It’s a Kardashian-Salmon World

Posted on July 24, 2014 by Robert Ringer


The “experts” seem to be in agreement on the cancer risk associated with eating farmed salmon. If you eat a thousand pounds of farmed salmon a week, you have a slightly higher risk of contracting cancer than a person who eats only salmon “caught in the wild.”

I love salmon, but the word cancer always gets my attention. So, for some time now, I’ve been searching for a package that says “Salmon Caught in the Wild.” And the other day, I finally found one.   Perusing the seafood section at Whole Foods, the following wording caught my eye: “Cold Smoked Wild Sockeye Salmon.” At long last, wild salmon!

But a funny thing happened on the way to my salmon fix: When I got home, I started reading the small print on the back of the package. To my amazement, it explained that the salmon I was about to devour was raised in a tightly controlled farmed environment. Farmed? Huh?

I checked and, sure enough, the word “wild” definitely was on the front of the package in large letters. I then read the small print further, and there it was: “Retains the deep red color and natural flavors characteristic of wild salmon.” Doh! Fooled again by words purposely intended to mislead consumers.

Pouting, I turned on the TV and, wouldn’t you know it, there she was — none other than Kim Kardashian, giving her insights into life. It was at that moment that it occurred to me there is a striking similarity between Kim Kardashian and the “Cold Smoked Wild Sockeye Salmon” I had bought earlier in the day: The success of both relies on naïve souls like you and me continuing to buy into their fakery.

And, giving us our due credit, we’re very good at it. In fact, we buy into lots of fakery every day. Why? Because we set our brains on autopilot too often. We are not fools caught in the wild, mind you, but farmed fools. And those who make a living with fakery need farmed fools in order to survive.

Most people, of course, make light of the fakeries that surround them. Which, in my view, is a mistake. When fake people babble on about everything from spirituality to formulas, systems, and secrets that lead to success, they are helping us see the worst in ourselves. They remind us to look in the mirror and ask tough questions like:

Why am I so gullible? Why do I allow myself to be so easily manipulated by the media? Why am I so insecure that I would even listen to the opinions of knucklehead celebrities? Why am I so bored that I would watch idiots pontificating on subjects they know nothing about?

The underlying problem is that we live in a wild-salmon world — a world that is phony and contrived. All the wrong things impress us — things like money, status, and puffery. When we allow ourselves to be awed by those who are perceived to be rich and powerful (and, more often than not, there is a great difference between the perception and the reality), deep down inside it makes us feel unclean. But we are careful not to allow our true feelings to bubble to the surface, lest our peers look upon us with scorn.

When we watch someone rise, virtually overnight, from being a nonentity to a celebrity blowing kisses to an adoring army of paparazzi — without producing anything of value — our intellect tells us that what we are witnessing is not real. The part of our brain that isn’t in a reality-TV mode twenty-four hours a day fully understands that the phenomenon we are observing is nothing more than manufactured nonsense.

Of course, once the morphing into a celebrity transformation takes place, the agog media jump in with both feet and help the newly minted celeb take on a life of her own. All of which sounds very exciting, but for one thing: It’s all manufactured. And I suspect that the manufactured celebrity knows, deep down inside, that nothing about her celebrity is real. For all we know, a voice inside keeps screaming: “I’m a fake! I’m a fake!”

Which is why, more often than not, that newly created identity ends up in a deep, deep hole. And we all know what the Rule of Holes says: If you’ve dug a deep hole for yourself, the first step toward getting out of it is to stop digging. And if you make the mistake of continuing to dig, at least have the good sense to ask a responsible person for directions.

And so it goes … people who make a living by calling themselves body-language experts … psychics who are wrong more often than you and I, but who go on captivating audiences year after year … extremist politicians who pretend to be middle-of-the-roaders in an effort to get elected … TV anchors with political agendas who pretend to be reporting the news … crooks and terrorists who are anointed Nobel Peace Prize winners.

Look around you and ask yourself how much of this fakery you buy into. Thomas Friedman has it wrong. The world is not flat; the world is fake!

But enough of this sobering reality. It’s time to put on my fool’s cap once again and enjoy the fake world of plenty. I have a luncheon date with a package of Cold Smoked “Wild” Sockeye Salmon, and I’m going to pretend that it really was caught in the wild. And while I enjoy my fake lunch, perhaps I can catch Kim Kardashian on TV, parceling out some helpful insights on how to get ahead in life without really trying.

