think about it for a second. Sure, the Kardashians are rich heiresses who don’t have to work to get what they want. But think about all the rich heirs and heiresses who aren’t fame whores, who are just sitting on their asses waiting for their latest cheque from Daddy’s Oil Company. I don’t believe that all of them are too busy to be in the spotlight because they’re occupied with academics, humanitarian work, or something else worthwhile. At least the Kardashians are putting in some work to earn their fortune by agreeing to be filmed while they do dumb shit (and no doubt dealing with myriad logistical details behind the scenes). Better a fame whore than a rich nobody, I say.

Plus, if nothing else, the fact that there are TV shows based around the lives of the Kardashians or the Real Housewives keeps a bunch of producers, camera operators, editors, and technical staff employed. Whether intentionally or not – I’m leaning towards not – the Kardashians’ insatiable desire for time in the spotlight has created jobs. And in case you didn’t get the memo, job creation is good for the economy. (I know, I know, it’s a drop in a bucket. But every drop counts.)

Besides, there are people who enjoy these shows, and the fact that they exist makes those people happy. I’d probably get bored to death if I tried to watch Mob Wives or Kourtney and Kim Take New York, but if John or Jane Doe happens to enjoy them, then who am I to judge? Heck, the adventures and misadventures of the fame whores on these shows provide plenty of hilarious clips for The Soup, so even a dude like me can get some fun out of them. Plus, it’s not as if these shows have staggering viewership numbers that are sapping away the audiences of critically-loved cult favourites on other channels, and I doubt that the kinds of shows that E! and Bravo air have much audience overlap with the programming over at FX or AMC anyway.

So, while I find the entertainment media’s obsession with the Kardashians and their fame-whoring friends utterly baffling, I can’t bring myself to hate these idiots. They’re keeping some people employed and others entertained, which is enough to keep them off my shit list. It’s unfair that these morons are rolling in a pile of cash that they obtained with minimal effort, but I guess that’s what redistributive taxation is for. (We could probably stand to tax rich guys like them more, but let’s not get into a discussion of economics and optimal taxation rates here.) So when you get down to it, people like the Kardashians and the Real Housewives really aren’t that bad. I don’t feel as if it’s necessary to lob hate in their direction.

I just think it’s fucked up that we live in a world where the Kardashians are vilified simply for being a bunch of plastic narcissists, yet Twitter is filled with tweets from young women saying that we should all lay off Chris Brown and that they’d let him beat them up. Seriously, those tweets are some ass-backwards, horrifying shit. Yeah, yeah, I know; that’s a total straw man argument. But I’ll take any excuse to slam the girlfriend-beating, remorseless piece of shit that is Chris Brown. Seriously, forget about the Kardashians. Fuck that guy.

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