Friday, October 9, 2009

Train wreck waiting to happen

I used to be a faithful listener of NPR—it was the source for most of my news and current events, which I typically got caught up on during my commute to and from work.

A few months ago, however, I got sick of hearing yet another story about the financial crisis. I just couldn’t take any more bad news. So I started listening to audiobooks instead. I think I am more educated and better-informed as a result of the change.

I pretty much don’t pay attention to the news, with three exceptions. I subscribe to the RSS feeds for and The Economist. And I have a Google news feed in the sidebar of my computer desktop. For some reason this news feed is littered with stories about Jon & Kate, Paris & Nicky, and the Kardashians.

These people are “celebrities” for one reason and one alone: the media made them famous. Why would the media make them famous? Because they need content (and you’re reading this because now that racing season is over, so do I). And the only thing better than being the first to the scene of a train wreck is being on the train before it wrecks. These pseudo celebrities are all either a train wreck waiting to happen or already underway. And unlike a real train wreck, it’s in slow motion, so we get lots and lots of time to watch it unfold.

The latest story about Jon & Kate is the one that entertains me the most. Jon allegedly drained $230,000 from a mutual bank account. And spent it on what? Probably hookers and blow, but who knows. The amazing thing about this is that a couple in their 30’s that has eight kids managed to squirrel away $230K.

Sure, it doesn’t hurt that they made something like $2 million in the last four years, but this is where it gets really funny. Jon says his share of that was “only” $177,000 a year. The dude’s about my age, has eight kids, and he’s griping about a discretionary allowance of $177K per annum? Um, yeah. This guy’s grounded in reality.

He probably also thinks that money like that is just going to continue pouring in for the rest of his life. Because we’ll never get bored of his charm and good looks. Frankly if they made $2 million over four years and only have $230K to show for it, that’s pretty pathetic.

I’m setting the over/under for how many years until one or both of the Gosselins files for bankruptcy at three years. What side of the bet will you take?


  1. I heard half the players that retire from the NFL go bankrupt within 3 yrs and the annual salary for a NFL player is 2 million. They are going broke for sure.

  2. The really sad part of this whole story is that they do not live in California where they would be required to share the money with the kids. Rumor has it that they did not put anything away for the kids until someone threatned to bring them before a judge. This only happened in this past year.

    The only tweak to your over/under is that I will take under 3 years from the last day they shoot the last episode.

  3. I'd dump the Google news feed. I can't stand celebrity gossip, or worse, media-made pseudo-celebrities.

    I've been listening to NRP for a few years now. I like the breadth of All Things Considered but they get fixated on a topic and beat it to death. The glut of stories following and about hurricane Katrina was insane. And NPR is heavy on politics which I can only take so much of. I'll try an audiobook.