Saturday, July 26, 2014

It's Too Easy

Like, way too easy. Dangerously easy.

I'm going to take a (brief) break from the sarcasm and snark here to say that from the clips I saw on The Soup when Jon and Kate Plus Eight was on the air, I thought Kate seemed abusive, too. Emotionally abusive to her kids, and both emotionally and physically abusive to her husband. Of course, they were clips chosen for The Soup, so who knows? Robert Hoffman also directed his readers to this, and he's right. It's horrible. Full stop.

If these kids really are being abused, it's awful, and inexcusable that no one has stepped in. I know I look a lot like I'm passionately defending Kate, by mostly I just don't like Robert Hoffman. He uses some truly impressive mental gymnastics to "prove" points about Kate that may or may not be true. He's written a book in which this woman cannot win - she's a lazy stay at home mom who does nothing but care for eight children under 5 all day, she's a selfish career woman who works too much, etc. In the end, if you can look past the slam book-style list of all the ways in which Kate sucks, it appears that Jon and Kate are both highly maladjusted people who are doing the best they can, and failing miserably. Moreover, the book lets Jon off the hook for his many, many failures. Hoffman makes the absurd claim that he doesn't know what Jon has done about Kate's abusing their children, and he's never asked. You're writing a book about a close friend's children being abused, and you never asked him what's he's tried to do about it? Ish don't think so. If he hasn't asked, it was a very deliberate decision. Either he didn't want to know, or he knew the answer wouldn't be in keeping with his thesis.

In this clip, Robert approaches a newly separated Jon's car window while Jon drops his kids off with their mother after a weekend with him. He asks, "Hey, Jon, you bringing the kids back? Is it upsetting to have to bring them back to Kate's house?" If you can see a friend is having a hard time, you should definitely interview them. Jon, preoccupied, nods distractedly. Specifically, he is preoccupied with texting, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was texting someone over the situation with the gate or the kids, who are indeed wailing. However, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that Robert Hoffman would assume the absolute worst of Kate if she was on her phone in the same situation. You hear a chorus of wails from the children, and Robert claims it's because they're terrified to go home to their mom. But only one word is audible. "Daddy!" If you didn't know Kate was the devil, you'd almost think the kids find their parents' divorce upsetting and traumatic, are upset that their dad doesn't live with them anymore, and are saddened at not seeing him every day. It is indeed very sad, but doesn't necessarily confirm Robert's claims. When it's all over, Jon gets in Robert's car and leaves. You do feel sorry for Jon, having to depend on this guy who is obviously benefitting from his "concern" about his dear friend.

Back to the snark.

  • Kate once said "no pun intended" in reference to a pun that was clearly intentional. 
  • Jon figured out relatively quickly that, for for the good of all, he didn't want his family's life broadcast for public consumption. He'd been saying so for a long time, so it wasn't just a reaction to being kicked off the show after he and Kate separated. Why, when he wasn't missing meetings altogether, he was showing up late or intoxicated. If you can think of a better way to communicate with your employer, well, how nice for you. 
  • Nothing was sacred to Kate - she allowed too many of her family's private moments to be on the show.
  • When it came to plastic surgery, Kate had two offers to choose from. One would be filmed, the other wouldn't. She chose the latter. Robert's just going to leave that piece of information here, right next to the tacit implication that there was something suspicious or dishonest about it. He's pretty sure you won't wonder why on earth anyone would choose to have their plastic surgery filmed for national television if they didn't have to. 
  • Kate's journals are full of admissions she isn't perfect. She prays to be kinder, more patient, more relaxed, and more fun. Few parents are required to do this - most of us are exactly as good as we wish we were. As a matter of fact, if I'm to believe all this is really from Kate's journal, the mother she wishes she could be looks a lot like the mother Robert accuses her of pretending to be for the cameras. Like it's a wish as much as it's an act.
  • Kate expressed envy/admiration for the fact that Jon was often more patient and responsive to their kids than she was. She did this to make herself look good. 
  • Kate wasn't sad enough on the fifth anniversary of 9/11. Entirely possible she wasn't appropriately worried during the Iran Hostage Crisis, either.
  • Kate's streams of consciousness are unfocused. For example, in one journal entry, she wrote about her grief and regret over the death of her grandmother and her desire to go shopping for jeans. She misses her grandma? Liar! 
  • Kate emotionally abuses her children by badmouthing their father.
  • Jon meets his children's needs by badmouthing their mother.
  • Kate sets a bad example for her daughters by focusing on her appearance and getting plastic surgery. Should model healthy self-esteem by showing them who she really is is good enough.
  • Who Kate really is is not good enough. 

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