Pop Rocks: Why Am I Keeping Up With the Kardashians?

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On Saturday morning, waiting for breakfast to be prepared inside a lovely beach house on South Padre Island, my friend Rudy and I sat in front of the TV, partly killing time, partly relaxing on a long weekend away from home. In a scene not dissimilar from Tommy Boy when Tommy and Richard finally settled on a radio station playing what they considered a lame Carpenters song only to be singing along minutes later, the TV landed on E! and a marathon of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

The very show I had made fun of numerous times. The same show my wife said she would be watching when the Kanye/Kim wedding (if it ever makes it on TV like her last disaster of a marriage did) made its appearance while I laughed about her interest in the nuptials she followed from a distance via the Daily Mail app on her phone -- she actually gasped audibly when she learned Jay-Z and Beyoncé had not attended.

It never ceases to amaze me how otherwise intelligent, normal, rational human beings could be sucked in by this trite, superficial nonsense, yet here I was 50 yards from a pristine stretch of Texas beachfront rapt by Bruce Jenner's admission to Kris Kardashian that he would prefer to live in a different house from her even though he wanted to remain married.

I can't vouch for Rudy. He seemed far less interested than me even though I never once heard him say, "Dude, seriously, turn this crap off." But, I'll admit this ridiculousness grabbed my attention.

Suddenly, I was questioning my own sanity. Then it dawned on me, this was the cotton candy of entertainment. No, it wasn't healthy. It may even be damaging to my body with a jolt that spikes my heart rate and later leaves me in a sugar crash coma. Yet, it was so damn tasty.

I only made it through about an episode-and-a-half before shaking the moment and moving on to more productive activities -- OK, lounging on a beach reading a Kathy Reichs mystery novel isn't substantially better, but it's something -- but I was left with some observations that surprised me. More importantly, I didn't hate it. I always thought I would, but those damn Kardashians are, if nothing else, entertaining.

I won't necessarily be going back for more -- it's like the Matthew Broderick Godzilla movie: I won't intentionally watch it, but if it is on... -- but I don't think I'll cast scowls in the direction of those who claim to be entertained by it any longer for a few good reasons.

This story continues on the next page. I mean...Bruce Jenner.

Does anyone remember the dominant athlete, the guy that turned the front of the box of Wheaties into the equivalent of an SI cover? The reality is that there are likely far more people who know him from his "role" as the Kardashian stepdad than as perhaps the greatest Olympic athlete in history. He is clearly going through something. Maybe he is going to eventually get a sex change. Maybe he and Kris will become besties or something. One thing is certain, it is nearly impossible not to find his bizarre transformation compelling. His interactions in this regard also make damn entertaining television.

Kim hiding from the paparazzi is surreal.

I cannot ever recall seeing a stranger sight than Kim Kardashian cowering inside a car hiding from photographers while her best friend and her mother eat corn dogs and ride a carousel inside Topanga Mall. I do sympathize with celebs' frustration with gossip rags and their hyper aggressive "journalists." In Kim's case, she's taking crap from her family for not being as fun since she had a baby -- um, she's a mom you freaks -- and trying not to create a spectacle everywhere she goes. I almost felt sorry for her...almost.

Scott Disick is an idiot.

Who takes pretending to learn karate to the extreme of faking it in front of a martial arts expert and his wife for no other reason than to avoid following through on a promise during a marriage counseling session? Scott Disick, that's who. I've never seen a real live human go to greater lengths to avoid doing anything. Sure, George Costanza might take pretending to be a marine biologist so far he climbs onto a dying whale to rescue it from a golf ball corking its blow hole for no other reason than getting into a woman's pants, but he was a fictional character. On the other hand, that might also be what Disick is because I can't for the life of me imagine how he could be for real.

Who wouldn't want to see Kanye in this mess?

Imagine the guy who climbed up on stage and nearly swiped an award from Taylor Swift hanging out at the Kardashian house with Bruce Jenner and a pack of fame hungry sisters. To risk yet another Seinfeld reference in this post, "That's gold, Jerry! Gold!"

These people really do love one another.

While I occasionally feel sorry for Rob, the brother who is mercilessly picked on for his weight gain -- according to my wife, he even left the Kimye wedding because he was sick of their superficiality -- the truth is these people really are there for one another in a way that is unique to their lives and "careers." Yes, they prattle on about things that are utterly meaningless to 99.9 percent of people on the planet. But, they all care to the same degree, and you can't ask for more out of family. This may be cotton candy, but no one, not even the Kardashians, are trying to claim it's kale. Better to just enjoy the sugar high while it lasts hit the gym later.

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