2. Jon and Kate – As I mentioned in #4, I hate reality television. Nobody cares about the people involved in the shows; the only concern is ratings. It is not often that child abuse is shown on national television, but TLC decided to bravely forge ahead with a new era of exploitation. For starters, there is a reason that humans very rarely have a large number of children at one time. Before having a large number of children at one time meant getting your own reality show, there was no way to financially support such a suddenly large family unless you were very wealthy. It is irresponsible and completely unfair to the children to choose to have such a large number of children at one time.
According to all sources I could find, the couple used an artificial fertility method because of a fertility problem with one of them. They didn’t plan on having six children, but when they found out that’s what was going to happen, the reportedly said, “no way!” to reduction. This is hypocrisy at its finest. Going against God, nature, or whatever you want to call it to become pregnant: Completely acceptable. Limiting the number of children: Completely unacceptable. You don’t get to have it both ways; you’re playing God.
So, flash-forward to the inevitable split. I feel so bad for these people who had their lives torn apart by the pressure of fame that they brought upon themselves in every decision they made. You don’t get to choose only the good parts of fame. Along with the money and the recognition comes the scrutiny. They chose to exploit themselves, and worse, chose to exploit their children. Just like with Balloon Boy, the kids are the only innocent victims here. They didn’t make a conscious decision to live their childhood on television, with the inevitable damage that brings. They just want to have a healthy, happy childhood without worrying if people are ridiculing their mother for her Flock of Seagulls throwback hairstyle. They didn’t ask for their dad to be douchebag of the year. The entire rest of their lives are influenced by the selfish decisions of their parents and the cold-hearted exploitation by the show’s producers and network executives.
The kids are the only real victims. Forget the parents’ relationship status; the kids need a divorce from these sick people.
7. Balloon Boy – This story had everything I hate about our society. Parents who give their children ridiculous names (Did you name your kid after a Midwest state? You might as well install a pole in her bedroom so she can get some practice for her future career), the twenty-four hour news cycle that values exclusive “information” over verified facts, and reality television, which will appear in future installments of this list.
Of course, it’s not every day that you get to watch a bag of Jiffy Pop soar majestically through the air like some kind of large bird like an eagle or something. It’s right on the tip of my tongue. Oh yeah, Falcon. That was my first clue that the kid wasn’t really in the balloon. Well, that and the use of my eyes to visually acquire information about the size and shape of the balloon, which then sent the information to my brain to process and send a signal to my mouth to say “WTFuck?! You’re seriously trying to tell me there’s a kid riding in that? Where? Does he have Saddam’s WMDs with him? Is he riding on an invisible unicorn under the balloon?”
I was shocked to learn that parents who name their kid Falcon exploited him for supposed fame and fortune. I guess being known as the douche in the balloon kinda qualifies as fame, I mean, you can’t spell “infamous” without “famous.” The strange thing is that the kid would have had a better chance at a well-adjusted life if his parents had named him Falco.
The only part of this story I liked was when the kid threw up on national television.