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Random Thoughts on Exciting Changes To The Social Contract!

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A close friend and I have an ongoing game we call "I can't believe it's not a parody". The objective is to find songs that are 100% serious and have not been created by a comedian, and yet are impossible to believe to not be kidding. Once upon a time this was quite the difficult game, but in recent years, it has become so easy that it's almost beginning to feel like time to changes the objective to finding songs that do not sound like jokes.

Exhibit A:

See? How is this not a parody? We know R. Kelly thinks he's in on the joke but let's face it, he's really not. It would be sad if it weren't so hilarious. But that's not the point. The reason for bringing this up is that upon closer examination, it's been determined that our game must now be extended to our entire civilization. Case in point: LAist's own Julie Wolfson recieved the following press release:

Subject: Kendra is in labor! Happy Thursday!

With the exciting announcement that Kendra Wilkinson is in labor with her first child with NFL wide receiver Hank Baskett, I wanted to let you know about Kendra’s other “baby” - her the first season of her reality TV series debuting on DVD January 5. If you are planning on blogging about this high profile birth, would love for you to mention to your readers that “Kendra” The Complete First Season DVD will be available January 5th from Fox Home Entertainment. Could be a part of a fun post where readers can offer first time mom parenting tips or predictions of what kind of mom the former Playboy bunny will be!

A little info on the series:
Kendra Wilkinson has left the Mansion! “The Girls Next Door” star has a new life and a new baby due Christmas Day. Also arriving at the holidays is the first season of her all-new reality series. See what’s in store for Hugh Hefner’s former girlfriend as she builds a career, plans her wedding and makes a new life for herself and husband, NFL wide receiver Hank Baskett. Don’t miss any of her incredible story and get more of Kendra when “Kendra” The Complete First Season debuts on DVD January 5 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Originally airing on E! Entertainment Television, the series finds Kendra in the crossroads of her life as she leaves behind her former lifestyle and ventures out to live on her own for the first time. Leading up to a lavish wedding ceremony where the two lovebirds tie the knot, the series also features many celebrity movers and shakers including Hefner, Brittany Binger, Amber Campisi and Kendra’s Mom, Patty Wilkinson.

Premiering as the highest-rated series debut on the E! Network since 2002’s “The Anna Nicole Show,” “Kendra” out-performed all premiere episodes of “The Girls Next Door” in the adult demographic. Packed with exclusive special features including a bonus episode, blooper reel and episode teasers, the “Kendra” The Complete First Season DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $22.98

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It's difficult to really nail down what, precisely, is the most awesome part of this blast, but for my money it's the fact that she issued a press release announcing that she's currently in labor, compared her baby to her TV show, and then unironically invited people to predict what kind of mother she'll be. Please, I beg all of you, please visit her site and let her know!

In the meantime, this is just fantastic news. It's no secret that the end of this decade has been the apotheosis of the Reality TVization of our culture. Long gone are the faux-sincere "documentaries" and personality driven game shows. In their place a slew of resurgent has-beens and boutique celebrities have emerged to transmit every detail of their lives, no matter how banal or unflattering, to captivated audiences. Socrates claimed at his trial that the unexamined life is not worth living, and he was right of course. He just didn't realize that the examination in question wasn't introspection, but exhibition, nor could he foresee the existence of people who seem to have no existence at all, save what they have somehow convinced others to broadcast. A tree falling in the forest might make a sound but who cares unless it also made a sex tape, right?

Rest assured friends that this is the American dream incarnate. Being a "self made" person is no longer a metaphorical, but literal idea. Parody has been obsoleted by self-parody, which has in turn been vastly devalued by sheer abundance, and at long last, slowly but surely, we are all turning into figments of our own imaginations. But don't think I don't love it. I, for one, am overjoyed to be alive in these times. Indeed, I positively long for the day when nothing goes untelevised, when even our most intimate moments are shared with strangers, and and press releases are issued for our most banal occasions, functions or, increasingly, both.

Just imagine what that happy day will be like:

"Ross Lincoln is proud to reveal that he is currently digesting a slice of delicious Casa Bianca pizza."

"The Ross Lincoln foundation wishes to announce that Metamucil is very, very effective. We hope you'll visit our website to predict just how relieved he feels!"

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"Ross Lincoln will be issuing a statement today regarding his opinion of the upcoming Bioware sequel game Mass Effect 2. Inside sources are claiming that he thinks "it's going to rock the hell out of fuck all awesomazing."

The possibilities are truly endless and we ought to thank our stars that if we have to live through the decadance and decline phase of our civlization, we can at least do so without ever really having to be bored in the process. Shallow people, the same sort of people who clumsily refer to Orwell whenever an example of government malfeasance presents itself regardless of whether or not said example actually has anything to do with Orwell's concepts, often refer to Andy Warhol's insipid joke about 15 minutes of fame. The triumph of Reality TV indicates he was mostly right. But the lengths to which people now go to achieve fleeting notoriety, and more importantly, the lemons-into-lemonade method by which the more mature fucks ups now cope with accidental-fame-inducing errors convinces me that it wasn't fame Warhol meant to refer to.

No, in the future, everyone will have an affair with Tiger Woods for 15 minutes.