Friday, November 20, 2009

#42 - Jon & Kate+8 & the Octomom

It was the decade when...

Mothers didn't have children, they had litters.

Darwin was wrong. It's true that nature selects certain individuals to be barren, but not out of genetic deficiency. No, natural selection is not always the culprit. Sometimes nature, in her infinite wisdom, is just trying to spare everyone else the shitstorm that ensues when certain individuals have babies. But we humans, prone to thwart nature's guidance at every possible turn, have made it possible for these progeny-less souls to not only birth a single child but a whole gaggle of them, making Homo Sapien gestation resemble more a rabbit than a bipedal mammal.

Jon and Kate Gosselin were a sweet couple. Unable to conceive children without the assistance of fertility doctors, the pair gave birth to a pair of beautiful twin girls. Tempting fate, the Gosselins felt another child was in their destiny and so back to the experts they went, hoping to add one more bundle of joy to their family. This time medical science proved too efficient. Six embryos decided to park in Kate's uterus and 9 months later the Gosselins were parents to a group of babies larger than some softball teams. TLC saw a marketing opportunity and before the befuddled parents knew what they were doing they had a hit basic cable television program on their hands. The barely submerged tension between the high strung Kate and the lackadaisical, mildly recalcitrant Jon gave the show it's hook, and, in a way, it's heart. In a household of two adults and eight children the environment is bound to be somewhat more tense than an episode of The Waltons; their imperfections were a signal of their humanity. When the friction turned to fire the resulting inferno was beyond anyone's wildest imagination. In the episode where the couple announced their decision to separate, Jon&Kate garnered its highest ratings ever with some 10.6 million viewers tuning in to watch a family get destroyed in almost real time.

Since then, the duo has become tabloid celebrities of the highest (lowest?) order, each week a new fathom southward in their ongoing public squabbles. Jon has regressed to total douchebaggery, pimping out his fashion style, partying in Vegas, and dating younger women of poor character while Kate has become a tear-prone talk show regular, onetime co-host on The View, and, with her "reverse-mullet" coiffure, the most influential trendsetter for women's hair fashions since Jennifer Aniston sported the "The Rachel." When Posh Spice is imitating you, you know you have penetrated pop culture in a way never before reserved for reality TV stars. Lost in the maelstrom are the real victims of Jon&Kate, the individuals now destined to their own paparazzi filled futures and reality show contracts, the eight children thrust into a media spotlight so bright it would make Stevie Wonder squint.

While Nadya Suleman, better known to the American populace by the supervillain sounding title of "Octomom," has no reality show of her own (yet) she has nonetheless ratcheted up an impressive amount of television coverage, mostly on the Dr. Phil program, which, despite weekly protestations by the host to stop discussing the story, continued to give this womb with legs blow-by-blow analysis. As always, media-whore Gloria Allred was there wearing a brightly colored suit of righteous indignation, shouting loudly about "the children." Suleman, already a single mother of six (all from in-vitro fertilization), decided in 2008 that what her life needed was more mouths to feed. After implanting six frozen embryos the 33 year old found herself pregnant with 8 babies (two had split into twins) and in January of '09 she gave birth to the lot of them, transforming herself from pathetic anonymous welfare mother into the now infamous Octomom. With a small of army of children around her, the Octomom became the postermom for the reckless use of fertility technology. Something of dish, it's no coincidence that this Angelina Jolie lookalike was offered One Million dollars to star in a pornographic film, an offer which she later turned down. Not necessarily a wise decision; the movie could have paid for at least three if not four college educations. Only ten more to worry about.

A freak show and domestic disaster parading as a news story, the only thing really interesting about the Octomom is trying to figure out who is going to be more fucked up, her kids or the Gosselin clan. I, for one, can already imagine the worlds most exciting episode of Family Feud.

You AUGHT to remember...

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