Celebrity eyeroll-inducer Kim Kardashian West and her team of publicists have been trying to legitimize her as she tours the country promoting her new book Selfish which is (I am not joking) a hardbound coffee-table collection of her selfies. Yes, Kardashian West is being called "the modern-day personification of Marilyn Monroe" and "a trailblazer of the 'selfie movement'," and she'll be here to speak shallowly about all that narcissism tonight at the Castro Theatre. And as Contra Costa Times reports, the event, sponsored by the younger offshoot of the Commonwealth Club, INFORUM, was moved from Oakland's 3000-seat Paramount Theatre to the 1400-seat Castro Theatre perhaps because tickets weren't selling as briskly INFORUM hoped? There are, indeed, still tickets available, starting at $65.
Kardashian West kicked things off on this speaking tour with an on-stage conversation with Silicon Valley journalist and Re/Code editor Kara Swisher in October, which you can watch some of below to get an idea of what tonight's event will sound like. Both Swisher and INFORUM's director Caroline Moriarty Sacks have had to get a bit defensive about their choice to feature Kardashian West, who's not exactly an intellectual powerhouse or even that insightful a pundit when it comes to her primary medium, social media. But Swisher pointed to Kim's 25 million Instagram followers (now 37.6 million) and 24.8 million Twitter followers (now 33 million), saying she "clearly has got something going on when it comes to... how to be a mobile celebrity." Sacks says we all need to examine "what she is doing in terms of business and social media and the way she makes us question our understanding of modern feminism, for better or for worse."
In any event, Kardashian West will be put to the test by LaDoris Cordell, Northern California's first African-American judge and a former Stanford University vice provost whom the CC Times says is a "formidable inquisitor," and in addition to likely having to answer questions about her reality TV fame, her famous husband, and Caitlyn Jenner, topics are expected to include "the business of millennial culture" and "the objectification of women in media." You can be sure she will say several things that will convince several fans that she is, in fact, not as vapid as everyone believes.
She will also be doing a 15-minute audience Q&A, and signing copies of her selfie book.
The flap that INFORUM has gotten over this booking echoes the outrage of the NPR listening audience following her appearance earlier this month on the venerable game show of wits, "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me." As the Washington Post noted, one of the first commenters listening to the show said, "My first impulse after her introduction on the show was to question the meaning of life."