Monday, June 8, 2009

It Ain’t So Great for Jon, Kate and Their Eight

Americans love a good train wreck. Not a literal train wreck, mind you, but rather the figurative disasters that so frequently flavor our news stories and water cooler conversations. We can’t take our eyes away from the wreckage. At the first screech of the wheels, our heads turn and necks crane, our toes rise us up by their tips, and our mouths hang open aghast.

Okay, so maybe jaws only gape open for the mouth breathing adults who continue to wear Osh Kosh B’Gosh overalls despite their falling out of favor about the same time the Star Trek movie came out - the first Star Trek movie.

I’m not sure why we’re fascinated with the downfall of others. Despite being pretty damn well off in this country, we like to see the failures. It’s not so much who wins, but more often who loses. How else can you explain the galling popularity of reality television, where “fans” turn in to see who gets dissed, voted off, kicked off, etc.? Except fans of Bret Michaels’ “Rock of Love” franchise, who, naturally, tune in to catch scantily clad skanks vying for the fleeting affection of an aging, pudgy rock star.

I try to escape the nonsense, I really do. It seems, however, that I’m one of the few diehards who picks up a newspaper anymore (sales of newspapers declined an additional 7% last year, as America grows more stupid by the hour). Seems most everybody else is settling for picking up a mirror or a double-tall, non-fat latte, or as fate would have it both. Thus, while I wait in line at Starbucks for my latte, I have to listen to the yammering stupidity of what passes for news these days; and these days it’s impossible to break clear of either that mousy Scottish singer or Jon & Kate Plus Eight.

To get you caught up to speed, Jon & Kate Plus Eight is the television show that chronicles the lives of Jon and Kate Gosselin and their eight, yes eight, children – twin girls and a split set of whatever the hell you call a gaggle of six babies (sextuplets?). The show appears weekly on the TLC network. Remember when TLC went by “The Learning Channel” and ran shows that actually taught you something? Well, now, with Jon & Kate, all it seems to be teaching is planned parenthood.

If you’ve seen one show, you’ve pretty much seen them all. With eight kids, it’s not difficult to imagine a complete madhouse every day – hey, big surprise, that’s what you get! Viewer numbers have grown gradually over the years, but have skyrocketed this season, all in eager anticipation of the train wreck. You see, Jon has repeatedly been seen out and about with female “friends,” and the tabloids (I wonder how their readership stands) proclaim a split is in the works. Without question, TLC loves the attention – never has the network reaped the benefits from such a highly rated show. Last week, despite a big fall off from the premiere a week before, the show drew almost 6 million viewers, becoming the top rated show – broadcast or cable – for women and persons 18-35. Unbelievably, it was even the number 2 show for men, behind only pro wrestling (see: comment above, America growing more stupid by the hour).

Jon has gotten more than a bit pissy lately. I’m sure it has its foundations in Kate being an unadulterated shrew. Compounding matters is Kate attracting all sorts of attention – Kate has the book deal, the book tour, the incredible luxury of being away from the zoo (aka the house) for days and weeks at a time. Jon, Jon, Jon, you know how I feel about accountability. You want a book deal, dumb ass? It’s simple, get off your lazy, whiny butt and write a book. Stuck for something to write? Let me tell you, all of us guys out here are dying to know your secret – write a book on how to pick up hot college girls while being both married AND having 8 kids!

There’s a lot that bothers me about Jon and Kate. Don’t get me wrong, I love their kids – they’re the innocents in the whole deal. The parents are another thing entirely. No violins here for the pity party complaining of the media, paparazzi, and fans invading personal space. Hey, here’s a solution – stomp pimping your kids like they’re $5 hookers pounding the pavement Friday night of Fleet Week. Quit the bitching and sniping at each other – you have 8 freakin’ kids, so don’t you suppose your spouse feels exactly the way you do? Give each other a break, for crying out loud.

But, maybe most of all, there’s just one thing I have to know. Kate, honey, I’ve seen enough of the show to know you are some piece of work. And as you are as vain and pretentious as they come, I know you watch the show. So, as you see yourself on television, which totally beats a mirror and its reversed image, share with me this one thing. How do you explain that hair?

As always, it’s just this guy’s opinion.

All you Tweeples, tweet me up on Twitter @RayHartjen.

1 comment:

  1. This depression is going to get a lot worse for most of us. Millions will go cold and hungry. It didn't have to be this way. Greed ruins everything. Its true. Ask any professor of economics.

    "As mass production has to be accompanied by mass consumption; mass consumption, in turn, implies a distribution of wealth -- not of existing wealth, but of wealth as it is currently produced -- to provide men with buying power equal to the amount of goods and services offered by the nation's economic machinery. Instead of achieving that kind of distribution, a giant suction pump had by 1929-30 drawn into a few hands an increasing portion of currently produced wealth. This served them as capital accumulations. But by taking purchasing power out of the hands of mass consumers, the savers denied to themselves the kind of effective demand for their products that would justify a reinvestment of their capital accumulations in new plants. In consequence, as in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When their credit ran out, the game stopped."

    Marriner Eccles, FDR's Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank - 1959

    In other words, the first Great Depression was caused by greed. The rich couldn't settle for reasonable pay. They had to have more and more and more. That caused a shift in buying power from the majority to the rich. When the majority lost their buying power, they lost their ability to support the economy. Einstein said basically the same thing in 1949.

    Its even worse now. Ordinary people havn't only lost their relative buying power. They have also lost their savings, home values, pensions, and benefits. Meanwhile, the rich have become super incredibly rich. The richest 500 Americans are worth about 2 trillion dollars. More than the bottom 40% of American housholds combined. The richest 1 percent are worth about 18 trillion dollars. More than the bottom 98% of American households combined. Thats just insane. I don't care how much work for humanity the rich claim to do. Its nothing but a cover for their own greed. We don't need anymore rich people to create jobs or make donations for charity. We need them to get reasonable about how much money and assets they keep for themselves.

    Don't believe their excuse about paying more income taxes. They don't pay enough. For every tax the rich pay, they get an obscene profit, bailout, contract, or kickback from our government to cover it. We had a progressive tax system that worked for over 40 years after the first Great Depression. It prevented too much wealth from being concentrated. In 1976, the middle 80% owned about 2/3 of America's total wealth. Reagan lowered taxes for the rich. Bush lowered them again. Now, the richest 5% own about 2/3 of America's total wealth. The lower 95% own about 1/3. America's wealth has been transfered from poor to rich again. Now, we have another depression.

    Don't believe it when the rich claim to be getting poorer. Property values have gone down for everyone. Thats because of the concentration of wealth and income. When the economy slows down, property values tank. So when rich people complain about lower net worth, its a trick. They still have the same buying power on average.

    Too much wealth has already been taken away from the majority and concentrated into the private vaults of rich people. The same ones on TV telling us how much they want to help the world. Its a big lie. Just another way to promote their own names. Rich people don't want to help the world. They want to own it.

    Now, the economy is ruined. Obama can't fix it because the rich won't let him. There will be no bailout for the people because the rich won't let it happen. They always want more. The same thing has been happening in other economies around the world. The world's rich have been getting richer. Now, we have a global recession. Its going to get a lot worse. It didn't have to be this way. Greed ruins everything.

    Please copy and spread the word.