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My Sunday Column: Trying to extend a 5-second spotlight, Glendale looks to Kim Kardashian for its Rose Parade Float

If you ever tried to spot the Glendale Rose Parade float on television on New Year’s Day, you know you had to stay glued to your set and never blink — you only get a passing glance.

So what do you think would happen if you put the highest-paid reality TV star, fashion maven, socialite and sex symbol that is Kim Kardashian atop the 2013 float as Glendale’s celebrity queen for a day?

Know this: She has more than 16.7 million followers on Twitter, ranking her 10th behind the likes of Lady Gaga,Justin BieberKaty PerryRihanna and President Obama. AGoogle search shows she is the butt of 891,000 pages of “Kim Kardashian jokes,” while her declaration last spring that she wanted to run for mayor of Glendale produced 495,000 results.

And there were 6,490 entries in the first 48 hours after Councilman Ara Najarian announced at Tuesday’s City Council meeting that he’d love to invite Kardashian to ride on Glendale’s Rose Parade float on New Year’s Day.

“One or two words from Ms. Kardashian are worth hundreds of thousands of advertising dollars. She certainly would get us more than five seconds,” Najarian told his colleagues.

Say it ain’t so, Ara. This is staid old Glendale where tradition rules and has ruled with regards to the Rose Parade float for the past 98 years, due in part to the likes of longtime Councilman Dave Weaver — protector of the float tradition as an important community event, not fodder for the tabloids and “Entertainment Tonight.”

The suggestion to make the parade more fun and generate publicity for the city has set off a firestorm of criticism, with dozens of comments on the Glendale News-Press website, some calling Najarian stoned out of his mind, deserving of a black eye and worse. Even some Armenians suggested Kardashian was a terrible role model for children and tarnishes the city’s image when there are so many high-minded citizens worthy of honor.

Najarian was still having a laugh when I caught up with him after he floated his idea, talking like a guy who may have stepped into a Rose Parade controversy but who felt he would come out smelling like roses.

“What the heck, this is New Year’s. People have to have fun,” he said. “There’s too much tension. This should be a fun thing. We should be laughing, making jokes — not making it into such a gloom-and-doom situation. Everybody just needs to lighten up.

“Maybe we’ve lost our sense of humor. I don’t know if it’s the atmosphere of people hating government or people don’t want to have a break from their worries. I don’t know what it is.”

A politician who is serious about everyone having fun, at least on New Year’s Day? You mean even if the end of the world is coming and we’re all going to die in a rising tide of the seas or all our jobs going overseas, even if our cities are going broke and our state is beyond repair?


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4 Responses to My Sunday Column: Trying to extend a 5-second spotlight, Glendale looks to Kim Kardashian for its Rose Parade Float

  1. Wayne the Independent-Liberal says:

    I think Ron likes that Kardashian Girl! She just made the Muslims riot over in Bahrain by just being there. The Rose Bowl should be so lucky to have her on the Glendale float. They’ll be dumb enough to stop it. There’s big money old windbags that run the thing and they won’t have Kim near their Parade.

  2. anonymous says:

    Wayne–Let’s place our bets. I’m wagering the RP has become soooooooooo commercial that, for the right price, they’ll welcome her with open arms. Heck, they might make her the Grand Marshall (okay, maybe not).

  3. Wayne the Independent-Liberal says:

    Re: Kim as Grand Marshall—YES!!!! Then she could give a swift kick in the ass to King Herb I. (for charity of course) right before the coin toss for the Rose Bowl. The ratings would top the Super Bowl.

  4. El Quixotian says:

    I’m wondering if Caruso will need to pony up for the Glendal float again…

    The Tornament of Roses Parade (technically separate from the current Rose Bowl contest of football) should consider putting her right before the Pac 12 Float…and the Stanford Band! Surely a match made in heav…er, somewhere.

    (We’ll see if they #stabthefield on behalf of the Trojan Band who was barred from doing so by the ugly-spirited regular season tenants)

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