Kim Kardashian: Gods, Sex Tape, and Complete Confusion
Guest blogger Leon Marincowitz is a philosophy lecturer at Monash University, specialises in studies of violence and reconciliation and writes in his personal capacity. Follow at @LGMarincowitz
Kanye West is in a difficult position. Dating Kim Kardashian is hard work. Kim and her sisters seem to be modern god-like figures who keep us enthralled to their antics as they stroll across our modern imagination. With impressive feats such as a 76 day marriage and the like, their lives are similar to stories of Greek gods’ atop Mount Olympus. After Kanye starts dating her, he flies into a mad rage at the mention of Kim’s explicit sex tape that brought her to the public’s attention and propelled her to international fame.
Has the madness spread?
Well it seems so.
The controversial sex tape recording with another musician rapper Ray J, became a viral sensation upon which Kim developed an impressive multi-million dollar career. The press attributed West’s behaviour to his unruly behaviour for which he has developed a reputation. Refusing to view the tape claiming “old fashioned values” and not wish to demean his “age old friend” and current romantic interest Kim Kardashian. Contrast this to a recent picture that was posted and hastily removed from West’s own Twitter account of a supposedly nude Kardashian.
How to explain such behaviour?
One would think that Kanye would have far greater animosity towards the former husband than to the low profile musician in the explicit video. But reason has little to do with anything when desire and rivalry run wild. If we take Kim as the object that is desired and everyone elso rotates around her copying each other in the desire of Kim Kardashian, then we might be able to disentangle the shenanigans of the gods.
West is not the only person who desires Kardashian. There are multiple models by which his desire has been aroused. First there is the larger public for who she exists as a exemplar of the unattainable woman. Second there is the ex-husband who she is still in the process of divorcing. Lastly there is the former rapper Ray J who is chronological furtherest from Kardashian, yet it is at the mention of this man that West explodes. If viewed through this lens Kanye’s soaring verbal abuse and behaviour is explainable: Kanye West is in a rivalry over Kim Kardashian with everyone, which acutely manifests itself when the former rapper is brought up. It seems that for West, the sex tape is the stimulus to jealousy and rage, not because he has old fashioned values but because he desires to be in that same position as Ray J.
There is a further problem, that Kim Kardashian is not an inanimate object like a jewel, car or cellphone to be rivalled over but a human being. This is an important fact yet wherever she is, the madness seems to spread. A key to understanding her can be found in her own words to Oprah, “to be loved and cared for is wonderful.” To take these words at face value is to misunderstand Kardashian and the plight she finds herself in. She is not the young maiden who is struggling to find true love as she depicts. Instead she is a coquette, someone who flirts to gain admiration and attention, and she plays this very well. She only desires through other peoples’ desire of herself. As Adam so aptly says, “she is sick with desire”
So how does the madness end?
One would think that after a high pressure dating and wedding fiasco that is Kim’s life she would take a time out. But that only makes sense when looking up at the strange things that the gods do on Mount Olympus, in other words it assumes common sense. Instead Kardashian has found new patterns of explosive rivalry and desire gone mad by dating Kanye. All this promises to feed our modern media with greater feats of promiscuity, nudity, aggression, extravagance.
For instance Kanye has introduced Kim to his other super star friend musicians such as Beyonce, her husband Jay Z, and the equally coquettish Rihanna. Now it is the women’s turn to enter into triangles of desire and rivalry. Former objects of desire such as Kim, Beyonce and Rihanna become subjects whose desire is mediated through their rivals. Kardashian flies into fits of jealously over West against Rihanna. Beyonce envies Kardashian’s body and freedom now that she has had a child. Beyonce in turn resents the fact that TV star Kardashian now shares her spotlight.
Kim Kardashian’s story is far from over as her new relationship with Kanye West exposes her to exactly the world she cares for. Why? Because that’s where personhood is rooted in desire and rivalry which to the common person lacks any depth. With antics such as hers, we can understand how stories of Greek gods on Mount Olympus came about, for their behaviour is simple unbelievable! Altogether, her life and story is not as complicated as originally promised. It can be unravelled and we can disenthrall ourselves from them, we do not have to continue their madness.