Saturday, February 28, 2009

Octomom states she doesn't relish the media attention

On the heels of my last post, Nadya states she is no one special and doesn't relish the media attention.

This is an article from front page of L.A. Times Calendar Section

She can't seem to get enough kids, and media audiences can't seem to get enough of her topsy-turvy life. It's all just so octo-licious.
By Kimi Yoshino, Jessica Garrison and Andrew Blankstein
6:30 PM PST, February 27, 2009
The octo-spectacle just won't go away.

And instead of running from the limelight, Octomom Nadya Suleman and her zany cast of characters have thrust themselves head-on into the circling, hungry maw of the 24/7 cable-radio-Internet-Twitter news cycle.

Suleman's media juggernaut reached new highs this week, starting Monday with her ex-boyfriend, who tearfully went on national TV to demand a paternity test. It continued Tuesday with her father on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," accusing his daughter of being "irresponsible." At one point, questioning his daughter's mental state, asked the talk show queen, "Will you help?" Winfrey told him she would arrange for a mental evaluation if his daughter wanted it.

But it didn't stop there.

Radar unleashed videos online over four days, including tours of the family's cramped house and a "video showdown" between Suleman and her mother. At one point, Angela Suleman called her daughter "obsessive compulsive." Sister programs "Entertainment Tonight" and "The Insider" touted their own "exclusive," also stretching their shared interview out over five days.

Dr. Phil devoted Wednesday and Thursday to octomania -- he now totals five episodes in two weeks -- and managed to curry enough favor with Suleman to become her confidant: When Kaiser Permanente hospital officials questioned her ability to take care of the octuplets, he was the doctor she called in distress.

Never one to shun the media glare, celebrity attorney Gloria Allred entered the fray, offering Suleman a house and 24-hour nursing care for the octuplets. And two porn studios made dueling overtures: Vivid Entertainment offered Suleman up to $1 million to star in a movie, while Pink Visual said it would give her a year's worth of diapers to turn down Vivid.

"You can't point to a TV show right now that has a better plot than Octomom," said Janice Min, editor in chief of Us Weekly, which features Suleman on its current cover with an eight-page spread inside. "We have someone who is living her own national reality show for the cameras. . . . The story has every element that scripted TV would die for. Dysfunctional family. Public feuding with the mother. . . . The plastic surgery. The Angelina Jolie comparisons. . . . Now there's a baby-daddy mystery."

TMZ Managing Editor Harvey Levin is more blunt. "Octomom is crazy. People like crazy. Crazy is more interesting than boring. It's that simple."

Suleman's celebrity status is the product of the round-the-clock news cycle. The messy details of Suleman's family life have propelled her to even greater fame and at least some measure of fortune, rather than making people turn away.

"Lindsay and Britney are not on the front burner, so now we have Nadya," said Howard Bragman, the Hollywood publicist and author of "Where's My Fifteen Minutes?" "It's a pure escapist story. . . . It's a freaky story. And by the way, it happened in Southern California, where every entertainment outlet in the world has a crew."

Suleman's plight has continued to capture the public's imagination, in part because each day has revealed another increasingly wacky twist. Interest in a genuinely rare event, only the second octuplet birth in U.S. history, quickly turned from a legitimate debate over medical ethics into a full-blown tabloid drama.

First, it was revealed that she already had six other children. Then, it turned out she is a single mom on public assistance living in a home being foreclosed on. She used in vitro fertilization to get pregnant with all 14 kids. Her sperm donor remains a mystery, and her elusive Beverly Hills doctor may be the only one still keeping his mouth shut. The uncanny resemblance to Angelina Jolie (the full lips, the growing brood) added another puzzling element. Many have claimed she had plastic surgery to make herself look more like Jolie, a charge she denies.

Even the neighbors are making news. One frustrated, shotgun-wielding resident of Suleman's Whittier block burst out of his home this week shouting at the media congregated outside.

"Just when you think you've had enough of her, another tidbit comes out to keep you hooked," Min said.

Suleman has repeatedly said she doesn't want all the publicity. But it's her -- and her parents -- who have kept the story unfolding.

Instead of shuttering themselves away, the family has agreed to so-called exclusive after exclusive.

"People are always complaining about the paparazzi, but if you really want to keep your life private, you can keep your life private," said Elayne Rapping, a professor of American studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo who specializes in pop culture.

In a world of gossip blogs and YouTube, the public is also helping to keep the story alive.

More than 50 Facebook groups have been formed, pro and con. Bloggers of all types are sounding off. And anyone with an opinion can leave a message in response to one of the many newspaper articles or television segments focusing on Suleman and the octuplets.

