Kate Gosselin and The Cosmic Shame

On Monday, Kate Gosselin went on The Today Show to speak with Matt Lauer about the recent cancellation of her TLC reality show Kate Plus 8. She said that losing her show felt like “the end of an era.” According to her, the show was the “start of her career,” and it’s the way she’s been providing for her kids for the last six years. Though hopeful for the future and the continuation of this career, she admitted,”It’s a little scary.”

However, the show’s cancellation wasn’t so frightful for her ex-husband, Jon Gosselin. Speaking recently, he said he was glad the show was cancelled, so his kids can return to a normal life and get the real attention they need. He also stated that being on a reality show isn’t a real job. When asked about Jon’s reaction, Kate had this to say:

“It’s a situation where, you know, Jon may be accepting of mediocre for his kids and working a regular job. I want the best for my kids and the best opportunities, not unlike every parent. I think that to be a good parent is to work as hard as you can and give them the best opportunities in life, and this has provided that.”

Aside from the obvious insult to all working parents in the world who aren’t celebrities, there is a larger question here. The question of dream vs. delusion. This reminds me of a post I read last night. On Keeping Sane, blogger Kat Ward wrote:

“And, every day I vow to not give up on my dream to be a published writer who can actually sell enough books so that I can write full-time. But, is this delusional? Parents aren’t supposed to be delusional, are they? Chasing a pipe dream is not the best example for a child.”

Tenacious D wrote about this in their song, “The Cosmic Shame.” It’s all about how following your heart can go either way: it may be the right thing, or it may steer you painfully wrong. They implore you, “Set the artist free. Quit your day job. Focus on your craft, one time.” But when is that a waste of time, and how do we know if we’re following a pipe dream? Or if we do quit, are we settling for mediocre?

Here is what I see as criteria for avoiding the cosmic shame:

  1. You need to have some genuine talent, and a true passion for your craft.
  2. You need to seek feedback from multiple sources. That way you can avoid being delusional, ala American Idol first round contestants.
  3. You need to work hard every day, educate yourself, and seek to improve in your craft and your career.
  4. You must have realistic goals.

Using this criteria, let’s look at both Kat and Kate to see how they match up:

  • Kat Ward: Has a genuine passion for writing. Vows every day not to give up. Obviously wants it bad enough. Per her blog, she has sought feedback from multiple and varying sources. Had humility and took in the constructive criticism she received. Thus, she is seeking to improve. She is working on multiple manuscripts now, so she continues to work hard. Her goals are realistic- she wants to write full-time and make a living. She never said anything about getting rich or being a mega-star. Hey Kat, this sounds good! You pass. Thumbs up.
  • Kate Gosselin: Has no real discernible talent. She cares about her kids, but I can’t say she has a passion for taking care of them when she has so much help. A lot of people have help and daycare and such, but not many literally have truckloads of crew members along with the nannies and other helpers. There is much feedback available to her, including from the father of her kids, but she doesn’t seem to be accepting any views that don’t fit her plans. She works hard, albeit with her publicist and agent. I don’t see any evidence of her working to improve at anything- writing, broadcasting, etc. Her goals are not realistic. She feels entitled to make a lot of money for appearances she makes which are based simply on her being famous. This is not a realistic job in the long term. Fame is fleeting, this can’t be expected to last forever. Bad news, Kate. You fail. Not even an F+. Thumbs way down.

Regarding the future, Kate Gosselin went on to say during the interview, “I’m sure you will see my kids again at some point.” I’m sure we will. Let’s just hope it’s not for something bad. And that’s the cosmic shame: some people simply need to stop what they’re doing, and for others (like Kat), it would be a shame if they did.

Source: Keeping Sane (Kat Ward), YouTube (Kate Gosselin), YouTube (Tenacious D- NSFW/EXPLICIT)

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16 thoughts on “Kate Gosselin and The Cosmic Shame

  1. Smart. I love this. I’ve said for a long time that Kate Gosselin was the devil. She is. What’s really scary is her saying, “You’ll see my kids again” instead of “You’ll see ME again.” Using your children to make money or to be famous is disgusting.

