"KIM KARDASHIAN IS DEAD," screams a new ad, one that shows the reality TV star sprawled fetchingly in an open coffin. Mon Dieu, what happened? Did Bill O'Reilly, pushed finally beyond the breaking point, hire a contract killer to silence the offending ingenue? Did Kardashian perhaps take her own life, overcome with guilt about her crappy prepaid debit cards?
Well, no. Actually, Kim Kardashian isn't dead. Possibly a more accurate way of putting it would be "Kim Kardashian is alive, but won't be posting on Twitter for a while." But six of one, you know?
Kardashian's Twitter blackout--which is also a Facebook blackout, and in which she's joined by a panoply of celebrities, from Alicia Keys to Usher to Katie Holmes to Willow and Jaden Smith--is all for a good cause. Specifically, it's for Keys's charity Keep a Child Alive. ("Alive" as in "actually alive," not "active on social networking platforms.") The idea is that the Twitter feeds of these famous people will go dark on Wednesday, but if fans donate one million dollars to Keys's organization, lo, the wheels shall turn and the tweets will flourish once again.
Keep a Child Alive provides funding for orphanages and medical care in India and several AIDS-stricken African nations. These are extremely worthwhile causes, so there's really no reason to criticize this initiative. That said, we're not the only ones raising an eyebrow at the celebrities-on-Twitter aspect. Jezebel's Dodai Stewart calls it "an interesting campaign, in that this modern sacrifice — refraining from social networks — actually requires a lot less effort than, say, a charity walk." And Amy Wallace, writing in The New York Times, gives us this gem of a passage:
If even one in 1,000 of the 3,465,527 followers of @jtimberlake is willing to donate $10 to reactivate the account on which he recently posted "Happy Halloween everybody!" — well, it will start to add up. Similarly, if each of the 3,649,592 people who follow @RyanSeacrest texts "RYAN" to 90999, well, it won't be long before we all can again enjoy such pearls of wisdom as this recent post: "have u ever been getting a massage ... then feel some gurgling in ur stomach ... and fear a gas attack?? What do u do?!"