I happened upon the most appalling program the other day.
"Jon & Kate Plus 8" is ostensibly a reality show, except I don't know anyone in the real world who chose to follow a pair of twins with a set of sextuplets. Do you? There's that new mother of 14 in California, but her concept of reality seems even more tenuous.
I took an instant dislike to the couple. I'm not even sure why Jon's name is in the title, because he's a nonentity, merely a glum figure slouching silently in the background. Shell shocked, no doubt, but maybe that's just how he deals with his wife. For Kate is a nightmare. Neurotic and crazed, she's a parody of the wife-as-harridan. There might be a few souls in the world who are up to this onerous job, but Kate is clearly not one of them.
This episode was a load of crap. Literally. All parents celebrate when a toddler poops in the potty, but effusive praise is enough for most. Not for Kate, who insisted on finding a camera so she could snap a picture of the turd as its producer stood next to the potty chair. I'm sure s/he'll be grateful for Mom's diligence when it's time to set up a Facebook page. November 2008: My First Dump.
I didn't think it could go downhill from there, but I didn't know Jon & Kate. Pawning the boys off on Gran 'n' Gramps, they took the girls to a "professional" photographer who apparently drew inspiration from Barely Legal. He coached the nymphets through all kinds of provocative poses, then everyone gathered around his computer and declared the results darling.
One episode was all I could bear, but I visited the family's Web site, which only forced more bile up my throat. Not surprisingly, it's all Kate and no Jon. And in her version of reality, this is all part of God's plan to make her Supermom.
Why is it that God always tells people what they want to hear? If I learned that I had bum ovaries, I might think God was steering me towards adoption (if not away from motherhood). Not Kate! Between the first and second litters, someone actually offered them a newborn, but they "felt God leading us a different way" - i.e., back to the fertility doctor to be shot up with hormones and get a boatload of artificially fertilized eggs implanted in her uterus. The Lord works in mysterious ways, doesn't he?
Rhetorical question: Isn't it disingenuous to describe clinically produced sextuplets as "miracle babies" and gifts from God?