  2. The start of her career as what, exactly? A reality show fame whore? Yes, Kate Gosselin is indeed delusional. And whiny and defensive and close-minded and, quite frankly, a real bitch, in my humble opinion. The implication that working a “regular job” means a life of mediocrity really burns my cookies.

    I also dream of being a published writer who can make a sustainable living doing what I love. In the meantime, I’m working a “regular” 9-5 job that does very little to leave me fulfilled and work on my blog and my writing in my spare time. My writing to-do list is long and varied and probably destined to remain incomplete. But I’m not a celebrity and I have a mortgage to pay and a little girl who looks to me to set examples for her in life, and so I do what I have to do. And I don’t sit around in my spare time bemoaning my life of mediocrity. Especially since I recognize that I’m a hell of a lot more well off than a lot of people.

    But I suppose that’s just the way it is for us “regular” folk.

  3. This was a GREAT post, Jeff. I’m a creative mom. I’m a musician and an artist. I love to do lots of things. However, since becoming a mother, when any one of MY passions has compromised my ability to parent, that’s it. That’s the end of it, for me. I was in a band for over 3 years while I was still married to Maycee’s dad. Back then, when he could be with her if I had a practice or a gig, it worked. I only spent maybe one evening a week doing it, and the fellas I played with were all working parents and good role models. When I divorced and had to take on a full-time working situation, 90% custody, I quit. Period. No matter what, my child comes first, my passions whether hobbies, work, even romance (uh hem), or whatever else, come second. I know that my talents and loves that make me me will still be there when Maycee is grown. If I can do things to keep me productive and fresh while still being the best mom I can be, then I’m happy with that. That’s the criteria I use, and Kate Gosselin along with others like her, whether famous or not, make me cringe. Kat Ward, I’ll have to check out her blog, but sounds to me like a mom with her priorities lined up and a dream to keep working towards.

  4. I’m so glad they got cancelled. I’ve done my best to get them off the air, i.e. not watching their show or following her life. I can’t say I know much about her, nor do I have 8 kids and I don’t want to judge, BUT geesh. Some folks just like to live in a delusion, not me, cant afford to. I will say that I’m one of the richest people out there, b/c I get to spend time with my family everyday. I would also love to make a living from my writing. I hope one day it will make a contribution, something, anything 🙂

    1. We all define wealth and success in different ways. So I suppose it brings new meaning to the phrase, “Being poor sucks.”

      It’s much better to have a good head on your shoulders. One can always get material things later. But you can’t get a new mind.

  5. Good morning, Jeff. What a great piece today. Thank you (thank you!) for your comments, and support. Since you were the very first person to read and comment on my new blog (http://keepingsane.com/) you have secured a permanent place in my soul-nurturing creativity chamber. I’m on a deadline today, but I will make sure to carve out some time today to read more of your work. So very many thanks.

    1. Glad to be of service.
      Just makes me think of the movie Jesus’ Son:

      Nurse (to the hospital orderly): What do you even do here?
      Georgie (played by Jack Black, incidentally): I save lives.

      I don’t save lives, or change lives. I just write things on the Internet, stick it to the man, and try not to make real people too mad. Keep writing. It’s fun.

  6. Kate needs to go away, far away. She does not deserve a job in show business. She is clearly exploiting her children. She, herself, has nothing to offer the world. I don’t really care to see her children again, because I fear it will be a mug shot.

  7. Her behavior is not a surprise. She was used to displaying her children for money, so of course she doesn’t want that to stop. Every time Kate and Jon talked on the screen, I cringed; especially her tone that she kept taking with him. Not saying he was a saint, but keep the skeletons in the closet please.

    I’m not sure if her expectations are realistic, they sure as heck doesn’t sound like it, but if that is what’s going to keep her sane (what’s left of it)…. Let’s just hope that the children won’t be affected anymore than they have already. From what I read, children who grow up in the spot light don’t always grow up happy.

  8. Jeff,

    I know Kat personally and her passion, drive, talent and karma are present in an amazingly friendly way. She has regularly photographed the kids at our children’s school and she does a fantastic job of it. Real talent. I know this because I am a professional photographer too but I knew enough to know that Kat was the better choice for the job. She’s a great person to know.

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