Keeping kustody of the Karadashians: Konnekt with their first kreation
Qin Shi Huang, founder of the Qin dynasty and the first emperor of a unified China, reportedly boasted his dynasty would last for “10,000 generations.” In reality, it collapsed seven years after his death.
There are a great number of similarities between Qin Shi Huang and the Kardashians. Both amassed great power, titles, and riches, the likes of which we sad peasant folk will never know. Both were feared leaders who used their cunning and force to submit others to their will. Both had over 200 palaces.
When it comes to public works, their impact is undeniable. It was during the Qin dynasty that construction of the Great Wall started. And the Kardashians gave us the Kim Kardashian: Hollywood app.
Later in his life, Qin Shi Huang became obsessed with immortality and sought out a fabled elixir that would allow him to live forever. He sent hundreds of men on missions to find magicians who would help him. He drank dozens of elixirs with the promise of youth. He burned books to focus the minds of his best scholars on this alchemical quest.
In much the same way, the Kardashians have also been on a quest to live forever, only through the use of vampire facials and flat tummy teas.
How long have we been on this journey together?
The first season of Keeping Up with the Kardashians premiered October 14, 2007 on E!, but in a way, they’ve always been with us.
It’s not enough to call the Kardashians a zeitgeist; a zeitgeist is a pocket of history that remains unchanged for us to look back at and laugh, like blue eyeshadow or rollerblading. The Kardashians evolve. They’re like those New York bedbugs that are 250 times more resistant to pesticides due to their thicker shells (presumably from the notoriously gruff insult culture of Manhattan and the boroughs).
There’s a lot of hatred directed towards the Kardashians that feels misplaced. After all, they are a selfie of America – reflecting back our hubris and vanity and callowness for the entire world to see.
There’s nothing objectively wrong with reality television, provided we know it’s not actually reality. People simply like to hate the Kardashians because the women speak with vocal fry and it’s easier than hating the society that created them.
The Kardashians’ journey has been as long and varied as Kylie Jenner’s wig collection. Delving back through their history, the list of assorted jobs and titles they’ve held is completely bizarre, like some joke a disaffected Wikipedia contributor would make up.
According to People, Kim Kardashian was once a personal shopper and stylist for actress and singer Lindsay Lohan. At one point, they all either ran and/or worked at a store (Dash). Kylie and Kendall Jenner wrote a book, Rebels: City of Indra: The Story of Lex and Livia, that doesn’t even seem like the worst book to come out in 2014 – or at least not the worst book with two colons in its title.
Now their main role appears to involve attending Kanye West’s church, where everyone dresses like they’ve come out the other side of an apocalypse in distressed Eddie Bauer chinos. And maybe they have.
We live by The Kardashians, we die by The Kardashians
Throughout all this, the Kardashians’ television show has remained on the air. Whatever side project or lip kit they’re involved with at the moment, the cameras are always there along with the audience to gawk at them.
A New York Times article with Kris Jenner delved into the success of their show. “Everybody thinks that [my children] could create a bunch of drama in their lives, but it’s something that I felt I didn’t even have to think about,” Jenner said. “It would be natural.”
It has been natural. This show has been a staple of pop culture for longer than the Stranger Things kids have been alive. It has outlasted presidencies and prime ministers. We’ve seen nations rise & fall under the K legacy, and still they remain: a glimpse into the family’s perfectly manicured, yacht-filled lives.
If Qin Shi Huang had access to social media, he likely would have conquered nations the exact same way. At the time, Qin’s reign seemed absolute & inviolable; his defeat came not from an enemy or an army, but rather from a large meteor which fell during his reign and was inscribed with the words “The First Emperor will die and his land will be divided.”
Maybe that’s all it takes.