I can't identify a Kardashian because I look away.

I told a friend that I ended 2011 still unable to pick a Kardashian out of a lineup. She didn’t believe me.

In my younger days, I might have tried to convince her that it was true. But I’m older, wiser and more of a jerk these days. Instead I said, “Thankfully, I don’t care if you believe me or not. It does not change the truth.”

But it’s true. Unless you put a Kardashian in the lineup with a bunch of construction workers, I would be hard pressed to accurately point one out.

Here’s why:

I don’t watch very much television.

95% of my television viewing is time-shifted, so I see almost no commercials.

I do not read magazines like People or US.


Actually, I don’t read magazines at all. I read articles originally published in magazines on the Internet, but I can’t remember the last time I read from a physical magazine.

I also rarely see magazines like People or US. Most of my purchases are made at BJ’s (no magazine racks) or in self-checkout lines at Stop & Shop (also no magazine racks).

When I find myself facing one of these magazine racks, I am typically occupied by something else. A Twitter stream on my phone, an audiobook in my ear, or both.

I actually know very little about the Kardashians. From what I have gleaned through osmosis, their father was the attorney in the OJ Simpson trial and their step-father may or may not be former Olympian Bruce Jenner, who once graced the box of Wheaties that I ate as a child.

I also know that one of the Kardashians married and then divorced a second-tier NBA player on the New Jersey Nets.

I know this thanks to the brilliant Andy Borowitz, who made fun of the Kardashian repeatedly on Twitter.

I am happy that I cannot pick out one of these girls (are there two of them?) from a lineup. It is a source of pride for me. I hear so many people complain about their inexplicable popularity while simultaneously knowing so much about them.

If you don’t want to have the Kardashians in your life, simply look away. Stop reading magazines that earn a profit from celebrity baby photos, paparazzi pictures, and Kardashian wedding rumors.

Stop tuning into programs like the Today Show, which seem to report almost exclusively on celebrity marriages, the British royalty, the latest YouTube phenomenon, and the disappearance of upper-middle class, blond female twenty-somethings.

Just look in another direction. There are people in this world who are genuinely worthy of our attention, and these people are constantly overshadowed by people like the Kardashians.

Pay attention to people like Arielle and Austin Metzger instead.

At least stop complaining about the popularity of the Kardashians while simultaneously watching their television shows, reading about them in People magazine and watching them on the red carpet (if that is something they do).

But even better, let’s just give our attention to people more deserving. If we all just look away from people like the Kardashians, they will eventually go away.

They already have for me.