Tuesday, October 29, 2013

ALTM: Chapter Two: Babies, Babies, BABIES!

I had the hardest time reading chapter two and writing about it. Every time I tried to read I was triggered and sickened, preferring to hide under the covers of my nice warm bed and eat popcorn instead of reading and writing.

As always the Duggars started this chapter with a Bible verse. Luckily this time they actually had the correct verse number - “God blessed them and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply.” - Genesis 1: 28. But I have to wonder why they lopped off the backside of 1:28, you know, all that jazz about filling and subduing the earth and its critters.

Chapter two of “A Love That Multiplies” is all about Babies, Babies and more BABIES!!!! The sole reason for the Duggar fame and their television show. More freakish breeding starting out with the Duggars talking about the arrival of their first grandbaby Mackynzie Renee Duggar.

A few months before Mackynzie's birth it seems most normal that Michelle Duggar, the grandmother-to-be would end up enceinte again. Their wallet is based upon militant fecundity and it wasn't likely that Michelle would either forgo the television dollars or lose her position of Duggar top momma to that upstart Anna Duggar.

Baby Jordyn Duggar was a mere six months old when Michelle took a pregnancy test and showed the little plus sign on the peed upon stick to Jim Bob. He claimed surprise to learn that he was going to be a daddy again, but really how much of a surprise could it have been?

He disingenuously stated in the book “You probably won't believe this, but I could hardly believe that. If just wasn't on my radar for possibilities at the time. I knew that having another baby was completely possible --- God had proven that again and again. But the timing was really surprising.”

The book goes on to explain how Jim Bob and Michelle use those ancient Old Testament rules about when to start having sex again, forty days after the birth of a boy and eighty days after a girl. He follows this with discussion over Michelle, her cycles, breast feeding and the usual time it takes her to conceive again.

Regular person translation: “I didn't want another baby quite so soon, and thought it was at least a few more months away, holy *insert favorite fake curse word*! I guess we need more money from the network.”

Or perhaps someone just needs to explain with graphics, pie charts and puppets how babies are conceived. If you have sex without birth control babies are usually the result. You'd think he would know this after all the kids! If water turns into ice cubes every time you put the tray full of water in the freezer eventually you figure out the cause and effect mechanism even if you no knowing about the process at first.

In a calculated move for the cameras Jim Bob decides to tell the kids during a bout of home-made Slip N Slide using black plastic, a back hoe, some dish soap and a hole in the front yard. But first Jim Bob assures his readers that everyone was fulled covered in swimsuits that went from neck to knee. No defrauding with random thigh viewing.

Remember SlipNSlide? I sure do. Many a bruises and scrapes happened while sliding over a plastic-coated front lawn. I have to wonder if at some subconscious level if Jim Bob isn't making a state about the nature of birth, a slippery slide.

Maw and Paw Duggar reminisce about how wonderful it is that Josh and Anna Duggar made the commitment to not use birth control followed by some gratuitous humble-bragging about their business savvy used car lots and acumen.

Jim Bob wisdom on car buying “Always negotiate to buy items at a price you could instantly get back if you decide to wholesale it.” Would you buy a used car from this man?

When Mackynzie's birth starts the Duggar are away at an ATI conference in Big Sandy, Texas. They attend every year and state so in the book, If their continued involvement with Advanced Training Institute headed by Bill Gothard doesn't point to the Duggars being part of a dangerous Quiverfull cult, then nothing will. No matter how much they downplay their links to the obvious and harmful Biblical Patriarchy the truth is that they are as much a part of it as they ever were, now it's not as visible in their show. Another deliberate attempt to whitewash their core beliefs to a middle American viewing audience to keep the series dollars steadily flowing in.

Speaking of cash, answering critics and white washing things, Michelle Duggar has posted different 'recipes' throughout the book and this chapter brings the first one, not so much a recipe but a listing of all the fruits and veggies that the kids snack on. In the first few Duggar specials people remarked upon how the majority of the time the kids were served heavy sodium very processed diet that seemed to be lacking any fresh produce. The next special showed the kids each getting an orange to eat with their balogna white bread sandwich to shut up those evil nay-saying critics. Her list of how to serve veggies and fruits for snacks reads very much like answering critics.

Sorry, Michelle, but canned green beans and frozen corn is still not exactly health food.

This chapter made me feel sick to my stomach as again and again, there were references to the camera crew for their show “19 Kids and Counting” being on hand to catch life's most memorable bits, like the birth of Mackynzie, Anna finding out she's pregnant, Anna and Michelle being pregnant at the same time.

The mere fact that they do mention being filmed so much tells me that most of what the Duggars do it carefully calculated for the cameras. Sad and twisted, turning touching intimate family moments into grist for TLC

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