As they used to say back in the good old days, what a great country.

Robert Ringer

Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

25 responses to “It’s a Kardashian-Salmon World”

  1. imgettingdizzy says:

    I'm right behind you, right after I vote, swing by McDonald's, and drive home in my SUV. Looking forward to my "organic" microwave dinner myself!

  2. greggsan says:

    LOL! A priceless commentary! :-)

  3. RAM says:

    MR. RINGER — An excellent, provocative and well written essay. It reminded me slightly of a guy who extolls the virtues of becoming a crack copywriter but falls short of completing the scenario by not providing a really good way to sell the golden prose once it has been created. RAM

  4. Marte says:

    Robert – You need to find some friends who actually fish in the wild for salmon and will ship you some flash-frozen and packed in a big styrofoam box.

    I love salmon too, but make do with the fresh-water salmon we call blueback (or Kokanee). My family fishermen bring them home.

    We seldom buy canned seafood because we've learned to read the fine print. Too bad.

  5. Arnold Handelman says:

    Since Mr. Ringer advocates seeing reality as it is, and not as you think it should be, the path one needs to ttake to succeed is clear. Don't fight the fake world, join it–ostensibly. Keep your inner sense of reality, but fake it so you can make it. In certain lines of work, you need to appear successful in order to get business. I know that in Winning Through Intimidation, Mr. R. explains how he went broke showing off with very fancy offices, and even his own Lear Jet. But the opposite is also no good. It takes a balance. Pure quality of ability will not get you far unless you can sell it. The sales job may involve a bit of hype, cunning, and presentation skills that involve a touch of fakery. The fakery is only truly bad when it masks a total lack of value and substance. If you've got the real goods, you're justified in doing what the stupid marketplace wants you to do if they are going to buy what you're selling. It shouldn't be that way. Quality and real stuff shouldn't have to be peddled and hawked like that. But the real stuff competes with the junk and fake stuff that grabs our attention.
    Success always demands adapting to reality as it is.

    • SteveR says:

      I disagree with your comment "The fakery is only truly bad when it masks a total lack of value and substance." The very thing the has lasting value is truth and integrity. Can you get by with just 'a little' fakery? Sure why not. And then the next time you must add a little more, and the next time add a little more….
      Are any of us perfect? Of course not. But I make strong attempts to be honest and deal with people with integrity. It has cost me some business, but I'd rather do the right thing and be of clear conscience than to "bend the truth" a little. Bending the truth is no longer truth. A little white lie is still a lie.

    • bill says:

      you hit the nail right on the head. people do not respond to what is, they respond to what they perceive. if you are in business, the worst thing you can do is appear "hungry and needy" (like sinatra in the film "a hole in the head") you MUST act like you don't need their business. being "honest" and telling your customers you need their money is the kiss of death in this situation. you must "lie" and create the impression you are successful and you don't need them and your customers will chase you instead of you chasing them. if you are a man and you wish to attract a romantic partner, you must "lie" and play hard to get, rather than come right out and "honestly" tell this person how you would do anything to win their love. this is simply how the real world works, and there is no way to change this fact.

  6. Helen Spingola says:

    You nailed it 100%!! Whenever I see one of those know-it-all "so-called-celebs", to stop from
    gagging, I change channels pronto! They absolutely nothing to teach me or to entertain me.
    Far from it….Thanks for this article, Mr. Ringer

  7. Murray Suid says:

    This is a such a valuable piece. Thank you, Mr. Ringer.

    It isn't only about modern times. Every period I've read about has its charlatans, many of whom made it big. For example, phoniness is a tkey heme in Mark Twain's HUCKLEBERRY FINN.

    Given that fakery is always in season, it makes great sense to follow Mr. Ringer'd lrsf and always read the "fine print."

  8. american real says:

    Thank you for spreading the TRUTH, which is in short supply these days.

  9. Reid Butler says:

    I can assure all the posters on this thread that the Kardashian syndicate receives neither my time nor my money.

    I for one do NOT fall for the ludicrous belief that some forms of entertainment are "so stupid, they're harmless!" Quite the opposite is true. A steady diet of gutter TV and gross-out comedies will slowly turn your brain into a seeping pile of malfunctioning synapses. And it will show if your life becomes a mess. As another writer states, "your outer world is a reflection of your inner world," and if your life soon becomes a shambles, I believe a steady diet of insidious televised gibberish is surely contributing to it.

