Friday, January 30, 2009

Maybe the Gosselins are Not Alone....

Post written by Anya.

On March 24, 2008, Matt Logelin experienced the ultimate joy – the birth of his first child, a baby girl named Madeline. He jumped on his blog to announce the happy news to the world. His next entry a few days later was one no one expected. He announced that his beautiful wife, Liz, had passed away one day after giving birth due to a blood clot that traveled to her lungs. Then something unexpected happened. Matt kept blogging. He blogged about his grief at Liz’s untimely death and the burden of caring for Madeline alone. His writing was natural and real. He didn’t sugarcoat his new reality. His readers responded. Word of mouth spread and within months his blog was getting 40,000 page views a day. His story was profiled in the January 26, 2009 issue of People magazine. His blog continues to be very popular and the vast majority of the online community is very loyal and appreciates Matt’s openness and willingness to share his story. Well, at least most readers are supportive. Take a look at these exchanges on the websiteThe Nest.

Poster #1: “Matt Logelin – I’m starting to get mildly turned off by him, can’t quite place my finger on exactly why, but he is starting to rub me the wrong way.”

Poster #2: “I get that he has a lot on his plate now and his life has been turned upside down, but he is not the only father that had/has to raise a child because the wife died at childbirth.”

Poster #3: “I'm still trying to figure out when I switched from thinking he was brave to thinking he's a bit of a whiner w/a medium-sized case of entitlement disease…. the way in which he writes about how he accepts all the free stuff (I know that makes no sense, but there something that bothers me about this) and the seemingly "first person to ever have to single parent a child" attitude.”
Poster #4: “I empathize, and I realize that his popularity grew organically, but he's about 10 degrees from Jon & Kate. If he gets any closer, I'm through with him.”

Poster #5: “I am starting to get the impression that he almost expects to get the royal treatment where ever he goes now if he tells his sob story. Flying is a perfect example. I still enjoy his blog, because I think Madeline is a beautiful little baby.”

Poster #6: “Does he work?”

Poster #7: “Just a thought... if he wasn't asking for anything, why would he list all the links to places you can donate money to him and Madeline on his blog site? Just saying.”

From here the postings follow a pattern we have seen on many Gosselin blogs. An “insider” appears (Liz’s cousin, supposedly). A few posters express disgust at the callous attitude of some of the other posters, but these posters defend their right to speak the truth as they see it.

We would have to be living under a rock not to see the similarities to the Gosselin blogging world. Jon & Kate started out popular with most viewers and blog posters…and then something happened. Something that apparently happened on a smaller scale to Matt Logelin. What do you think is at work here? How does yesterday’s hero become today’s pariah?

We welcome your thoughts.

37 comments:

I'd rather poke my eye out... said...

I think at first people empathize with these kind of stories. However, as time goes on, people move on with their lives. We seem to struggle with it, when people think they are entitled to freebies for life. We begin to think of other people that have been in similar situations that haven't been afforded the luxury of free clothes, food, travel, etc. We have seen other people pull themselves up by the boot straps and go on with their lives. We begin to wonder why the rest of the world can't move on too. And our empathy disappears.

Nina Bell said...

I am beginning to wonder if we as Americans can not appreciate other people enjoying success. We love them when they are down and out or struggling. But the minute there is change for the better(and that usually is inevitable), we start nitpicking and complaining about how they achieved their success.



Sure there are many widowed fathers out there that have a similar story. But this one just happened to blog about his story. Good for him and I wish Matt and Madeline the best.

Too Funny said...

It seems like people want to help others in need, but only to an extent. God forbid they are helped into a situation better than the person helping. Oh no. We can't have that. I just don't get it.

Lizabeth said...

I think you are right, Nina-- people hate to see others succeed. We can all probably think of times in our lives where something really great happened and some close to us were consumed with jealousy instead of being happy for the positive change.

I really like the "warning" he has on his site pretty much telling people he is going to write what he wants and if they don't like it they can move on. Reading the way he describes things (no one to blame.

shitty luck

and

a pulmonary embolism

are what led us to

the saddest,

most horrific moment

of my life.
) is intense, and I will keep looking through his blog today...

