Entry 527: The iTunes Theory of American Celebrities

I’ve been doing this blog for over four and a half years. I just did a statistical analysis of mylandscape-1431119053-keeping-up-with-the-kardashians-season-9-wallpaper[1] posts and found that, in 526 entries, I have mentioned one or more Kardashian 13 times. That’s about one in 40 posts.

It’s not that I really like the Kardashians. Or that I really hate them. It’s simply that, just as people of faith look to God for support and guidance, people of humor blogs look to the Kardashians for lazy one-liners.

Here are a few I’ve used:

  • ENTRY 80: 12/7/11 (while listing reasons to move to a recently-discovered Earthlike planet called Keplar-22b): “#5. No one on the planet has heard of the Kardashians.”
  • ENTRY 201: 1/30/13 (while discussing a poll that had asked people for their opinions of Congress relative to certain other things): “On the plus side, Congress did manage to beat out telemarketers, John Edwards, the Kardashians, lobbyists, North Korea, gonorrhea, the ebola virus, Lindsay Lohan, Fidel Castro, playground bullies, meth labs, and communism.”
  • ENTRY 215: 3/24/13 (while talking about a test to determine how happy your family is): “I figured that, on the happiness scale, we were closer to the Kardashians than the Lohans while being somewhat less oblivious than both.”
  • ENTRY 357: 7/13/14 (while listing things I don’t understand): “I don’t understand why scientists are always creating new elements like ununseptium that last for a nanosecond and sound like something you should wipe with Lysol®. I don’t understand what Bitcoin is, how you get them, or why you’d want them (or even if it’s singular or plural). I don’t understand why the Kardashians are celebrities. I don’t understand why pro-life people and pro-gun people are often the same people.”
  • ENTRY 460: 6/8/15 (while discussing my puppy’s toys): “Me getting Riley a new toy is about as rare as a Kardashian showing up in People magazine.”

You get the idea. If I had started this blog in the previous decade, you could pretty much substitute Paris Hilton for the same comic effect, The general category is “People who are celebrities for no apparent reason.”

But recently I got to thinking about what that reason could possibly be.

The short answer is “the media.” If the tabloids and TMZ and People magazine and cable TV weren’t constantly shoving people like the Kardashians in our faces, they wouldn’t be continue to be celebrities. But, the media would respond, we wouldn’t shove the Kardashians in your faces if you didn’t want to have them in your face. Especially their butts.

But is that really true?

I give you now, dear Reader, my iTunes Theory of American Celebrities.

One of the things I find most annoying about iTunes is its supposedly randomized shuffle. I have, like, 8,000 plus songs on iTunes. So I’ll have it on shuffle, and it will play something by Artist A, then something by Artist B, then Artist C, then Artist D. But before it goes on to Artist E, it will play something else from Artist A. There are literally hundreds of other artists on there, but somehow Artist A got selected again. If it were truly randomized, the odds of that happening would be, well, not good. And the odds are astronomical that, after playing the second song by Artist A, it would select Artists E, F, G and then Artist A again, and then Artist B again.

The reason, of course, is that shuffle isn’t really random. When it plays an artist, if it gets no feedback from me, it assumes that’s one of my favorite artists, even though it was iTunes that selected it in the first place. Circular logic takes over: iTunes believes I want to hear the artists I listen to most often, but I only listen to those artists most often because iTunes plays them most often.

In the same way, the media keeps “playing” the Kardashians because it believes we’re really interested in the Kardashians, but it only seems that way because the media keeps cycling back to the Kardashians.

Clearly, what we need to do is create a playlist without the Kardashians. Unless, that is, Americans really are fascinated with the Kardashians, in which case I have an alternate theory.

Americans are idiots.

See you soon

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