    There are a lot of people who struggle day to day, working hard and finding it hard to make progress. But the alternative is far worse — shutting your brain off and enjoying short-term distractions until you wake up one day and realize that the Kardashians of the world have only enriched themselves, and they will be secretly, deeply ashamed of themselves when they realized their contributions to modern entertainment are little more than skidmarks on the world's underwear.

    As "Million Dollar Habits" puts it, the Kardashians are "drain people," and if you want to get a leg up on the competition in this life, you have to surgically remove these people from your life and prevent them from influencing you.

  10. Geoff says:

    Yes – well personally I think it much more likely that anyone who eats 1000 pounds of Salmon a week is going to suffer other eating related health problems… Probably well before they get to a "Theoretical Cancer Risk"!

  11. John E. Gabor says:

    Watching football used to be a nice escape from all this. But now the same folks are trying to ruin football, too.

    • Robby Bonfire says:

      Football has already been ruined, John, by the politically incorrect Washington Redskins franchise name.

      I have a new name recommendation for them, to get them beyond the shame and the humiliation of their blatantly insulting current moniker. If I were the owner of the Washington Redskins franchise, I would host a press conference announcing the immediate name change of the franchise to: "D.C. Redskins." lol.

      • John E. Gabor says:

        LOL. Yes, the real redskins are in government. Red down to the bone.

        • Robby Bonfire says:

          See, here's the problem with changing the Redskins name. First, when this is a done deal, they next go after the Chicago Blackhawks logo, and the Cleveland Indians and the Atlanta Braves names. When they have accomplished this, by an Executive Order or an Act of Congress, they will next go after the name of the city of Washington, D.C. This is because, as we know, George Washington was a slave owner, and we just cannot have cities, states, or streets named after racist pigs, as was George Washington.

          It seems to me that these "reverse hate" groups are the most unhappy people on the planet. Always needing some vapid social cause to stimulate them out of their down on life stupor. So why should we cave in to them, knowing that doing so just opens bigger and bigger cans of worms?

          I applaud Daniel Snyder for his stand, but even he must know that the directive to change his team's name is coming, whether from his own NFL Commissioner's office, from the executive branch, or from the Congress, with this probably being the final season for this storied traditional franchise name to be with us. They are NEVER going away, my friends. They really do OWN the decision-making processes of our lives. So how about calling the team the "Washington Freedoms," given that that is the only way anyone can lay claim to having any freedom, anymore?

      • Jim Hallett says:

        Parasites or Buzzards would be a perfect name for the city that hosts the political scumbags!

  12. Robby Bonfire says:

    How about that vanilla "flavored" ice cream? lol.

  13. M Powers says:

    Yes, there's a lot of fakery in the marketplace, even for those who are careful to read labels. The salmon labelling is a new one for me…quite deceptive and devious. We live in Mexico and eat fresh ingredients daily being quite aware of the food tampering mentality of the USA food, dairy and citrus companies, not to mention Monsanto. Few people know what 'ultra-pastuerization' is and what it means in terms of your health and nutrition.
    I stopped watching TV long ago. I didn't even give the Kardashians a chance. MTV, and so many other networks are out. I stay away from violence on TV now, preferring comedies and documentaries, because the rest of the c rap is simply a waste of time, adding nothing to quality of life (the short version). Thanks for your experience.

  14. Jack says:

    Sounds like the increase in carbon dioxide – global warming – climate change fakery only this is less vicious and more "Ah, ha – I fooled you" and less devious and mean-spirited environmental/green industry freaks.

  15. Jose Adame says:

    As usual, very well written presentation.

  16. Liz says:

    The old saw is that "You can't cheat an honest man" meaning that people can get fooled when they think they're going to get more than they give. How this relates to you buying a falsely touted can of fish, I couldn't say … only you know what you were really thinking when you grabbed for that "wild" promise. As for the Kardashians and other such folks who pretend to display their intimate lives for entertainment, I call it social pornography — the only reality is that it's without redeeming value!

  17. CARA says:


  18. Philosophizer says:

    Nailed it Robert. How do you think Obama became President. He easily fooled the moronic masses into thinking he was the "Second Coming". How dumb can people get and still breathe air.

    Obama is the Kardashian of politicians. This might be fine in a neutral, non-harming result – but the damage is in the red and growing daily.

    Unfortunately politicians don't come with ingredient or warning labels. So folks actually have to think for themselves – and there is the rub…