Get Opinion in your inbox -- sign up for our weekly newsletter
Opinion Opinion L.A.

Kim and Kanye: Their black hole of love supplies our demand

Even though I’ve seen a mere handful of episodes of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” I know too many things about Kim Kardashian and her sisters and the machinations of their manager-mother. I know things about Kim’s appearance (gluteally speaking) and the kind of car she drives and with whom she socializes. Then there is, of course, that business with the sex tape.

In 2011, Kardashian married NBA player Kris Humphries. There was no missing this news because the media exhaustively covered the engagement, wedding planning and wedding itself. The couple were married for all of 72 days before Kardashian filed for divorce. Celebrity gossip aficionados were gleeful because it was such just desserts — this overexposed celebrity, famous merely for being famous, fulfilling the prophecy that a marriage made for television can be no marriage at all. There’s nothing we love more than yanking people off the flimsy pedestals we so carelessly put them on.

Kardashian’s marriage was really no one’s business, except that she made it our business. There was even a two-part, televised “wedding special” on E! — quite the oxymoron, if you think about it. The special was billed, “Kim’s Fairytale Wedding,” one more gesture revealing what a highly polished and planned farce the whole thing was. It’s almost too easy to judge the farce, but we have to accept that this “wedding special,” and the entirety of Kardashian’s fame, are predicated on the very simple premise of supply and demand. She and her team know what many of us want, and they give us the vapidness we demand, season, after season, after season. Kim Kardashian stopped being a woman long ago. She is a well-coordinated brand now: books, television, perfume, Playboy.

PHOTO ESSAY: Five women more newsworthy than Miley Cyrus

After her marriage dissolved, Kardashian took up with Kanye West. It was such a ludicrous pairing that the relationship eventually began to make sense. They were both so ostentatious in their fame, they created a mysterious void within which their love could flourish — a black hole of joy.

Together, Kardashian and West have demonstrated a keen understanding of supply and demand. They named their baby daughter North, after all. The show must go on.

As I drove to work Tuesday, a radio deejay shared an outrageous story about Kanye West, with a night off from his newly launched “Yeezus” tour, renting out an entire baseball stadium in San Francisco. He had the words “PLEEEASE MARRY MEEE!!!” displayed on the Jumbotron in bright, shining lights. Kim Kardashian’s family was there to witness the blessed moment. She said yes, of course. He gave her an obscene diamond. The moment was captured, for posterity and an audience of millions, via Instagram, with the requisite flaunting of the diamond ring on a slender left hand. Before I could help myself, I thought, “How romantic. Good for them.”

The forces of supply and demand are so much bigger than all of us.


America's disappearing middle class: Prepping for doomsday

The Beltway tweeter: Seduced, and skewered, by that little bird icon

iPad Air got you down? Five points of perspective for disappointed Apple fanboys

Roxane Gay is a frequent contributor to Salon and has two books, "An Untamed State" and "Bad Feminist" forthcoming in 2014. Follow her on Twitter @rgay.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • Five women more newsworthy than Miley

    Five women more newsworthy than Miley

    Pop singer Miley Cyrus has dominated headlines this fall with her twerking, nudity and naiveté. Sometimes, she seems to have captured our collective attention for doing nothing at all. Which is why it was such a refreshing break this week to have so many prominent and accomplished women grab headlines....

  • Miley Cyrus syndrome: Where have all the grown-ups gone?

    Miley Cyrus syndrome: Where have all the grown-ups gone?

    To watch even a few hours of prime-time television, or to view even a handful of widely circulated YouTube videos, is to be reminded that 40 is not just the new 30 but, in fact, the new 18.

  • Louis C.K., holy man

    Louis C.K., holy man

    He told Conan O'Brien that he doesn't let his daughters have smartphones. The rest is viral history.

  • On Russia's anti-gay laws, Elton John to the rescue? He'll try.

    On Russia's anti-gay laws, Elton John to the rescue? He'll try.

    What’s the best way for celebrities to take a stand against Russia’s anti-gay regime and its homophobic disciples?

  • In today's world, fear corporations or fear nations?

    In today's world, fear corporations or fear nations?

    I do not often side with Republicans against Democrats. Nor has President Obama been known for his working relationship with congressional Republicans. Yet on the Trans-Pacific Partnership — which died in the House three weeks ago, only to be resurrected by the Senate last Wednesday — I find myself...

  • Once again, a U.S. Embassy in Havana

    Once again, a U.S. Embassy in Havana

    Later this month, the United States and Cuba will reopen embassies in each other's capitals for the first time since severing relations in 1961. This has been expected since President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced in December that they intended to restore diplomatic ties. As Obama...