As far as the freebies/donations go, I could care less what people accept. We do baby showers at my church where some moms get more than they need, have food drives for families, etc. If I was in his place I would definitely do what I could to have a strong support system and keep people close to me. I think that Madeline will be proud to read her mom's legacy, and even more proud that her daddy took the time to express what was going on and share their lives with people who care.

pam said...

cute/adorable/gorgeous baby. Horrible/sad circumstance.
Annoying/as/hell daddy. Why does he
write
with
his
words
all
spread
out.
I couldnt get past the first few entries. But I certainly wish him and the little one well.

MommyZinger said...

I think people don't like seeing others fare better than themselves with less effort. They think its unfair that they have to work sooo hard for what they have, while someone just writes a blog or has a show and gets tons of freebies. So as soon as they percieve that someone has more money, possessions, or a bigger house than them, they think people should just stop asking for donations.

I think that after a family has been receiving donations or love offerings for awhile, some people forget that a baby lost her mother or that a family perservered through financial difficulty and the stress of caring for six infants. Or they can't comprehend how having a reality show may actually require lots of hard work. Oftentimes, people also don't consider the future needs or costs of a needy family.

Sadly, there are scammers out there. I don't really blame people for being suspicious or even having such a conversation. People are entitled to express their intuitions. Its just when they seek to destroy a family, now that makes me mad. Just let other people donate if they want and if it ends up being a scam then they can take comfort in the knowledge that they didn't lose any money over it.

Lost time spent on the internet gossiping or letter writing? Now that's another thing.

GLO said...

People's sympathetic levels sometimes seem to have low thresholds. Most everyone loves a sob story, but after a period of time the consensus seems to be, "Enough with your sad face. We are tired of hearing/thinking about it." It is common after many tragedies, but I've noticed it particularly after the death of a loved one.

People want to impose a time limit on grief. This may be in part because death, in our society, is so divorced from life. It is something to be fought against and feared beyond all else, and this makes people uncomfortable when they are confronted with their own mortality.

Or maybe I'm allowing for too much depth to people's responses, and they are all just gossipy, tongue-clucking, busy-bodies.

Guinevere said...

I think there's something in the human psyche that makes us want to build people up and then tear them down. Like with the Gosselins - there are people who insist that they've "changed" (how you can know this about people you don't even know, I don't know), when in fact I think it's simply the person's perceptions of them that have changed.

When this widowed father was seen as downtrodden and overwhelmed with grief and the challenges of caring for a newborn on his own, he was a figure of sympathy. But the minute he transcends pity status (or people perceive that he's transcended it), the resentment begins. It's really unfortunate. No one had to build him up to be the Saddest, Bestest Dad in the World in the first place; if anyone did that it was their choice. There's no reason for anyone to be disillusioned; I doubt very much he has changed. And as with the Gosselins, people have the option of ignoring him if they don't like him. No one is forced to go to his blog.

merryway said...

I went to his blog and found it hard to read because of the layout. I did watch some of the video where he's explaining. What a sad story.
Some people are just mean and hateful. When I read the hate blogs it's a constant realization as to how hateful people can be and how they like to feed their anger. My friends and I just don't associate with people who have yucky attitudes. Aside from work, we pretty much weed people like that from us. I was raised very self-reliant and most of us (including my parents) had to learn how to ask for help the hard way. I think only good things can come from giving in such a way and it's up to the receiver to honor and appreciate the gift. I agree with all the above posters that our society doesn't seem to be able to enjoy other's success. They're angry that it's not them and unhappy in their own lives (imo). Ditto right on with Too Funny It seems like people want to help others in need, but only to an extent. God forbid they are helped into a situation better than the person helping. Oh no. We can't have that. I just don't get it.

marci said...

Okay....this is a little preachy..

I think this father saying he's going to write his blog and share his life as he sees fit, and if someone reading doesn't like it they can move on, is very much like what the Gosselins have done.

