The paradox of Kim Kardashian is this: She has no recognizable skills, and yet not just anyone can succeed at her type of celebrity. She’s creating a new genre of talent, a combination of performance art, an idiot-savant-like instinct for the obvious, and shameless lust for attention. But whatever this capacity is called, it can be stunningly effective at times.
This week, she had a daughter with her boyfriend Kanye West. Their decision to name the baby North — North West, get it? — is an occasion to marvel at what Kardashian has accomplished. There’s nothing remotely witty about this bit of wordplay, but it’s the kind of name that might elicit laughs at an after-prom party in someone’s basement. It’s not actually smart or funny, in the way that Kardashian is not actually an entertainer. But it gives people a reason to keep talking about her — proof that Kardashian knows her corner of the zeitgeist.