Plus 8 Redux–”Sit in the corner until you can be happy!”

by anna on July 15, 2008

Sigh. I had not planned on writing about Jon and Kate again, since I felt I had covered all of my gripes thoroughly in last week’s installment. But the thoughtful comments you have provided on that piece have prompted some reflection on my part and–more importantly, I watched, “Jon Cooks a Korean Dinner” last night with Mr. Right-Click, and again felt compelled to yell at the screen and chuckle intermittently. I’ve got to hand it to the producers, they have embraced their lot of peddling moral ambiguity to the morally ambiguous, and they are milking it for all it’s worth. And oh yeah, ME WANTS SUMMORE!

But before I rip last night’s episode a new one, let me address some of your thoughtful comments.

For the Christians in the bunch, I do regret any offense I caused by evaluating Christianity alongside Jon and Kate–if, that is, a few clumsy snarks can even be considered an evaluation, which I think is perhaps giving me more credit than I deserve. I do ask you to try to let my godlessness roll off your backs, though–let my inevitable firey fate be your guiding light through these trying, godless posts, and in the same way that I acknowledge and respect your right to believe that I will go to hell for not accepting Jesus Christ as my personal savior, please extend me the courtesy of allowing me to call your beliefs “screwy.” Nuff said.

Several of you questioned the morality of discussing the kids’ personalities/possible sexual identities in a public forum. Point taken. It is a questionable practice, and something upon which I did deliberate extensively before pressing “publish.” Having said that, I feel compelled to point out that most people taking issue with these evaluations focused their attention on Joel, and ignored the comments/armchair psychologisms leveled at Mady and, more to the point, Collin. Did you guys miss these classifications–or are alcoholism and autism spectrum disorders not as serious libel? Would you rather be autistic than homosexual? Or would you rather be an alcoholic? Which is the worst tragedy?

I bring this up not because I think establishing a hierarchy in this instance is advisable or needed. I just find it disturbing that everyone reacted to what they perceived as an allegation of homosexuality so strongly. You have a point about talking about kids, and I admit that the fact that the sextuplets are only 4 is informing my decision to discuss them here–if I felt there was a likelihood of them subscribing to an RSS feed, perhaps I would have been gentler with them. But the main point is that my discussing the kids here is performing the fundamental problem with the show. I am demonstrating the problem. It is my contention that children SHOULD NOT be dissected in this way. Get it?

But that was last week. On to happier topics. In last night’s episode, Jon decided to cook an authentic Korean dinner from “ancient Chinese secret” recipes.

Wait.

What?

Jon’s two-day culinary undertaking is so attentive to detail that it requires the separation of the white part of green onions from the green, a level of perfection that I would have thought would get Kate hot, but which in fact has the opposite effect. Kate is so upset to be evicted from “her kitchen” by Jon and her “lovely crew,” that she must take refuge in the bedroom with a laptop and wait for Jon to bring her Korean/Hawaiian/”ancient Chinese secret” fried rice to sample and approve.

Wait, if Jon is cooking, and Kate is sulking, then who is watching the kids? The “lovely crew”?

No, no, it is the family helper, Jenny (Is that her name? I don’t know, but she’ll be fired soon, so does the name really matter?), who comes for a “certain number of hours” a week to help out. While she’s playing with the kids in the driveway (is this the only place the kids are allowed to play? Do they have a backyard?), Jon continues to cook his elaborate meal. But why does Jon decide to do this? In the interview, he states that it is an exercise designed “to show that if something were to happen to [Kate], that they could eat and survive.” Are we planning something, Jon? While I (and much of America, probably) sympathize with this idea, you might want to forgo discussing the details of your plot, even if it is only on deep cable. You know, just to avoid questions later.

Jon and Kate have several opportunities to dish out self- (and husband-) loathing anti-Asian remarks during the interview phase of the show. Kate is in the Isaiah 40:31 shirt this week (Isaiah 40:31 is so hot right now) and uses her best Mickey-Rooney-in-Breakfast-at-Tiffany’s impression to describe the vehemence with which Jon’s family guards these ancient Chinese Korean secret recipes.

In parenting news, Alexis and Joel get to go with Jon to the Asian market, prompting Aaden to sob uncontrollably. Apparently, the kids take turns going on these excursions, and Aaden had gone with his father the last time. Why does he react so strongly, when he is “old enough to understand” that it’s not his turn? I dunno. Maybe he fears he will be left alone with Mommy forever? Come back, Daddy! But after crying for a while, Aaden is sent to time out “until [he] can be happy.” Listen up, kids: unhappiness–or, at the very least, inability to fake happiness–will be punished! How dare you miss your Dad!

It was at this point in the show that Mr. Right-Click asked why Kate didn’t snuggle Aaden, or try to comfort him. To be fair, it is entirely possible that she did and it was edited out–I have seen far worse selective editing done on reality shows. But we do know that Aaden ended up on his trundle bed sucking his thumb. Poor kid.

The episode ends with a discussion of relative Asianness in the household, in which the kids argue about who is more Asian than whom, and try to establish who is the least Asian. Daddy is the most Asian (obviously). Apparently Mommy and Alexis are universally acknowledged as being the least Asian. I have no idea what this means. I mean I really tried to dissect it, I even got out a pencil and paper and started a flow chart, but every way I look at it, it’s still a mystery.

The best sentiment came from an exasperated Leah who announced, “Everybody’s Asian!”

{ 6 comments }

Coasty July 15, 2008 at 7:39 pm

Great insight and humor as usual. I love your stuff and have been telling all my friends about you since I first discovered your blogging genius. Keep up the good work. Lovin’ it!!!

ELizabeth July 15, 2008 at 7:40 pm

Thanks for your explanation about your views on religion. We feel like we know you from reading your postings and this you most assuredly can count on: we are praying for you every single night. God bless!

Weezy July 20, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Have been reading all through the blog and really enjoying it. I do want to say that the layout today (7-20-08) is my favorite thus far.

anna July 20, 2008 at 3:36 pm

Thanks, weez. I like this one too. I’m still working out some of the customizations, but this one allows me to do all of the tech stuff I need and still have some design control. Hopefully I’ll get it all worked out soon.

eliz September 18, 2008 at 11:57 am

I just found your blog yesterday and I think I’m a little bit in love. So much so that I don’t want your first impression of me to be someone who chooses to leave her first comment on a “Jon + Kate” post. (I’ve only seen the show a few times! Really!) Something about a recent episode (the one where they look at “property” – aka huge homes complete with horse pastures – so it was probably curiosity over exactly what sort of IT it is that Jon practices) caused me to whip out my Google and I found this:

http://gosselinswithoutpity.blogspot.com/

which posits that neatnik Kate makes the kids play on the driveway because they’ll get dirty playing on the lawn. (Related note: Just now as I went to GWOP to get the link for you, I see that there will be a Duggars Without Pity site soon! Day-um!)

(The GWOP site is really not good reading at all. It’s comprised of posts from lower middle-class TV devotees in a snit over the Gosselin children’s “designer” wardrobe from Target and the Gap.)

I’m glad I didn’t see this “Asian” episode. Woulda pissed me off. Kate seems like the type of parochial white person who loves Jon in spite of his ethnicity.

eliz September 18, 2008 at 11:57 am

Ack! When italics attack!

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