Editor’s Note: Dean Obeidallah is a comedian who has appeared on TV shows such as Comedy Central’s “Axis of Evil” special, ABC’s “The View,” CNN’s “What the Week” and HLN’s “The Joy Behar Show.” He is executive producer of the annual New York Arab-American Comedy Festival and the Amman Stand Up Comedy Festival. Follow him on Twitter.
Dean Obeidallah: We're obessed with Kim Kardashian: She's on six magazine covers
He says news about her at least gave everybody a respite from the real news
But we should be paying just as much attention to political issues, Obeidallah says
Left on its own, Congress votes on national motto, he writes. We need to keep it on task
All the world’s a stage for Kim Kardashian, and we are merely players.
Kim is everywhere. She’s on the cover of six magazines and counting: People, US, In Touch, OK, Star and OK!
Her wedding/divorce/possible reconciliation has dominated the cybersphere and Hollywood news shows: “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” E!, TMZ. This is bigger than the Super Bowl and Christmas rolled into one.
Kim should not just have her own TV shows, she should have her own network: KTV, all Kim, all the time.
And even though the news du jour focuses on her marriage ending, which by the very nature of a marriage means two people are involved, the media barely mention her soon-to-be ex-husband. He’s just a prop. He’s akin to “The Brady Bunch’s” Greg Brady when Greg was cast as “Johnny Bravo” simply because the ornate jacket fit.
I’ll be honest, I’ve been caught up a bit in the Kim marriage/divorce craze myself. I’ve read more than my share of articles on the most documented 72-day marriage in the history of the Western world.
I have to thank Kim Kardashian and that guy she married for giving us a brief respite from the drumbeat of the often depressing, bile-inducing news.
On some level, I truly wish that Kim Kardashian’s exploits could be our own only concerns. Wouldn’t it be great if the universe consisted solely of keeping up with Kim, her sisters, mother and her stepfather, Bruce Jenner, who won an Olympic gold medal for the decathlon and who should also receive a medal for plastic surgery – his face is as smooth and wrinkle-free as a honeydew melon.
We wouldn’t have to worry about the challenges of the U.S. economy, Greece teetering on the verge of default (and potentially dragging down the eurozone) or Syrian President Assad’s troops killing unarmed protesters.
Instead, we’d worry: Does Kim have to give the wedding gifts back? Will she start dating right away – especially since the NBA lockout offers her more options? Will her divorce hearings be on cable or pay-per-view?
My fear is that Kim truly is our world. Kim, Justin and Lindsey have become the trinity worshipped at the expense of following domestic and world events.
I know many people might ask: “Why should I care about issues beyond those featured on E!’s ‘Chelsea Lately’ or TMZ? Does it really impact me? Can I actually change things?”
I don’t want to repeat clichés like “One person can make a difference.” But common sense tells me that if we don’t understand the issues facing our nation, how can we have an opinion on them? And in turn, how can we then intelligently criticize or support decisions our government is making, from taxes to foreign policy?
Leadership from “We, the People” might be the only way to push our dysfunctional Congress to actually do something that helps the middle class and our economy.
Just last week, Congress showed us what happens when we leave members to their own devices. Instead of considering a jobs bill or anything else to spur our economy, the House voted to reaffirm “In God We Trust” as the official motto of the United States. That should truly help the almost 14 million Americans of out of work. I propose that Rep. J. Randy Forbes, who came up with the idea for this, be required to reimburse taxpayers for any money wasted on this.
Regardless if you agree or not with tea partiers’ stand on political issues, they clearly have impacted U.S. policy. The Tea Party was started by a small group of dedicated, passionate people and it has grown in a few short years to a powerful force.
And while it’s too soon to tell, the “Occupy” movement might also influence policy, or at least bring some issues to light.
Thomas Jefferson’s words on the benefits of an informed electorate are still true: “Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them right.”
I’m not saying we shouldn’t keep up with the Kardashians, but let’s also keep up with the issues facing our nation. We deserve better than what we are getting from “our” Congress, and by being informed, it is my hope we can set it right.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Dean Obeidallah.