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Thread: About Jon and Kate Plus Or Minus Eight

  1. #341
    Brevity Impaired bahurupiya's Avatar
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    Re: About Jon and Kate Plus Or Minus Eight

    Quote Originally Posted by mushybrain;4046580;
    It is being reported that Kate Plus 8 will be a weekly series beginning August 30th...
    Well, let's hope it is better than those little sporadic "specials" they've been showing. Those things are worse than watching paint dry.

    One of them devoted the entire hour to Kate making a notebook documenting household maintenance procedures, and featured the repair of a spigot to which Kate wished to attach a garden hose.

    Quote Originally Posted by MizDaisy;4036648;
    Kate defined her own choices: to have 8 children, to sell their lives to the media...
    She did. I can't claim to agree with the choices she made.

    When they tried to adopt, they were told to come back when they were both a little older and had been married a little longer.

    Especially when she went back for a 2nd helping, already the mother of twins, she knew the chances of multiples with the treatments she'd chosen, she knew a reduction would not be a good fit with her beliefs, and she knew letting any of the sextuplets be adopted would not be a good fit with her desires.

    So there they are, she a nurse, he a mouseho.

    No matter who stays home to take care of the kids, or even if someone had offered free child care so they could both work, the choices she made had limited her options.

    1) Raise 8 kids in poverty and live out her life in the same bleak and precarious check-to-check, 80-100 hour work week existence, as millions of other people.

    2) Pimp the tots out to the highest bidder - um, I mean, "share her story with the people she trusts and feels will be able to tell it best."

    Though few of us can honestly blame her for having little enthusiasm for Door Number One, almost all of us have a lot to say about her choosing the other option.

    Either way, she would receive more than her share of criticism for her choice from people who thought she should have picked the other one.

    In theory, she could have gone with a kind of "modified" version of Option Two, like 3 or 4 hour-long documentaries a year, with each featuring "a week in the life," negotiating just enough to get the family to Living Wage level, plus a practical dollop of discretionary income that could be put aside for the childrens' education.

    This would have allowed the family to live most of their lives in camera-free privacy and enjoy a modest but housing and other basics-secure lifestyle, with some "wiggle room" for doing the occasional product endorsement or something around the same time as documentary week, to get a little more money for extras like toys, holiday gifts, or, when the kids were older, maybe a weekend at a nearby lake or mountain vacation spot once in a while.

    But like so many theories that sound great on paper, that idea leaves out a few key wild cards, like public interest and the personalities of John and Kate themselves.

    A high level of public interest means an opportunity for more revenue for the network, which means increasingly large sums offered to Kate for more on-camera life, which results in the hilarity we have all watched ensue.

    When the adoption agency cited the couple's young age, and the newness of their marriage, they weren't just making stuff up.

    The reason young people are advised to take their time before making big life decisions is that it is not unusual for us to be very different people at 35 or 40 than we were in our early 20s.

    It is a cultural reality that the lives of women, especially, can be dramatically impacted by our youthful reproductive choices alone.

    Even with the "editing factor" stripped away, it's easy to look at the Kate we see now and wonder:

    If a fairy god-being waved a magic wand and erased the previous decade, would the choices made by the 30-something Kate include raising 8 children?

    We're used to seeing "celebrities" who have dedicated their lives to pursuing some form of the performing arts, typically for years before we know their names.

    By the time they get that big break, they've usually acquired at least some degree of poise and polish, gotten some experience and instruction in public personaology, and learned how to effect at least some measure of control over the way they are presented in the press.

    In recent years, the rapid and immense popularity of reality shows have changed that.

    Today, though creation of a reality TV persona is evolving into a bona fide talent and genre in its own right, we still have a lot of new celebrities who don't really have a "talent" as such, they - or some aspect of their lives - just makes good TV.

    It's hard to think of a better illustration of this than Kate Gosselin. Not only is she entirely without innate gifts in any aspect of the performing arts, she has neither stage presence, nor charisma. She is neither particularly witty nor eloquent, nor is she possessed of great beauty of face or form.