Some pop culture experts agree that Suleman has become a lightning rod for people's rage and frustration. But unlike the complex world of finance and bailouts, what Suleman has done is easy to grasp -- if not to understand.

"No one is as angry at Citibank, Merrill Lynch, the problems with Wall Street," Min said. "They are angry at the Octomom."

Some also speculate that Octomom, like Michael Jackson and Paris Hilton before her, are bringing us together.

"This is what you can talk about around the water cooler or in the waiting room of the hospital," Rapping said. "It's what we have in common. It's what we share as a culture now. The interesting thing about celebrity gossip is that if this was 100 years ago, this wouldn't be all over the media. It would be actually the people who lived in her neighborhood. They'd be talking about her plenty. They'd be hating her. But now the whole world is hating her, and she's eating it up."

No matter that she's not a movie star or runway model. Today's celebrities need only do something unusual enough to gain notoriety, Rapping said.

But Suleman said she does not relish the media attention.

"I'm not a celebrity," she told Dr. Phil. "I'm no one special."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Technically Speaking, You Aren't My Mom*

Came across this post by Joey Lye - 

Wondering what others thoughts were on this

FEB 26, 2009

Technically Speaking, You Aren't My Mom*
Peggy Orenstein (Your Gamete, Myself) and Liza Mundy (Everything Conceivable) pull us more deeply into the issues surrounding Assisted Reproductive Technology. It is evident how much there still is to learn about the processes as well as how quickly ART is modifying the way in which society views and accepts reproduction.

Both Orenstein and Mundy raise and discuss the issue of children knowing their origins. In regards to conception via egg donation, Orenstein points out that “most donor recipients haven’t told their children about their origins, though some researchers argue this trend is reversing” (pg 7). The debate of secrecy comes up many times throughout the article – withholding the truth (that parents had used a donor) from co-workers, friends, and even the children themselves was found to be a common decision. It is also made clear that many parents do inform their children when they are the result of a donor egg and “most children’s responses ranged from neutral to positive” (pg 8). These moral debates about whether to be secretive or open about a child’s origin bring us back to the discussion of rights. Do kids have the right to know their true origin? Do donors have the right to meet the children they helped bring into the world?

In Mundy’s first chapter, she brings up a similar dilemma regarding sperm donation. In many of the sperm donation cases, children grow up without a father figure. Do these children “have the right, or the need, to know the identity of the donor who helped bring him or her into being” (pg 20)? If we believe they do indeed deserve to know their roots, how does this get played out? Should the children grow up with a photo of their donor amongst their possessions, or, when they’re old enough to understand, instead of the ‘birds and the bees’ talk get the ‘sperm bank and egg donor’ chat?

Subsequently, if a child establishes a relationship with the donor, how far should this relationship go? What happens in the cases where donors try to become over involved in the child’s life?

Another issue that caused controversy in my mind is how the desire to nurture is completely overstepping nature. If, as Mundy points out, both men and women who are unable to naturally reproduce can now do so with the help of ART, the fine tuned art of natural selection can in no way follow its course. Men and women alike are passing on their genes despite nature’s resistance. “Almost any man who can afford treatment can be a biological father” (pg 18), many women who otherwise could not give birth are now able, and it seems society as a whole is okay with this. Should there be a concern of possible consequences for dodging the bullets of natural selection?

I have touched on a variety of issues here, mainly, the rights of children to know their origin, to meet or build a relationship with their donor, and the issue of overstepping nature’s boundaries in order to reproduce.

Octomom - Really?

Octomom...hmmm.  It's now been a month since, what's her real name, oh yeah, Nadya Suleman, gave birth to the octuplets and I find myself wondering why she is still in the limelight and what makes her so interesting that she has a nickname.  After all, why is she any different than any other woman who got pregnant and lacked common sense - really, she is a single mom that had six kids already - what was she thinking and do we really care?  

What we should be caring about are the eight little babies in the hospital and their well-being.  We don't hear too much about them or other neglected children like them.  Instead, I hear that Octomom was just offered $1,000,000 to film a porn movie.  Now that will make her the leading candidate for PTA mom, right?

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that society has lost sight of what has happened here.  It seems to me (blogging is about personal opinion, right?) that woman came to her doctor to have more children and no one used their common sense.  Why wasn't she offered professional counseling and if she was and refused, why didn't the doctor or medical staff use their common sense to help this woman and her houseful of children.  If she had been schizophrenic or even a crack addict, would they have allowed her to proceed - I think not.  Why is this any different?