Monday, March 11, 2013
No sooner had I promised to essentially vanish for the week than I turned on the TV to find Nickelodeon for Inara and who did I happen to come across on NBC's Today show? The Duggars. All 106 of them. On the show for a -- wait for it -- "big announcement." Yes, one of Jim Bob and Michelle's sons, Josh, is having a baby with his wife, the apparently insane Anna. This is their third. The Duggars have now spawned so many children that their bloodline is guaranteed to be Today show fodder well into the next millennium. I can't help but figure that Michelle Duggar's vagina is so irreparably wasted by this point that she's now forced to outsource the baby-making to her kids and grandkids, kind of the way that Adam Richman had to inevitably turn Man vs. Food into Man vs. Food Nation, where he pawned the face-stuffing off to other hapless idiots because his stomach had finally just given out on him.
Speaking of reality shows, the Duggars also pushed the fact that theirs will be coming back to TLC. (Catch it right between Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and the show about the two-headed woman!) The new season will kick off later this week with the entire family taking their lunatic Christian "Quiverfull" beliefs on the road to Asia. They said the first thing that shocked them about places like Japan is that everyone has only one child. In the world of the Duggars this is what's known as crazy. To everyone else, particularly in places like Japan and China, it's called being responsible -- or being forced to work so many hours because you don't have a reality show gravy train that you just don't have the time or resources to spend all your time on your back cranking out babies like chocolates coming down a conveyor belt.
Anyway, you know the drill by now. Every time there's a new Duggar announcement on Today -- and I know about it -- this piece comes back. The only saving grace this time is that Today's ratings are in the toilet these days, at least in comparison to a few years ago. I like to believe that their slavish, pathetic obsession with the Duggars is part of the reason why.
Birth Defects: An Open Letter To The American Media (Originally Published, 12.22.08)
I'm writing today to issue a plea on behalf of the sane, reasonably well-adjusted people all across this country of ours. It's admittedly a move borne out of desperation and spawned from the mind of someone who's been pushed to the brink of madness, but I would only hope that this fact underscores the anguish being felt by the American people and therefore the seriousness of what I'm about to say.
Please, in the name of all that's decent, stop, stop, stop treating the Duggars like they're celebrities.
This morning, like clockwork, the Duggar family -- Jim Bob, Michelle, her clown car vagina, and the 18 kids whose names all inexplicably begin with the letter "J" -- made their traditional appearance on NBC's Today to show off the latest addition to their constantly expanding litter. As always, they basked in the glow of the national media spotlight, were treated to oodles of warm encomia, and took the opportunity to joyfully drop the name of the Lord every few seconds like there was some kind of Skinner Box treat in it for them.
The Today show has become something akin to the official press secretariat of the Duggars -- excitedly fawning over each birth and the fresh pregnancy announcement that invariably, immediately follows it as if this information were something that actually mattered to anyone. But, obviously, Today isn't alone in its cultural elevation of the Duggars from crazy homemade cult to all-American heroes.
And make no mistake -- these people are indeed crazy.
Completely out of their fucking minds.
You know something, though? That's okay. They're entitled to live their lives however the hell they want; as long as none of their kids -- born an average of one a year since 1988 -- ends up on welfare and we the taxpayers have to foot the bill for little Jolene or Jonah. I honestly couldn't care less that there's an insane family living in Arkansas cranking out children because God says so. The problem is that you, the media -- NBC, ABC, TLC, etc. -- keep giving these people face time, thereby convincing them that everyone in this country not crazier than a shithouse rat actually loves hearing the latest news about Michelle Duggar's de-elasticized cervix. I'm not suggesting that you're encouraging them -- since you couldn't, as they take their cues from a supposedly higher authority -- but you are giving them the chance to hawk their books, TV show and the assorted other crap that allows them to afford to continue spitting out kids like chocolates coming down a conveyor belt. These people shouldn't be cast in a positive light. They shouldn't be cast in any light at all. If they want to keep trying to single-handedly overpopulate the Earth for Jesus, they should have to pay for it without the help of your unwarranted free publicity, media.
Let's see how long they'd last once the gravy train you guys happily play conductor of dries up.
Like Paris Hilton, whose career you're also guilty of perpetuating and foisting on an exhausted public, the Duggars are famous only for their unusual sexual habits.
And like Paris Hilton, they've never deserved the wealth of attention you've lavished on them. They're religious zealots who won't stop having babies. That's it. Nothing more.
So once again, knock it the hell off. Stop shoving this family down our collective throat.
If the Duggars one day make the announcement that they've decided to start using contraception, or if one of their kids comes out with horns or something, feel free to give them a couple minutes of airtime. Until then, remember that you're the mainstream media -- not Procreation Quarterly and not a carnival barker.
Leave the freakshow to the circus folk, okay?
Thanks and Happy Holidays,