    She is just an ordinary woman whose life involves some extraordinary circumstances.

    Even her most virulent critics cannot help but have felt for her at least a little bit during her brief stint on Dancing with the Stars.

    Every other contestant was in some way, a celebrity, with at least some experience, either inherent or learned, in being a "public person."

    All Kate had was experience being on a reality show, directing a camera crew away from the wet floors.

    She could not distract us from her lack of dancing chops with dramatic flair and comedic brilliance like Niecy Nash, she had not been to "dealing with the media" classes like the professional athletes or the ancient astronaut, who also enjoyed the advantage of decades worth of public adoration simply for his participation in heavily televised space exploration events.

    At the time when blinding spotlights of public exposure were at their most intense, she was also in the process of dissolving her marriage to Jon, whom she had married before he had dissolved his relationship with puberty, and by 27, he found himself the father of 8 and married to a woman who had grown up to not like him very much.

    Jon is the personification of the man who marries in haste as a boy, and when he realizes he never really had much of one, commences to have himself one hell of a hell of a wild and crazy Youth Experience with even more haste, huffing and puffing in a losing race against the inexorable ticking of receding-hairline-and-expanding-midsection clock.

    That he has become a global joke and an embarrassment to humanity doesn't even make it to his radar.

    Dazed and dazzled by fame, crazed by the ever-growing heaps of cash being dumped at their feet, we could not get them off our radar. Their images were everywhere we looked. Their names were in the mouths of six year olds and their great-grandmothers.

    Think of all the huge "A-list" stars we don't see, or rarely see, on TMZ.

    It's pretty much public knowledge where TMZ and ilk station their operatives.

    If you want to, you can shop at places that are not on Robertson, eat sushi at restaurants that are not Katsuya, and with a little effort, even avoid LAX at least most of the time.

    It is also possible, especially if you're an actor, to make yourself unrecognizable to even your own family members - or the wiliest papparazzum, and walk right past solid battalions of camera-wielding special forces and into and out of any establishment or event you wish to attend.

    While the latter so does not apply to Jon or Kate it seems apparent that their overabundance of media presence has been as much a reflection of their wishes as of their ignorance.

    If TMZ viewers know just from watching the show which locations the papparazzi have staked out, it's hard to imagine that anyone who really didn't know, and who sincerely did not wish to be featured practically every night on "entertainment news" shows would not request and receive this information from anybody from the makeup person to the sound dude, not to mention the DWTS cast or the people on the Ed Hardy Party Boat.

    The situation became so extreme that it was TLC itself, of all entities, who actually went to court to make Jon stop talking to reporters, and it is reasonable to assume that the decrease in Kate's ceaseless confessions and comments to the press has occurred as a result of an increase in network "handling" of the star of the upcoming new series.
    Last edited by bahurupiya; 08-24-2010 at 05:15 PM.
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  2. #342
    Vidiot 13 is a Winner Champion Poppy Fields's Avatar
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    Re: About Jon and Kate Plus Or Minus Eight

    Quote Originally Posted by bahurupiya;4047434;
    The situation became so extreme that it was TLC itself, of all entities, who actually went to court to make Jon stop talking to reporters, and it is reasonable to assume that the decrease in Kate's ceaseless confessions and comments to the press has occurred as a result of an increase in network "handling" of the star of the upcoming new series. .
    Thank you for this incisive and insightful post, bahurupiya. It could really be an e-zine article !
    "Blessed is the lonesome pioneer." -- Judee Sill (1973, "There's a Rugged Road")

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    Re: About Jon and Kate Plus Or Minus Eight

    I think you have captured the essence of the Gosselin phenomenon in a very well-articulated, thourough overview, bahurupiya. I would challenge only one observation:
    Even her most virulent critics cannot help but have felt for her at least a little bit during her brief stint on Dancing with the Stars.
    I doubt I'm Kate's "most virulent" critic, but I had no sympathy for her disastrous DWTS appearance. It was clear in the video clips of the practice sessions that Kate was a whining, complaining, passive-aggressive monster who drove Tony to quit at one point. Although Kate claimed at the outset that she was determined to win, it was clear that statement was not consistent with her demonstrated work ethic. She wanted the attention and opportunities the show provided, such as increased media exposure through print interviews and appearances on talk shows, but when it came to the hard work required, there was always an excuse: Tony didn't know how to teach her, she was exhausted (8 kids, ya know), yada, yada. And then claimed her participation on the show was for all the moms out there. I'm sure there were some viewers who were sympathetic, but I suspect there were far more (especially dedicated fans of DWTS) who became increasingly disgusted and just wanted her off the show so they could enjoy the remainder of the season.

