Sunday, July 20, 2008

"Reality" TV

I don't watch much TV. Most days, I don't watch any at all. One thing I would never purposefully turn on is any sort of "Day in the life" reality show. I have enough to do in my own family. I don't need to see the networks' spin on how anyone else handles theirs.

So I have never, even once, watched "Jon and Kate Plus 8". I know, it's very popular. It's highly lauded for the most part on the Triplet Connection message board, although one would never know otherwise as we are not allowed to post negatively about them (apparently they are members there...I've never seen them but that doesn't mean anything. I'm none too active myself.). Point is I have read snippets about them, seen the recipe for "Monkey Munch", etc.

I never paid too much attention until recently when someone posted a link. They were hoping the info was not true...the link was to this blog. Having nothing to do at the moment, and knowing the TC post would be immediately deleted so I wouldn't get another chance, I clicked. Then clicked again...then did a Google just so happened I was lying in bed sick at the time so I had the entire day to lie around surfing online.

What I found was appalling to me. Not for anything to do with the way they raise their kids, whether they are lying about anything or not, how they treat their family members...although it certainly does raise an eyebrow. One reason I don't care about "reality" TV is that I'm pretty sure it's NOT reality. Depending on the mood of the producer, it will show them in a good, negative or neutral light, whatever they think will bring in ratings at the time. I know, they can't show what doesn't happen -- but hell, if I had a TV camera following me around all day, every day, I'm sure they could piece together a pretty convincing episode of me being nothing more than a screeching bitch. And apparently, the "train wreck" is attracting new viewers, so who knows what is really true?

That's not what bothers me. THIS is what bothers me. I'm not sure where I got this link. It was on one of the message boards or blogs I came across the other day. It's a message to not the Gosselins, but the McCaughey's after the birth of their septuplets.

Advice from the Dionne Quintuplets

Some notable quotes from the letter:

Multiple births should not be confused with entertainment, nor should they be an opportunity to sell products

Our lives have been ruined by the exploitation we suffered... those who would seek to exploit the growing fame of these children, we say beware.

We sincerely hope a lesson will be learned from examining how our lives were forever altered by our childhood experience. If this letter changes the course of events for these newborns, then perhaps our lives will have served a higher purpose.

I don't think the lesson has been learned. Photobucket

I remember learning about the Dionne Quints when I was a child. My parents remember well how the children were put on parade and displayed like circus animals. As a child when I heard of this. I could not comprehend it. I know I was cognizant enough to wonder WHAT their parents could have been thinking??? And I wonder the same thing with every new "Family Reality" show that comes out. WHAT are they thinking? It's one thing for consenting adults to choose to do this themselves. But to get their children involved? I wonder if the Gosselins have seen the letter from the Dionnes? Those precious girls, old women now, only three left, who never got to live a normal life? Whose lives even as adults are screwed up by the poor choices of the adults who are supposed to be looking out for their best interests? Do other parents not care, or do they just not worry, or my guess is they just don't THINK?

Sudden visual of Scarlett O'Hara..."I'll think about it tomorrow"...

I pray that they will open their eyes SOON and see the damage, potential though it may be, and STOP the madness.

No college funds? Me neither. Yes, it's scary. My oldest is going next year. He's going to have to do the best he can with financial aid and the generosity of a family member who has set up a fund for our children. My other children will have to do the same, because honestly, we have not been able to save anything at all. Clothing? We got a lot of ours at yard sales. I gave up matching outfits pretty quickly the first time one got dirty and I felt like I had to change both of them. Did we have a lot of help when they were babies? YES!! A LOT of help, even from strangers, and I am grateful for every bit of it! Did I accept freebies from generous companies? YES!! I accepted even the formula I didn't plan to use. Once I knew I was able to nurse and didn't need it I did pass it on. Did we consider ever doing any sort of show business with them to help out? YES! We looked into advertising and modeling, especially with two identical boys. It didn't work out, and now hearing from others who only did a couple of spots, I'm glad. It doesn't seem worth it, to me, although I would never judge anyone who decides to do a few.

And I would never ask, but if someone had offered me a house or a van I would jump at it! Photobucket

I think the families who allow occasional magazine articles and/or TV specials have it right, especially if they insist on as much control as possible. I have watched these specials, I especially enjoy the McCaughey's as she was expecting them around the same time I was my third. I do enjoy reading the articles and seeing the pictures.

But day to day exposure? Professional lights installed in the house? Parents' room is off limits to cameras but children's are NOT?? WHAT are they thinking?? Photobucket

Please, someone think of the children! Not about paying for the children -- about THE CHILDREN themselves! There is just NO WAY this can be good for them. Stop the madness! Photobucket