It is just barely possible that readers of this blog have formed the opinion that I am a high-minded type who occupies himself with eternal questions and the deeper meanings of otherwise incomprehensible books. The purpose of this brief blog post is to disabuse anyone who has been thus misled.
I was idly surfing the web, reading some of my favorite blogs to see what was going on in the world, when I came upon a story about Kim Kardashian. I am of course familiar with the name, and might even be able to pick her out of a police line-up, but I reflected that I knew absolutely nothing about her except that she is famous. This led me to Wikipedia's entry on Kim Kardashian, who, it seems, is the daughter of now deceased lawyer Robert Kardashian. I actually recall Robert Kardashian as one of O. J. Simpson's lawyers in the trial of the century. Kim Kardashian, who is now thirty-three, has married Kanye West, with whom she has a daughter named [I am not making any of this up!] North West. I assume that if the daughter makes it to puberty and conceives a child, the child will, if it is a girl, be named North by North West, and will in turn grow up to star in a remake of the classic Hitchcock film of that name.
The phrase "famous for being famous," Wikipedia tells me [yes, there is a Wikipedia entry on "famous for being famous." Take that, Encyclopedia Britannica!] was apparently coined by Daniel Boorstin, a fact that pleases me for some obscure reason.
The concept, if not the term, "famous for being famous" has given rise to semi-synonyms, one of which is "celebutante." This, Wikipedia explains without further attribution, is a portmanteau word. It was of course Lewis Carroll who invented the term "portmanteau word" to explain such classic neologisms from The Hunting of the Snark as "frumious," which is "furious" and "fuming" scrunched together by someone who cannot decide which term should precede the other. Lewis Carroll, by the way, under his real name Charles Dodgson, was a maths don in Christ Church, Oxford, who did some lovely work expanding on Condorcet's "paradox of majority rule" [see my In Defense of Anarchism for a brief exposition of the paradox.] He was also the author of some spectacularly funny [and quite valid] ratiocinatio polysyllogistica.
I think this is enough to put to rest rumors of my intellectual sophistication.