Monday, February 09, 2009

Off to TAMU

On Wednesday I am off to Texas A&M University for a few glorious days of symposiuming (I made that word up. If you use it, you owe me a dime.). As you may guess, the symposium is work related, so I will need to be on my best behavior.

I hope to catch up with some College Station-bound work buddies while I'm there, and I guess I'm going to a couple of dinners sponsored by the event. Which should be... rocking?

I haven't been to a conference in a while, especially not one so laser-focused on my current work. Should be fun, says I.

When I disappear mid-week from blogging, you'll know why.

Jon & Kate Plus 8

There's this show on basic cable about this couple who had twins already, then went on fertility treatments to have another kid and wound up with six more, for a total of eight.

My fascination with the show is somewhat morbid, as I sort of wonder not if, but when the show is going to fall apart because the titular Jon will finally decide he has had it with his wife and runs off to Tahiti with a dancer named "Tanqueray".

Initially, I think Jamie believed I was being a jerk about the whole thing, but upon further inspection, she too learned that "Kate" has decided the show is her public platform for slowly eating away at the poor dude's soul. One certainly gets the feeling Jon is used to his wife's humiliating treatment, but... seriously, Leaguers. It's pretty frikkin' rough. And while they've saddled themselves with 8 kids, were Jon to seek a legal conclusion to their marriage, he'd have hundreds of hours of video to turn to as Exhibit A as to why a divorce is a pretty good idea. No court in the land would be on her side.

On a cute TLC show about the trials of an oversized family, one shouldn't wonder if you're crossing a line from "sassy" to "emotionally abusive". Because, seriously, if that were Jon talking that way to Kate, people would be up in arms.

I look forward to the day when we all find out Jon fled on a very special episode of "Kate Plus 8 (minus Jon and his Income)".

But I will watch the spin-off series "Jon and Tanqueray Minus a Vas Deferens Flee to a Non-Extradition Nation".

Comic Fodder Column up.

Miss Melbotis

As good a company as I find Lucy and Jeff, its tough to replace Mel's editorializing and personality. While generally in an excellent mood, he also wasn't afraid to let you know what he was thinking. I think I need that to keep me in line.

Anyway, its been well over a month now, but you find you still miss him in small ways all the time.


Michael Corley said...

My mother-in-law would watch aforementioned show and that was the instant conculsion I reached. This show is a fulcrum for crushing the spirit of Jon. The kids are merley window dressing. TLC couldn't green light, "Bitch kills man every so slowly" so they went with the child angle.

Dug said...

We miss Mel too, even way out here on the left coast, and we rarely saw him.

Simon MacDonald said...

My wife watches J&K+8 and has for years. About 4 or 5 months ago I couldn't take it anymore and in foolish moment I decided to share my true views on the show so I said "Boy, Kate is a grinch." Mind you I didn't say "grinch" but rather a word that rhymes with it.

My wife went apoplectic on me over the comment. Accusing me of all sorts of misogynistic who hah.

However, now she is starting to come around and see how abusive Kate is to Jon. She's now making similar comments to me and I just smile :)

The League said...

Somewhere along the way we started mistaking "soul-crushing" for "sassy". As I mentioned, if Jon were speaking that way to Kate, the show would never have left the launch pad, and someone would force them into therapy. I guess part of what bugs me is that there's such a clear imbalance of respect (read: power) in the relationship, but the show frames it as domestic bliss and the audience seems to go along with it.

Part of me sees it as an extension of the recent trend in domestic sit-coms such as whatever the George Lopez show is called and "Everybody Loves Raymond", where the comedy stems from the wife and family's constant disappointment in the husband (seriously, "Everybody Loves Raymond" used to make me kind of uncomfortable when I'd have to watch it).

JK+8 just happens to be a reality show, and instead of a round of applause from the studio audience, you get a cold feeling in the pit of your stomach.

One wonders if there's so much they can't cut around it, and what might be on the cutting room floor?And, most certainly, what happens when Jon doesn't play the nice guy? We see little glimpses of that, and its not good.

You sort of want to find Jon, put $10K in his hand, a passport under a false name and set the man free.

Simon MacDonald said...

I forgot to mention that the Comic Geek Speak Podcast crew live near JK+8. In fact one of the guys wife was in an early episode where the kids are getting their pictures taken. The opinion of the CGS crew was that she is an even worse person in real life.

The League said...

I'm not entirely surprised to hear TLC edits down Kate's personality to make the show tolerable. Sure, I understand watching over 8 kids must be very stressful, but something tells me that's not the source of the issue.

And, part of we wonders how screwed up those kids are going to be once they're old enough to begin processing Mommy's nutiness and Daddy's passive approach to persistent verbal abuse.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Yeh, I agree with everyone...Jon will one day get tired of her ripping him a new one everyday and go postal on her...and NO jury in the world will convict him. She bitched him out over a receipt the other day..heaven forbid he leaves a towel on the bathroom floor. Thanks for keeping us all single and childless Jon. We feel for you you poor bastard!