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edge staff writer


Celebrity Slam (10/25/2017)

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Kardashians kash in

While we like to think that we’re equal opportunity as far as who we target here at Celebrity Slam, there’s no question that we have our favorites. We’ll give anyone a chance, but the truth is that regular run-of-the-mill famous people have to step their games up in a pretty serious way to slip past some of our go-to goof-ups.

It’s a cyclical thing, of course – celebrity has ebbs and flows just like anything else. So we’ve got some all-timers – Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen, Spencer and Heidi Pratt – who eventually fall off the radar simply because the world at large largely stops caring about them in any meaningful way. We’ve also got regulars who are able to keep their well-known noses clean for fairly long stretches before lapsing back into Slammable stupidity (we can wait just as long as you can, Justin Bieber – we’re very patient).

But the true greats – the rarest of the rare – those are the ones who can simply keep on keeping on, consistently saying and doing things that we can’t help but make light of in this space. We’re talking about Celebrity Slam’s royal family.

We’re talking about the Kardashians.

It seems appropriate to make mention of reality television’s most pervasive clan at this time; they’ve just signed a new deal with the E! Network. And it’s a mighty lucrative one. They’ve reupped with the network for five more seasons of their show for a whopping $150 million. That’s $30 million per season; that money also includes compensation for other services rendered.

So yeah – the Kardashians aren’t going anywhere. Big shock, I know.

It seems absurd to think that this empire began thanks to Kim’s friendship with Paris Hilton. Remember Paris Hilton? She’s another one that used to be a favorite in this space before simply vanishing into the dustbin of pop culture history – when’s the last time you even saw her name? Just a few years ago, she was everywhere. Now – nothing.

Add to that the omnipresence of the legendary sex tape that exposed (sorry, had to) Kim to the world at large and you’ve got the formula for some fame. Under almost any circumstances, that fame would be fleeting. It SHOULD have been fleeting. The expectation for something like this is that they stick around in the spotlight for a little while and then fade into obscurity.

That’s obviously not going to happen with the Kardashians. Thanks to a cold mercenary attitude and an unrelenting devotion to capitalism and self-promotion, the Kardashian machine continues to whir along, printing money for just about everyone who is even tangentially connected to it.

We’ve seen all manner of drama – some real, most manufactured – for the benefit of E! camera crews. Seemingly every moment of their lives has been documented thoroughly and edited favorably; the result is a global brand that generates hundreds of millions of dollars. This despite the fact that the Kardashians are famous for … being famous. It’s a lowbrow ouroboros, the fame snake consuming its own tail and never once providing actual value.

Perhaps the most effective (and possibly the most calculated) tactic has been the various relationships entered into by the Kardashian sisters. These connections to the realms of music and sports have served to diversify the brand and exponentially expand its reach, bringing people into Kardashian contact who otherwise would never have made any kind of connection.

Say what you will – these people are genius-level marketers.

As for the benefits we see, well – the more time one spends in the spotlight, the more likely it is that one will put one’s foot in one’s mouth. In basketball parlance, the Kardashians are what are known as volume scorers – they put up a lot of shots. The sheer volume ensures that at least some of them are going to hit.

Is $150 million too much? Hard to say – it seems unlikely that they’d be getting that kind of coin if it didn’t ultimately enhance the bottom line. These aren’t people in the business of losing money. And if someone is willing to pay it, who are we to say they shouldn’t take it?

And so we raise a glass to the continued omnipresence of the Kardashians. You keep doing what you do and we’ll keep making fun of you when you do it.


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