Not having any of the most watched cable television channels throws me out of the loop when it comes to popular culture, specifically, reality TV. Because of this, I am usually caught in the midst of many conversations about this or that reality show; the fights, the tears, and sometimes, the arrests. Nothing about the dysfunctional antics of the different reality shows and their stars makes me want to call up my cable company and request that they add the channels these shows air on, something that would dramatically increase my cable bill. But even I, the person with basic cable, knows a little something about the Kardashian. If you are not plugged into any social media outlet, don’t watch the news, aren’t eavesdropping on conversations on public transportation or at the gym, or happen not to pass any magazine or newspaper stand, then you are one of the few that hasn’t heard that Kim Kardashian has filed for divorce from her husband Kris Humphries. The less than a year old marriage was covered, and sponsored by, the E! television network (a channel which is not included in my basic cable subscription). Apparently, the nuptials netted the couple a good chunk of change. Who knew selling the rights to the coverage of your marriage could be so lucrative? Any bets on how much the tell- all books and television interviews regarding the divorce will net this couple?
Aside from the utter mockery that this couple has made out of marriage, what gets me is the fact that seemingly in today’s world what counts is opportunity, not hard work or education. Let’s take a look at Kim Kardashian who is currently worth several million dollars. How did she get her start? Well, from what I’ve recently learned from two coworkers Kim got her big break via a sex-tape released by her ex-boyfriend. You see, mama Kardashian being the enterprising maven that she is decided to turn lemons into lemonades and basically built the Kardashian empire off of the back of her daughter. Undoubtedly, Kim wasn’t some shrinking violet who let others make all of the decisions for her, and for better or for worse, to her credit she has parlayed scandal into business success. My problem is not her success but what her success was built upon. In large measure, Kim Kardashian’s opportunities and success have emanated from the notoriety of the scandal of the sex-tape. This is not to say that what Kim Kardashian has produced in the many business ventures she has dipped her hands into isn’t good. Honestly, I have never personally come into contact with any her products to say one way or the other. I take issue with the fact that there are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of talented individuals who did what society has drilled into our heads to do, that is, go to college and grad school. Since their resumes do not include unauthorized sex-tapes, and because they most likely do not have a hit reality TV show under their belt, what many of these individuals are saddled with (myself included) is a hefty student loan debt.
Nowadays, it seems almost comical to consider going to college if, one, you have no clue what you want to do in the future, or, two, if what you aspire to do is start-up a business. The cost of college and graduate school tuition rising yearly, the romantic notion of “finding oneself” in college has gone out the same door with baby and the bathwater. And with many of the most successful entrepreneurs having either not gone to college, or dropped out of college, the case for college has largely lost its footing. Granted, the majority of these successful entrepreneurs are intelligent and driven people with a plan who have the requisite gumption and tenacity to see their business plan come to fruition. Building a buisness from the ground up is no easy feat which requires a lot of dedication, hard- work and many, many sleepless nights. With that said. it doesn’t hurt to leap into a new business venture having already established a name (brand) for yourself.
I’m not discounting the worth of a college and graduate school education, that if crafted wisely teaches you how to write, read, and think critically. I wish more value were placed into all that can be gleaned from a college and graduate school eductaion versus the next get fame and riches reality TV show or contest. More than that, I wish colleges and graduate schools would make obtaining this sort of education reasonable and affordable for people. Until then, I am positive that there will be no shortage of the reality TV show blitz for the masses to look up too.