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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kardashan Devi: leather goddess

Darśana or Darshan (Sanskrit: दर्शन) is a Sanskrit term meaning "sight" (in the sense of an instance of seeing or beholding; from a root dṛś "to see"), vision, apparition, or glimpse. It is most commonly used for "visions of the divine" in Hindu worship, e.g. of a deity (especially in image form), or a very holy person or artifact. One could "receive" darshana or blessing of the deity in the temple, or from a great saintly person....

Now I know Kim Kardashian is in leather I can tell you something that may bring hate mail to my blog.

 But the story must be told. I'll explain.

 From the ABC program, the Hamster Wheel, I finally discovered last night what it is that Kim Kardashian does to make a buck or two (and boy, she surely does).

  My spellcheck program suggests 'Cartesian' or 'Carpathian' instead of Kardashian. That's irrelevant but it may explain odd Autocorrects for her name in text messages. I'd have suggested 'Hardcashian'.

  I hasten to add that until a few days ago I didn't even know or care who or what she is, but assumed she was a kind of Paris Hilton/Lindsay Lohan sort of person insofar as trash mags write heaps about her. This means she is quite photogenic or does silly things. Or both; that's the quinella. That's trash mag heaven.

  This madness spilled over into the Australian idiot portion of the media when she turned up in Botany Bay (otherwise known as Sydney, for non-Oz readers). The idiot portion is increasing, and we can safely say it's most of the media these days. I assumed she must have been on the run from something in America, and there is apparently a case for that view.

  But that's not my interest. All I know is that young girls of what seems to me to be teenie-bopper age - a term that reveals mine -  were as emotional at getting a glimpse of her as they were in the 1960s when the Beatles visited. They wept and fainted and orgasmatised.

  Something like that. (Spellcheck suggests 'dramatised' for the last word of that paragraph. It has a point.)

  At least we knew why the Beatles were here. I had no idea why she was till last night.

  So, back to the Hamster Wheel revelation.

  It turns out that practically her sole interest in life is to flog the Kardashian brand, which I now know is heavily handbag-orientated.

Kardashan Devi, Goddess of Handbags
  Handbags are often made of leather, a fact that will shock you (but only if you come from Mars).

  According to traditional caste in India, if you are a leather worker, your social status is on a par with that of sweepers, toilet cleaners, and the lowest of the unclean trades. You are what's popularly known as an Untouchable, whose social position Gandhi tried hard to raise by calling them Harijan, Children of God.

  (No, spellcheck, not 'Harridan! Stay out of this! )

  Gandhi had only limited success. Being Children of God is a two-edged sword, as it implies the Outcastes are not only beyond caste but are children in the sense that they aren't really responsible for anything they do.

  That leaves quite a bit of leeway for people to do outrageous things to them. It does have a few advantages, but you wouldn't go for being Harijan if you had other choices. I surely wouldn't, having witnessed in my many visits to India what can happen to them every day. But I wonder how Kim Carpathian would go in village India when they learned what she was flogging?

  OK, I know Kim Cartesian doesn't skin the dead cows, or tan the hides, cut up the leather and stitch the handbags. God forbid that I should suggest such a thing. The poor sods paid next to nothing and get poisoned by the chemicals they use do that, as they always have.

  She only deals with the final product, well-sanitised after leaving the stained and impure hands of those who made it. Oh, and with a price about 10,000% on the cost of the real labour.

  I also know, Indian friends, how urban India has changed. But it's true. She really is an Untouchable. Judging by the clips I saw on the Hamster Wheel, she has to be. Just you try touching her. With minders like those, you don't have a bloody chance....


  1. I'm not reading this post as I've managed to remain ignorant of all things Kardashian, and I think my life will not be improved by learning about it/him/her/them. I have in mind a cartoon by Roz Chast, which shows someone with a skull that has a lid they've lifted off, to reveal a filing cabinet inside. They are in the process of removing the files marked, 'Renaissance History' and 'Ancient Greek verbs' in order to fit in 'Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt' and '30 things you can do with mince' (or similar)

  2. I understand. But perhaps I should have named the piece 'Untouchability in India', which was more what it was about. The irony is, it gets heaps more hits with the word 'Kardashian' in it than 'Harijan' alone!

    I'm making her earn her living by doing something meaningful, even if it's the last thing she would imagine she has any responsibility for....


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