I don’t know why Kim Kardashian wanted to break the Internet. The Internet has been nothing but good to her. For someone who made 43 million dollars in three months by putting her cartoon likeness in a freemium game distributed over the Internet, who gets paid $10,000 per 140 character tweet sent through the Internet, breaking the Internet is the 21st century equivalent of killing the goose that lays golden eggs.
I’ve never made money off the Internet. In fact, it costs me money to use the Internet, not to mention the opportunity cost of the time I’ve wasted there, and I still don’t want to break it. Kim Kardashian has way more skin in the game (giggity) than I do. In fact, without the Internet, Kim Kardashian wouldn’t exist.
I mean, sure, there would be a woman named Kim Kardashian, and she would have large breasts and a big ass, but there wouldn’t be a way for her to distribute images of them instantaneously to hundreds of millions of people, and as a result she would not be Kim Kardashian. Kim Kardashian’s identity is rooted in her ability to show her private parts to large numbers of people.
This is, after all, a woman whose initial claim to fame was a sex tape. That in itself is remarkable – I’m not the foremost expert on sex tapes or anything, but usually the reason a sex tape goes viral is because at least one of the participants is famous. This was just a video of Snoop Dogg’s cousin balling OJ’s lawyer’s daughter, and it made her famous. There was a time when a sex tape could end your career. More recently, celebrities have used sex tapes to prop up their careers. But the fact that a sex tapestarted Kim Kardashian’s multimillion cult of personality is a sign of how skilled she is at being naked on the Internet.
I just don’t know who thought that more pictures of her body were going to break the Internet. In the years since her sex tape, the Internet has withstood the weight of a steadily increasing number of selfies, photoshoots, and paparazzi photos, to the point that it feels like 10% of all pictures taken since 2007 have been of Kim Kardashian’s ass. There’s already hundreds of thousands of terabytes of scantily clad Kardashian coursing through the Internet’s veins – a few more pictures here and there aren’t going to make that much of a difference.
Nude pictures of Kim Kardashian might have broken the Internet a few years ago. But we’ve had so much sustained Kardashian content on the Internet for so long that she’s started to become background noise. I’ve lived near a freeway for so long that I don’t notice the sound of the cars; anyone who’s spent time on the Internet has by now been conditioned to give Kim Kardashian's oiled up goods as much scrutiny as those pop up ads about how to become a work from home millionaire. If the Internet is a fishbowl, we’re the fish and Kim Kardashian is the water – she surrounds us at all times, to the point that we don’t even notice her there.
This, I believe, is why Kim Kardashian’s bare, shiny ass got upstaged by a space probe landing on a comet. I don’t want to sound like I’m dissing Philae or anything – that was a landmark scientific achievement that was by every measure more deserving of attention than an Armenian dilettante’s badonkadonk. But historically, the Internet is always more interested in asses than anything else going on in the world. The fact that the Internet in this case prioritized science and technology above masturbation means that either the Internet is growing more mature (unlikely) or the Internet is growing tired of seeing Kim Kardashian with her clothes off.
If you ask me, this is a case of the seven-year itch.
Since her 2007 sex tape, the Internet has more or less been married to Kim Kardashian – we’ve seen her, every day, in every outfit and compromising position, whether we wanted to or not. And anybody who’s been married will tell you that it can be difficult keeping the excitement alive over the years. Once you’ve been with someone for long enough, the mystery is gone and you’ve got to try hard to rekindle that spark.
Kim Kardashian wasn’t trying to break the Internet with her ass. She was trying to save her relationship with the Internet – and a full frontal nude photoshoot was a lot easier than taking all three billion global Internet users to a bed and breakfast in Vermont for a romantic weekend getaway.
I’m no great fan of Kim Kardashian but I’m pretty enthusiastic about naked women in general, so I checked out the pictures when they made their debut last week. To me, the most shocking thing about them was how little impression they made on me. I just scrolled down the page, thought, “Yep, Kim Kardashian sure isn’t wearing any clothes in these pictures,” and then closed the tab so I could get back to the New Republic article I was reading about campaign finance law.
It was a valiant effort on her part, but when your nudity is less interesting to a 25-year-old man than election funding, it’s probably time to call it quits. The Internet has moved on, Kim Kardashian. If your ass ever lands on a comet, though, please do give us a call!