They haven't said, "If you don't like us, change the channel," but they have said, (para.) "This is how we are, good, bad and ugly. We wouldn't do the show if they asked us to be anything else other than what we are."

Obviously, the universal understanding is (and what has been pointed out an infinite number of times to people who despise the show) that if you don't like something someone else puts out there in the world, ignore it.

So what makes people go beyond that? What makes people watch a show they can't stand (and I'm not including in this group people who are generally annoyed by Kate, but like the show otherwise)? What makes people *see* evils that aren't really there? What makes someone posts obcessively about something that they proclaim makes them physically ill, excessively annoyed, and often angry to the point of distraction?

Like I said in my post under the sockpuppet thread, I think the list of reasons is as long and as sad as any list of human frailties and weaknesses we might be able to compile. The human being is truly the most wonderful and most terrible creation.

We see everything, quite naturally, through the *colored glasses* of our own experiences, and very few of us, it seems, are able to put aside our own wants and needs and hurt feelings to just be happy for someone else's good fortune or to respect the right that the person next to us has to live their lives as they choose.

I cerainly see glimmers of hope for the hopelessly faulty human race and rejoice, and also mourn a little bit when I watch (or read) another human being selling the rest of us, and themselves, short by decending into bitterness.

Sermon done.

Guinevere said...

When I read the hate blogs it's a constant realization as to how hateful people can be and how they like to feed their anger. My friends and I just don't associate with people who have yucky attitudes.

Yeah, as much as the Gosselin haters astonish me with their vitriol at times, I've been around long enough to know that it's not a unique situation. There are people who just hate Rachael Ray. Now I've never watched any of her shows, but nothing I've seen or heard about her convinces me that she even begins to be worthy of the bile she generates.

I was reading at Bitter But Brilliant last night that some people at Television Without Pity were bitching about American Idol. Apparently one of the people who auditioned was a nephew of Donny and Marie Osmond. The young man has MS, as does his father. Something about this seemed to piss off the TWoPpers, as if he had...gotten MS in order to wring sympathy out of people? I don't know. I'm getting this third hand, obviously, but knowing the internet in general and TWoP in particular, nothing surprises me.

I was thinking about the woman who had the octuplets. I don't begrudge anyone for raising an eyebrow at the story. But I wonder about the people who were so sympathetic until they heard the part of the story about the other six kids in the tiny house. It's almost like some of these people can only love or hate, and don't understand the concept of feeling some emotion in between, or of feeling indifference about things that have nothing to do with them. When they don't know anything about the mother, they attach all of these virtues to her that she may or may not possess, and then they get disappointed when she turns out to be an actual, flawed human being with perhaps less than perfect judgment.

Ancient of Days said...

pam said...

Annoying/as/hell daddy. Why does he
write
with
his
words
all
spread
out.
__________________________________________

The word placement creates a staccato effect and perhaps reflects the huge interruption caused by his wife's death and the slow, painful outpouring of his feelings about the loss of his wife and his child's mother.

Perhaps, consciously or unconsciously, he is creating a poem for the wife; sadly, he's forced to write a dirge.

indianprincess said...

I think some (not all) people will only support someone if they feel like the person is struggling. These people don't like it when the person they are supporting starts doing better emotionally,financially, etc. It's like they get offended when the person starts doing better so they turn on this person to bring them down to the level they believe this person should be. I think everyone who does this "support and bale" feel like the person they are supporting let them down because this person doesn't need them as much anymore so they get hurt. What do some (not all) people do when they feel scorn by someone? they do everything they can to bring this person down and who cares if innocent people get hurt in the process. It's like the whole witch hunt scenario's. You see this all the time, not just with Jon and Kate. Sorry if this didn't make sense. It's one of those days..

Lizabeth said...

Ancient, I didn't think it sounded stuffy. You are correct-- the writing style could be a part of his tribute to Liz. I thought it was an interesting way to express how things are going-- sort of e. e. cummings-esque :).

