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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 28, 2014 / 28 Iyar, 5774

The Kardashian industry

By Rich Lowry




JewishWorldReview.com | The rapper Kanye West and reality star Kim Kardashian didn't get married over the weekend in Florence, Italy, so much as complete a celebrity merger. As West reportedly gushed in his remarks on the blessed occasion, evidently overcome with emotion, "The Kardashians are an industry!"

It was like he was marrying General Electric. He was right, of course, and one of the industry's top products is weddings. There is an impeccable commercial logic to the proposition that it is better to sell two weddings than to sell one.

The last time Kim Kardashian looked stunning in a wedding gown (by Vera Wang), passionately kissed her dapper new hubby (Kris Humphries, a basketball player) and cut into a wedding cake taller than the average person (by Hansen Cakes), she made $15 million.

She released a "wedding fragrance" called, with scant regard for truth in advertising, "Kim Kardashian Love," and got a two-part special on E! out of the wedding planning and ceremony. Her divorce filing 72 days later wasn't quite as marketable, but every industry has its core competency, and the Kardashians still haven't figured out how to make as much out of the end of marriages as out of their storybook beginnings.

For all that the details of the latest Kardashian wedding differ (gown by Givenchy, Kanye West as dapper new hubby, 7-foot-tall cake by Galateo Ricevimenti), the bottom line is the same: Some reports say they will make more than $20 million off it. If Elizabeth Taylor had had a similar knack for martial monetization, she might have died a billionaire.

The rehearsal dinner was at Versailles, and the wedding ceremony at Forte di Belvedere in Florence -- appropriately enough, since the Kardashians are part of a degenerate celebrity aristocracy that lacks for nothing except class, grace and enduring accomplishment.



Both Versailles, built into one of the largest palaces in the world by Louis XIV, and Forte di Belvedere, a project of the Medicis, have seen their share of gross excess, needless to say. But the multimillion-dollar Kardashian-West union has to rank among the most sensationally vapid events ever to grace those centuries-old structures.

For all its flaws, there was something noble in the old nobility. It set standards and maintained ideals. Selfishness and greed were usually at least filtered through a commitment to something higher. The Kardashians are a testament only to the tacky art of money- and fame-grubbing, without style, wit or a commitment to the common good. In TV program terms, it is the difference between "Downton Abbey" and "Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami."

In his wedding speech, Kanye West enthused that the assembled guests included "the most remarkable people of our time," with the power to "make the world a better place." Especially if it involves Instagramming photos of themselves.

The celebrity wedding is nothing new, of course. Once upon a time, the famous starlet Marilyn Monroe married the famous ballplayer Joe DiMaggio, and that didn't last long, either. But the ill-fated Monroe-DiMaggio union had an unmistakable element of tragedy, whereas the Kardashian productions play more like farce.

Kim is the apotheosis of what Jason Roger Moore, one of the creators of the Paris Hilton phenomenon, calls Fame 2.0. It is celebrity with no substance. Kim isn't an actress, singer or supermodel. She bootstrapped the temporary notoriety of a sex tape into a reality-show franchise that the family has managed to keep going well beyond its 15 minutes through shrewdness and shamelessness.

The magic of Fame 2.0 is that it builds on itself -- until it doesn't. The undoing of the Kardashian clan probably won't be public revulsion, or any strategic misstep on their part, given their canny. It will be the onset of public boredom, with the artifice and manipulation and the whole cast of uninteresting characters. That's how this particular industry ends.

Rich Lowry Archives

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© 2014 King Features Syndicate

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