Sunday, November 13, 2011

Kim Kardashian Was Married?

My editors here at The Minaret wanted to hear my take on the whole Kim Kardashian/Kris Humphries divorce thing, probably hoping I’d say something irreverent, as I am wont to do. “Can you believe it?” I heard. “Her marriage only lasted 72 days!” Another editor told me that #ThingsLongerThanKimsMarriage was trending on Twitter. And, finding myself thoroughly confused, I replied, “Wait, Kim Kardashian was married?”

People around the office were shocked to hear me say this. Don’t you remember? Then, my memory slowly returned. I began to recall images of a Kardashian marriage. Then memories of media hype followed. As my recollection became more vivid, I came to a startling conclusion. I cared so little about Kim Kardashian’s wedding that my mind literally rejected it. I thought about asking around for a good psychiatrist.

Instead, I scoured Wikipedia. The entry for “Denial” shed some important light onto my celebrity-induced amnesia: “Denial (also called abnegation) is a defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead.” Yes. It explained so much. I wasn’t as oblivious to the Kardashian wedding as I had thought. The mere fact that people cared so deeply about an obviously superficial celebrity wedding felt so offensive that my mind suppressed it.

But, now, thanks to Wikipedia, I could see through my ego’s dirty tricks. In truth, however, I wished I couldn’t. All of the awful celebrity culture I had kept hidden from myself suddenly became lucid. Charlie Sheen started “winning” in my cerebral cortex. Lindsey Lohan snorted cocaine off my occipital lobe. Justin Bieber, Paris Hilton, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie all made appearances at various places around my cerebellum. It was all a bit much for my mind to take. If only my Minaret editors would have kept their mouths shut.

Hoping to get these awful celebrities out of my head, I tried to work on a paper for my World Literature class, to no avail. Instead of typing about great literary figures, as I intended, my fingers involuntarily produced sentences about the Britney Spears and Bethenny Frankels of the world. I found myself writing sentences like: “Can you believe what Sharon Stone wore to the Oscars?” or “So HOT? I think so NOT!”
Mentally paralyzed, I figured it was time to see that psychiatrist about re-repressing my knowledge of celebrity culture. So I called a doctor and told his secretary over the phone about my mental emergency. “You better come in right away,” she said.

The doctor looked strangely like Sigmund Freud himself, with the white beard and round spectacles. He even smoked a fat cigar, which I found odd but didn’t say anything because one just doesn’t question a doctor like that. The smell of tobacco and persian rugs filled his dimly-lit office. “Tell me how you’re feeling,” the doctor said.

“It’s just,” I said, “I write for a school newspaper, and my editor asked me write about Kim Kardashian’s divorce. I found that I had repressed the memory, along with most other knowledge of celebrity-tabloid culture. Now, it’s all flooding back. I’m being driven to utter madness. Why do people care so much about misbehaving celebrities? Don’t people realize that their attention encourages the behavior? Don’t they feel disgustingly voyeuristic, like I do? Don’t they understand that this tabloid stuff, because of its popularity, works its way into real news and degrades it? Am I the only one that sees this?” I let out an anguished wail.

“Christ,” said the doctor. “It’s worse than I thought.” He took an otoscope from a drawer and walked over to examine my ears. He stared into the instrument intently as if scoping out my brain. “I’m going to have to commit you,” he added.

I wasn’t about to get roped into some One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest-type thing. I hadn’t the time; after all, this Minaret article was still unwritten, and I’m not one to miss deadlines. I darted for the door, but the doctor tackled me and yelled, “We’ve got a runner!” Three finely-sculpted young men burst in. Two of them held my arms down and the third said, “Relax,” while he gave my neck a shot of something. Soon, I was out cold.

I’m writing from solitary confinement now. The food’s great (I think Sodexo caters this place, too) and the drugs are even better. They don’t allow me tabloids here. It’s for my own good, they say. I’m supposed to be going in for a brain-scooping soon, and then my celeb-ridden knowledge will be gone. The procedure may have enormous consequences for the future of this column, but we’ll see. For now, a quote from fiction writer Denis Johnson keeps coming back to me: “You, you ridiculous people, you expect me to help you.”

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