MommyZinger, I like how you mentioned this: "I think that after a family has been receiving donations or love offerings for awhile, some people forget that a baby lost her mother or that a family persevered through financial difficulty and the stress of caring for six infants." That is something which ties in to what a few others mentioned about having a sympathy threshold. Madeline is still without a mother, and no amount of support or outpouring of love will change that fact. We all take different amounts of time to deal with circumstances and handle grief or pain differently. While I don't know if I personally would be one to share my grief so openly, I think it is a loving way for Matt to remember his wife.... if I was to pass away right after giving birth I am sure my family and friends would be proud of my husband for this kind of expression.

cwats76 said...

If any of you have not read Matt's blog I would highly encourage you to read it, especially from the beginning. You will cry your eyes out.

I don't think Matt is looking for freebies...he has been open about not expecting the things he gets and has said many thanks.

He just started a foundation in the honor of his wife to help other families that are in the same position he is in. Where do people find that he is looking for hand outs for himself. I guess some people are just never satisfied, no matter what a person does. Matt has picked him self up and carried on through one of the worst things that could happen to any family. His daughter is beautiful and well taken care of.

His blog is just now getting national attention but he had numerous readers long before this. I have been reading his blog since late last summer. I check it daily and most times...like the recent entry about their trip to Mexico with Liz's family makes me want to cry.

Why are there so many cruel people in the world that have to put down others just because they don't do what they think they should.

I hope the haters don't go to his blog cause that would make me sad!

Kuromi said...

What Nina said--"I am beginning to wonder if we as Americans can not appreciate other people enjoying success"--is right on the money.

The first colonists in America founded their communities on certain Christian beliefs--the ones that say everything you do should be for the glory of God, and that being poor and downtrodden is what brings you closer to God. From this, modern society has extrapolated that riches and success are not in keeping with God and are therefore sinful.

I once had an interesting conversation with a Japanese Buddhist (not a monk, just a regular Joe--or should I say "regular Jiro"--who was an accountant) about whether successful people, more often than not, engaged in hurtful or illegal behaviors to get where they are. He told me, "Americans think like that, but not Japanese, because in Buddhism it's believed to be a good thing when a person improves his/her own life."

But now, it's not only Christians who subscribe to the success=sin belief. Despite its religious origins, this way of thinking has been adopted by certain members of the "hippie" and other socially-conscious fringe communities. Look at the PennMommy debacle. The hoaxer was a proclaimed athiest with her own brand of zealotry--the ultimate goal being to cast Christians in a bad light. One way to do this was to claim that these people are "stalking" or otherwise making your life miserable. The other way has been to imimitate "enemies" behaving badly.

I very firmly believe (though yes, it's still just my opinion) that the majority of J&K+8 Internet haters aren't Christians at all, but are people bound and determined to make people of this faith look bad. Thus the misspellings, the proclamation of piety while making vile statements, etc.

That they've no doubt gotten actual Christians to join them is just gravy. I do agree with what I think Summer said in the thread about the new house episode: That some of these ranters are just like certain small town sanctimonious Christian ladies, the ones who get all upset over small things that aren't as serious as they feel, or that may not even be their business. (I've had my share of run-ins with these sort of people!)

That gets back to my original point: In our society, the tendancy is to "damn" those who are better than us. Maybe we do think that they are somehow part of the Dark Side of the Force. Or maybe, as we sit with hair shirts on our bodies and a self-whipping implement in our hand, we're just jealous.

Lizabeth said...

Kuromi said:
But now, it's not only Christians who subscribe to the success=sin belief.

I have to say, as a Christian, that many people I know do not feel this way... I think the problem lies in the expectation of those who have faith to be perfect. Thus, any imperfection or momentary natural response automatically gets them labeled as ungrateful or as selfish. This is not at all the case of course-- at least from my experience (as a pastor's daughter) it seems that at times people expect more out of Christians and thus feel let down more readily when we fail (yes, its when, since at least for my part I fail on a daily basis!!). This could be part of the issue with Jon and Kate also-- how dare they claim to be Christians when I see them yell at their kids?? Well... uhh... cause they are also human... so being a Christian does not absolve one of any natural human response...
Sorry for the soap box-- just something I had been meaning to say for awhile I guess!

