We’re fascinated with celebrities. It’s arguable that we always have been and with the ability to share our fascination and attention with all the other obsessives out there the focus becomes more intense, yet more distributed. Our celebrity psychosis is viral.
What’s particularly (peculiarly?) interesting now though is our ability to measure that psychosis. We can track how our interests and obsessions measure up against each other and sometimes cancel each other out. Social sharing and social tracking make it all possible, we just needed a unit of measurement. Enter: The Kardashian.
I am baffled by it but I can’t deny that western culture is obsessed with one family. Not the Kennedys, not the Obamas, not the Presleys…it’s the vapid and inane meanderings of the Kardashians that dominate our attention. It’s measurable and American media scholar, blogger, and Internet activist Ethan Zuckerman has employed Google Insights to create the Kardashian unit as a way to gauge interest in any given topic against that of America’s First Family.
It’s twisted, confounding and ultimately perfect.