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    FORT Fogey nanarama's Avatar
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    Re: About Jon and Kate Plus Or Minus Eight

    Quote Originally Posted by MizDaisy;4047935;
    I think you have captured the essence of the Gosselin phenomenon in a very well-articulated, thourough overview, bahurupiya. I would challenge only one observation: I doubt I'm Kate's "most virulent" critic, but I had no sympathy for her disastrous DWTS appearance. It was clear in the video clips of the practice sessions that Kate was a whining, complaining, passive-aggressive monster who drove Tony to quit at one point. Although Kate claimed at the outset that she was determined to win, it was clear that statement was not consistent with her demonstrated work ethic. She wanted the attention and opportunities the show provided, such as increased media exposure through print interviews and appearances on talk shows, but when it came to the hard work required, there was always an excuse: Tony didn't know how to teach her, she was exhausted (8 kids, ya know), yada, yada. And then claimed her participation on the show was for all the moms out there. I'm sure there were some viewers who were sympathetic, but I suspect there were far more (especially dedicated fans of DWTS) who became increasingly disgusted and just wanted her off the show so they could enjoy the remainder of the season.

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    Re: About Jon and Kate Plus Or Minus Eight

    She lasted 5 weeks (incredibly) and walked away with a cool half million for her "efforts." We all know she did not return week after week because she wowed the judges. Her fans kept her there - so, I suppose she had tons of "sympathizers." I do think that the money was her main consideration. Isn't it always?
    "Blessed is the lonesome pioneer." -- Judee Sill (1973, "There's a Rugged Road")

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    Re: About Jon and Kate Plus Or Minus Eight

    She lasted 5 weeks (incredibly) and walked away with a cool half million for her "efforts." We all know she did not return week after week because she wowed the judges. Her fans kept her there - so, I suppose she had tons of "sympathizers." I do think that the money was her main consideration. Isn't it always?
    Yes, it was about the money, and media exposure, certainly not "for all the moms out there." And it doesn't take "tons of sympathizers" to keep any contestant on the show, just a core group of viewers who know how to use the system to maximize the number of votes. There was lots of discussion on the various DWTS boards about people voting for her just so she'd be forced to continue with her awful performances and they could enjoy making fun of her -- which they did. I guess you could call them "fans."
    Last edited by MizDaisy; 08-25-2010 at 02:43 PM.

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    FORT Fanatic mushybrain's Avatar
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    Re: About Jon and Kate Plus Or Minus Eight

    Wow. Some excellent posts.

    Lilymax, I completely agree with your assessment about the condition of the children. They look completely worn out, sad and miserable.

    bahurupiya, thank you so much for your well-written, thorough post. I, like MizDaisy, also had no sympathy for her performance on DWTS. MizDaisy articulated exactly how I felt about that. I also must disagree with your assessment of one of Kate's options being to "1) Raise 8 kids in poverty and live out her life in the same bleak and precarious check-to-check, 80-100 hour work week existence, as millions of other people."

    By their own admission, Jon and Kate never really struggled financially, even before TLC came on the scene. Jon's father was very well-off, and he helped them considerably. When he died, he left them a nice inheritance. They lived in a comfortable home that was far, far beyond anything even remotely to be considered poverty level. Add to that the nursing care they received for a year compliments of Pennsylvania, and the extraordinary number of donations in time, goods and services they received from their community and church groups. They most certainly had the option of not selling their children's privacy and still lead a very comfortable life working a normal 40-hour work week.