I really appreciate the quote from your friend, Kuromi-- the "Americans think like that, but not Japanese, because in Buddhism it's believed to be a good thing when a person improves his/her own life." I wish more of us (including myself) could subscribe to that genuine joy for others!!

cwats, I think you hit the nail on the head as well when you mentioned "I guess some people are just never satisfied, no matter what a person does." Enough said right there-- no matter what, some will not be satisfied. The goal is then to do what you know is right and best for your family, and know that in the end the people who criticize most will never have the happiness you have.

Ancient of Days said...

Lizabeth,

Thank you for defending what I called my "stuffiness." (By the way, my apology for such has disappeared, at my request.) I tend to be a bit pedantic, and I didn't want to be off-putting.

And, hey, good comment about the similarities between e.e. cummings' typography and Matt's!

I live for poetry. Well, first for chocolate, then poetry ...

Anya said...

Just a quick point I wanted to make as the writer of this piece.

It was not my intention to single out the posters at The Nest as being especially malicious or unkind ladies.

The majority respectfully posted their concerns (much more so than one sees typically on the anti Gosselin hate blog or the mini followers).

I used the examples I did because there seemed a logical parallel with what we have seen with the Gosselins and the story happened to be timely (having just been featured in People magazine).

Obviously, the issues that we are discussing here are much larger than one blog or one family and I just want to make that clear.

jace said...

You have all made some really good points. A lot of people love a good hard luck story but when the hard lucker gets too big for their britches in whatever way, they must be taken down.

nomoredrama said...

I like this guy, he draws me in. I love the style of his writing and the raw emotion.

I don't know why people would begrudge him success. I tend to think like Nina does on the subject

Desben said...

I think there is a segment of society who just loves to hate and attack people. They are just negative and bitter. Maybe just miserable with their own lives. It's hard to be happy for someone's good fortune when you can't stand yourself or your own life. Maybe their jealous also. I just enjoy the show and really don't care who hates them. What a waste of life to sit around being critical of others. How do they treat others in their life? I wish nothing but happiness for the Gosselins and Matt (& Madeline).

Florida Mom said...

I agree with Guin. Our society loves to build people up only to tear them down. I keep waiting for people to go after the pilot that miraculously landed the plane safely in the Hudson. I'm sure after months of (deserved) praise, you will hear, "He's so full of himself--I think he was just showing off. He could have landed on the runway."

Florida Mom said...

If you read further into this man's blog, you can see how much he loved his wife. How sad that that beautiful young women didn't get to enjoy that beautiful little girl. I think he is posting to keep memories for his baby and himself, and maybe to keep his sanity. We are a strange society that feels we can tell other people how much pain they should feel.

Guinevere said...

I keep waiting for people to go after the pilot that miraculously landed the plane safely in the Hudson. I'm sure after months of (deserved) praise, you will hear, "He's so full of himself--I think he was just showing off. He could have landed on the runway."

It's funny you say that - I had the same thought when I heard he had been invited to the Super Bowl. I'm sure there are people who are already seething and resentful about him.

The other thing I was thinking of was a blog I often read - Dooce (www.dooce.com). The blogger, Heather Armstrong, has gotten a lot of Gosselin-like hate in the time I've been reading her blog, about talking about her daughter, about the fact that her husband (who also blogs) quit his job a few years ago and they are now both stay-at-home parents/bloggers. I think she has a lot of fans but also a fair number of people who want to tell her what a horrible mother/person/dog owner/ex-Mormon she is.

The similarity of the haters' arguments makes me think that it really has very little to do with the Gosselins, ultimately. Or with this widower, or with anyone else who gets this treatment. These are angry people looking for something to put their anger on. It's sad, really.

Anya said...

These are angry people looking for something to put their anger on. It's sad, really.

