It may be a subjective blog, but it's Are Blog!

Here's the tough thing about comments written to a blog -- they can't actually be edited, even by the board administrators. So when we have a comment submitted for publication, there are two buttons to click: Publish and Reject -- there is no Edit button.

Usually, after reading the comment carefully, it is an easy choice and we click the button and move on. But there are times when more consideration is needed because a post isn't all that straightforward. Is the comment interesting, well-articulated, reasonably civil, and relevant to the discussion? Great! But what if in the midst of all that's right, there is something wrong? Ranting that makes this blog look like the work of nutjobs or flakes? Insulting and negative words aimed at the Gosselin children? Name-calling of Jon, Kate, or those whose opinions differ from the person who wrote the post?

If there were a way to publish the great parts of the post while leaving out the clutter, we just might do that. But we can't, so we have to decide if we want to reject it and throw the baby out with the bathwater, or publish it anyway and risk discrediting ourselves and what we say we are working toward.

In the interest of keeping our momentum going in the right direction, we are going to be less likely to publish comments that resort to slurs against the Gosselin children, and comments that resort to name-calling to make a point. Same goes for comments that are just hostile or condescending in tone. Swearing is fine, we're all adults and can handle it -- but if all you have to bring to the table is the spice without the meat, we're not going to serve it.

P.S. You may also want to read the first entry in the FAQ section of our sidebar, "Why didn't my comment ever show up? Where did it go?". If you still aren't sure why your comment(s) were rejected, please email me at serenaleighbell@yahoo.com for clarification.

Confessions of a Convert

I feel the need to write this, not so much for those who have been writing negative things about J&K+8 on TWoP and here and other boards, but mostly for those who defend them. Dare I say you are defending them blindly.

I love this show. Love, love, love this show. Whilst drowning in that love, I had a thick set of blinders on. Somehow I was equating the love of the show with the belief that IF I loved that show, then nothing was wrong on that show, or with the family.

I read everything on TWoP (yeah, everything). I was registered there, but didn't post much. I guess I posted enough to get myself banned, which shocked the hell out of me. I really thought those defending J&K were kind of bullet proofed from getting tossed. I really thought the mods there were just there to make sure nothing really bad got said about the family. I got banned for being off topic and for talking about another board. But I kept reading. It made me angry to see so many people have so many bad things to say about a family that 99.99% of them didn't know or had never met.

Yes, I was a sheeple. Yes, I yearned for J&K to come an speak locally so I could meet them. I wasn't going to bow down or kiss their ring or anything, but just thought they were great people with unusual circumstances. I thought they were great parents with great kids. I would have also fed the love offering basket. I totally believed that no one had a right to criticize them, that unless they walked a mile in their shoes, no one could snark them. I defended (at least to myself) everything they did, even wanting to keep on the nurse when the healthy tups were over a year old. "She wants the best for her kids", I told myself. "Maybe I would do the same thing if I had all those kids and felt I couldn't take care of them completely". Oh yeah, I was in serious denial. I defended her meltdowns, her belittling her husband and children. I could justify alienating her family and Jon's from those kids and themselves..."There must be a very valid reason the grandparents are not in their lives, and it can't all be Kate's fault". My tools of justification of the anger she apparently feels at her husband, kids and those around her ranged from having a bad day to PMS to exhaustion (yes, EXHAUSTION!), to trying to do her best for her kids. I supported her choice to try for "Just one more", believing she had no idea, even after over-ovulating, that she could have more than one.

I became so critical of those who criticized them. I would scream FOUL while reading some of the posts. I would think those posters had no life, and nothing good to say about anyone or anything, that they must be miserable people. GET A LIFE, I would almost shout at the computer screen.

This is hard to admit. Very hard. Christmas of 2007, I was actually thinking about buying gifts for all of the tups and the twins. I have kids of my own, I have nieces and nephews of my own to buy presents for. Then what would possess me to walk around Toys R Us while shopping for my own family to be seeing things and contemplate BUYING those things for the Gosselins? Geesh. I actually had an animal playset in my cart for Aaden and was in a midst of choosing between two toys for the twins, and had already picked out, but not ordered, three other gifts for them on Amazon. And right there, in Toys R Us, I had this huge WTF moment. It was like a got hit from behind the head with a cinder block. OK, puuuuut the gifts back. Eeeeempty the shopping cart on Amazon. Eaaaaasy does it. Gosh, I was thinking, "Am I brainwashed?". I think so. If I knew Jim Jones so many years ago, I would have drank the Kool Aid.

Anyway, that did not change my impression of the Gosselins or the show. It was just a nasty realization that I was struggling to pay for my own family's Christmas gifts. My husband had just lost his job and things were tight. Not starving to death tight,, but tight.

I continued along my merry way since Christmas, denying and justifying everything Gosselin. "Jon can't work, Kate needs him and he needs to spend time with those kids", "Kate deserves spa days, she works so hard" and on and on....you know the scripts.

My sister, who lives two states away also watched the show religiously and her and I would talk about that great show, and how awful those snarkers were. She was watching her area for the Gosselins to arrive, as devout a Catholic would pray that the Pope will visit their town.

Then, along came the Tups 4th birthday show. It was just not the straw that broke the camel's back, it was the 10 ton pickup truck that broke the camel's back. I had reached the denial breaking point. It all came into focus in 22 short minutes. I don't have to rehash that episode, you all know it, but it all came together like a huge puzzle. Kate is nothing but a fame whore, a money whore, a conceited bitch who feels like the world owes her everything she wants. She cares for no one except herself, and that includes her husband and the eight children that paid for spa visits, teeth whitening, striped hair, novelty T shirts and organic macaroons with their innocent childhood blood. That episode was horrible, and certainly nothing the viewers had never seen before, just in its concentrated state was so much more potent.

I truly believe those kids are in for a life of emotional hell if something isn't done and soon. The show needs to end, and give those kids back some kind of life. Kate needs some serious help that will most likely need to be done as an in-patient. Jon needs to grow a set, step up to the bat and be even more of a father than he has been. He needs to mend some fences with family and friends so he can have some help, as he will need to go back to work. Yes, Jon can be a lazy slug, but when it comes to those kids, I do believe his heart is in the right place.

I will never see this show the same again. My sister, independently of my thoughts, came to the same realization after this episode. It was really an eye opener, and I think even their biggest supporters (of which I was one) need to admit to themselves that this is a tragic situation. And by putting themselves on TV and doing national speaking tours, they have opened themselves up to criticism as well as they praise they so love. Is it our business to intervene and do what we can? YOU BET YOUR SWEET ASS IT IS. It is akin to seeing a man laying in the street who was just run over by a car. If you are aware of it, you need to do something about it. In the case of the Gosselins the best offense is to get the word out to as many people as possible to open their eyes, and through these forums is the very best way to accomplish this. God bless those children.

Submitted for publication by Nancy K.