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    Re: About Jon and Kate Plus Or Minus Eight

    By their own admission, Jon and Kate never really struggled financially, even before TLC came on the scene. Jon's father was very well-off, and he helped them considerably. When he died, he left them a nice inheritance. They lived in a comfortable home that was far, far beyond anything even remotely to be considered poverty level. Add to that the nursing care they received for a year compliments of Pennsylvania, and the extraordinary number of donations in time, goods and services they received from their community and church groups. They most certainly had the option of not selling their children's privacy and still lead a very comfortable life working a normal 40-hour work week.
    Well said, mushybrain. The facts simply don't support the contention that the Gosselins had to choose between living in abject poverty or selling out their children to put food on the table. I do agree with bahurupiya that as the offers from TLC became increasingly lucrative, the pursuit of larger paychecks (i.e., greed) became more important than the quality of their children's lives.

  9. #349
    Brevity Impaired bahurupiya's Avatar
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    Re: About Jon and Kate Plus Or Minus Eight

    Wow! ❤ ❤ Thank You all so much for all the love! ❤ ❤

    Quote Originally Posted by mushybrain;4048012;
    Jon's father was very well-off, and he helped them considerably. When he died, he left them a nice inheritance.
    How nice was it?

    If it was really enough to support and purchase medical industry products for 8 kids for 18 years and then educate them all, in an economy of steadily increasing prices, and if the father's will stipulated that the principal be held in trust for the kids, and the interest for their support, and not simply bequeathed to Jon, then I totally retract the part about the poverty option.

    I admit I'm looking it from a very cold-blooded perspective.

    The help from the community would taper off. That's just human nature, and few people would feel comfortable looking at their 6 newborn babies and thinking that when they were 6, and 10, and 14, etc, they would still be depending on the goodwill and kindness of friends and neighbors to subsidize the cost of raising them, having that be their plan.

    The cost of childcare for 8 could easily be equal to, if not more than, the salary of either a nurse or a mouseho, so the inheritance would need to be enough so that whichever one of them brought home the income, that income could basically be the "extras" budget.

    There was no guarantee that Jon would be around permanently, and sure enough, as it turns out, the marriage ended before the sextuplets turned six.

    She would have had to consider how SHE would provide for the children, how SHE would educate them, because her own participation is the only thing she could control or count on.

    As many elderly people have learned to their dismay and worse, that nice tidy sum that looks like it should be more than enough to provide the necessities of life for as long as they live can become, in less than a decade, more like a nice healthy little bank account set up to provide funds for holiday gifts.

    So, even if they weren't "struggling" immediately pre-TLC, their above-poverty existence would have been a very fragile creature, precariously balanced on a whole mess of maybes, while the needs of the children, that the cost of those needs would move steadily upward, was certain and guaranteed 100% Maybe-Free.

    Now this is where it gets tricky, and into individual views and relative concepts of standards of living and what's a basic and what's not.

    I totally agree with you that the house they brought the babies home to was far from a hovel!

    There are plenty of people who would consider themselves extremely fortunate to have that home, although it was clearly somewhat crowded with 8 children, and would become more so as they grew larger.

    But it was clear from the way Kate spoke about it that in her view, a larger home had become a question of necessity rather than luxury or preference.

    She also has some very definite ideas about the kinds of food she considers acceptable, and has strong beliefs about sending the children to a faith-based school (which might have cut her some slack, but probably would not be able, even if willing, to go so far as to gift her the full cost of 8 orders of tuition, books and activity fees!) so again, depending on the details of the bequest from Jon's father, we could certainly get into the shape-shifting land of Questions of Degree and priorities.

    For example, some would live in the smaller house, choose low-cost food, public schools, and assert that they were not living in poverty because they were able to save money for 8 educations.

    Others, and I'm speculating that Kate would go in the "others" box would be living in check to check poverty, and unable to save, because she considered more living space, a costlier diet, and in time, the faith-based school for the children to be basic necessities.