I completely agree.

When the show ends, they will move on -- to their next target.

Saint said...

What I don't get in any of this is, why bother? Why read this guy's blog if you don't care for him? Why watch Jon and Kate if you can't stand Kate?

I understand looking into the story/show/blog/whatever, but when you find you don't like what you're reading/ watching...move on. Why make a hobby out of something so negative?

Breedings said...

I am a huge fan of the show but I just watched this video and it bugged me. What do you think?

http://www.accesshollywood.com/shocking-new-octuplets-update_video_977262

jace said...

Saint,

You are right. I've never figured out why people keep doing something that they say makes them so unhappy. I think they must actually like wallowing in all that misery. It makes them feel important or something.




To Matt & Madeline, Jon, Kate & the Eight,


"We cannot control the evil tongues of others; but a good life enables us to disregard them." (Cato)

Anya said...

Breedings said...I am a huge fan of the show but I just watched this video and it bugged me. What do you think?

http://www.accesshollywood.com/shocking-new-octuplets-update_video_977262


Hi Breedings!

What specifically bugged you?

I thought there were a few cute moments. Clearly, the majority of the little kids had ants in their pants (could have been the time of day). It didn't look like they were thrilled to be there, but kids get dragged to places they don't want to go plenty of times. Such is life.

Is there something I am missing because honestly I do not see anything that alarming...

Breedings said...

Anya,
I didn't really see anything alarming either, it just bothered me some b/c I'm a parent and sometimes our kids embarass me in public and I feel for Kate having to discipline and for Mady saying some things that were probably hurtful to Kate, like "I like Daddy better". I'm not upset with Kate or Mady or the kids but it bugged me that it was all really laid out there....very real and just bugged me. No big deal. I still love the show.

rain88 said...

Saint... : I understand looking into the story/show/blog/whatever, but when you find you don't like what you're reading/ watching...move on. Why make a hobby out of something so negative?

That's how I feel about GWOP.

That clip made me laugh. Mady seems to have no filter but Kate doesn't seem to let it bother her too much, I would have been mortified at her comments.

Anya said...

Breedings said...Anya
I didn't really see anything alarming either, it just bothered me some b/c I'm a parent and sometimes our kids embarass me in public and I feel for Kate having to discipline and for Mady saying some things that were probably hurtful to Kate, like "I like Daddy better".


Ouch, I didn't hear the "I like daddy better" comment. I will watch again.

I hear what you are saying. It was a bit chaotic and Mady does have a mouth on her. I do feel bad for Kate in these situations because I put myself in the "Mom" role. These type of comments hurt and to have them done on national t.v. is embarrassing. It reminded me of the HI wedding eppy where Mady said she didn't want to be her bridesmaid.

That said, J&K signed up for it - the good, the bad and ugly. I think they probably have a healthy perspective on all this and are willing to put up with it for the financial benefit to their family.

indianprincess said...

The Access Hollywood video didn't faze me because I just couldn't believe how grown up the tups looked. I'll have to watch the clip again to watch the content. I thought Kate did the interview well with dealing with kids who most likely didn't want to be there. It was probably a day where they did interview after interview. After a while kids don't care to look cute anymore. Kate did a good job keeping her cool! This interview will definitely fuel alots of fames.

BGR said...

As far as the videos go, I do not understand why all of the children need to be present in order for the interview to occur. Kate's comments are just as valid without the children being there. The demands of publicity have to be hard on them.

Ashburn said...

Has the thread from The Nest been removed? The link didn't work.

I do think that some of the animosity coming from people is from ignorance of the situation. I read some of the entries and my heart breaks for this man. By reading it, we are watching a wound heal. Not a pretty process.

Kinley said...

IMO, People have been scammed so much or have heard of others being scammed that they are very cautious when it comes to anyone asking for money. I for one do not give money to anyone until I have proof that they really are in need. I don't think people should be down right mean to this man until they know for sure if he is telling the truth or not. I understand though why people would be questioning his motives, and they have every right to do that.