    And there are many, many people who would argue that anyone with 8 children who managed to earn a wage sufficient to pay for any housing, and any food for them on a daily basis, was doing very well for themselves, and the children could either study hard in their public schools and hope to get full ride scholarships and/or work and earn their tuition to a community college or vocational school, and take the more pragmatic view that a savings account is a luxury right up there with diamond jewelry and weekend trips to Paris!

    (I've deliberately left out the whole topic of medical industry products and services, since this is a very sensitive topic, for many people a core cultural value, and opinions and beliefs tend to run strong and deep, with some pointing out that these are high-dollar products, luxury products, and that the indigent care programs available to her would be more than adequate on the basis of retail value alone, with others taking the position that purchasing the more "deluxe" services from their chosen vendor would have the status of necessity, and that in fact the cost of lost "billable" or work hours attendant to the use of indigent care programs alone might even cover the cost of purchasing maybe "semi-deluxe" services in the marketplace, while especially in non-US cultures, there can be strong views about it being a commercial product in the first place, which in turn, can lead to futile ideological debates held in the land of shouldawouldacoulda.

    So I'm not even going there, but obviously with 8 kids or no kids being raised in the land of "is," it's going to be a major consideration, regardless of how it's sliced or by whom!
    One man's conspiracy is another man's business plan.

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    FORT Fanatic mushybrain's Avatar
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    Re: About Jon and Kate Plus Or Minus Eight

    Quote Originally Posted by bahurupiya;4048446;
    Wow! ❤ ❤ Thank You all so much for all the love! ❤ ❤

    How nice was it?
    Hi bahurupiya. I am enjoying the conversation. I understand your logic, but I look at things from a completely different perspective.

    There are plenty of parents who choose to have a lot of children and who do just fine without making their children work on a TV show (to be ogled by strangers and surely some pedophiles) to support the family. The Gosselins were well aware that the fertility treatments they chose could result in high-order multiples. Having twins already, they also knew of the expense of raising children. By willingly taking the risk that their actions could result in bringing a lot of children into this world, they had a responsibility to make sure they could support those children. Certainly, many unforeseen things can happen in life that can cause financial hardship, but anyone that has one child or a lot of children must be ready to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to provide that support without forcing their children to earn a living for the family. Children are not indentured servants.

    Many of your observations are spot on, but only as they relate to material desires. The choices we make in raising our children are dictated by our values, ethics, and morals, and what we can afford. But all those choices must be made based on the things our children need most. And the things our children need for a happy, healthy, stable, fulfilling life are love, protection and respect. Everything else is secondary. Children do not NEED organic food or fancy private schools. They do not need matching cribs or matchy matchy clothing. They do not need to live in a huge house or go on expensive trips. These are the things that KATE needs to satisfy her narcissism and greed and desire for fame.

    The problem that I, and most, have with Kate, is that there are hours of interviews and video and photographic evidence that prove that her basic necessities revolve around her: spa treatments, tanning, hair, wardrobe, cosmetic procedures, self-promotion, self-pity, and self-indulgence, to name just a few. I would have absolutely no problem at all with any of this if she was earning the money to pay for it. But she is not. She is making her children work to pay for this lifestyle, and in doing so has jeopardized their well-being, deprived them of their privacy, and opened them up to ridicule and scorn. (Jon is every bit as complicit, although at least he, unlike Kate, seems to be genuine in his affection for them.)

    Finally, I think you are giving Kate more credit than she deserves when you say that She would have had to consider how SHE would provide for the children, how SHE would educate them, because her own participation is the only thing she could control or count on. If Kate was all that concerned about the needs of her children, she wouldn't have needed the PA DOL to force her (and TLC) to begin putting a meager amount of money into accounts for the children. She would have told TLC that she would rather forego the $20,000 hair treatments and have that money put in trust for the children. She would not continue to cry poor while Jon was paying her more than $20,000 per month in child support. If she was so concerned about education, she wouldn't have held all six out of kindergarten as a group after she said that some were ready to go, and some were not. She has proven, time and again, that Kate is for Kate.

    Sorry I have gone on so long, but I find her actions completely indefensible.

    Have a great night, bahurupiya, and everyone.

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