Marie Osmond’s 18 year old son committed suicide. I’m so sad and cannot imagine the pain she must be experiencing. I hope she can speak with other parents who have gone through the worst tragedy a parent could ever experience.
Jen and I have discussed suicide in great detail and we completely disagree. I feel it’s a selfish act and she feels it’s more of a desperate act. I think everybody has had thoughts of ending their life at one time but most of us “snap out of it,” I cannot imagine pain so bad that I’d rather not exist. I’ve always had the attitude that ‘tomorrow is another day’ and if I survived this, whatever the incident, I could survive anything. There is also “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle” and other corny sayings that actually do make some sense and can “work if you work them.”
The pain left behind for the family never goes away. Guilt, anger, sadness and the pondering question of “what could I have done differently” will be with loved ones forever.
My deepest condolences for the Osmond family and the Koenig family this week. As Walter Koenig stated, if you need help, get it. People love you and there are medications and therapy that help people deal with issues that may seem unsolvable. I don’t know who I’m speaking to but I just hope these two suicides don’t spur more copycat deaths.
Since the dawn of time, people have found nifty ways to clean up after the bathroom act. The most common solution was simply to grab what was at hand: coconuts, shells, snow, moss, hay, leaves, grass, corncobs, sheep’s wool—and, later, thanks to the printing press—newspapers, magazines, and pages of books. The ancient Greeks used clay and stone. The Romans, sponges and salt water. But the idea of a commercial product designed solely to wipe one’s bum? That started about 150 years ago, right here in the U.S.A. In less than a century, Uncle Sam’s marketing genius turned something disposable into something indispensable.
How Toilet Paper Got on a Roll
The first products designed specifically to wipe one’s nethers were aloe-infused sheets of manila hemp dispensed from Kleenex-like boxes. They were invented in 1857 by a New York entrepreneur named Joseph Gayetty, who claimed his sheets prevented hemorrhoids. Gayetty was so proud of his therapeutic bathroom paper that he had his name printed on each sheet. But his success was limited. Americans soon grew accustomed to wiping with the Sears Roebuck catalog, and they saw no need to spend money on something that came in the mail for free.
Toilet paper took its next leap forward in 1890, when two brothers named Clarence and E. Irvin Scott popularized the concept of toilet paper on a roll. The Scotts’ brand became more successful than Gayetty’s medicated wipes, in part because they built a steady trade selling toilet paper to hotels and drugstores. But it was still an uphill battle to get the public to openly buy the product, largely because Americans remained embarrassed by bodily functions. In fact, the Scott brothers were so ashamed of the nature of their work that they didn’t take proper credit for their innovation until 1902.
“No one wanted to ask for it by name,” says Dave Praeger, author of Poop Culture: How America Is Shaped by Its Grossest National Product. “It was so taboo that you couldn’t even talk about the product.” By 1930, the German paper company Hakle began using the tag line, “Ask for a roll of Hakle and you won’t have to say toilet paper!”
As time passed, toilet tissues slowly became an American staple. But widespread acceptance of the product didn’t officially occur until a new technology demanded it. At the end of the 19th century, more and more homes were being built with sit-down flush toilets tied to indoor plumbing systems. And because people required a product that could be flushed away with minimal damage to the pipes, corncobs and moss no longer cut it. In no time, toilet paper ads boasted that the product was recommended by both doctors and plumbers.
The Strength of Going Soft
In the early 1900s, toilet paper was still being marketed as a medicinal item. But in 1928, the Hoberg Paper Company tried a different tack. On the advice of its ad men, the company introduced a brand called Charmin and fitted the product with a feminine logo that depicted a beautiful woman. The genius of the campaign was that by evincing softness and femininity, the company could avoid talking about toilet paper’s actual purpose. Charmin was enormously successful, and the tactic helped the brand survive the Great Depression. (It also helped that, in 1932, Charmin began marketing economy-size packs of four rolls.) Decades later, the dainty ladies were replaced with babies and bear cubs—advertising vehicles that still stock the aisles today.
By the 1970s, America could no longer conceive of life without toilet paper. Case in point: In December 1973, Tonight Show host Johnny Carson joked about a toilet paper shortage during his opening monologue. But America didn’t laugh. Instead, TV watchers across the country ran out to their local grocery stores and bought up as much of the stuff as they could. In 1978, a TV Guide poll named Mr. Whipple—the affable grocer who implored customers, “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin”—the third best-known man in America, behind former President Richard Nixon and the Rev. Billy Graham.
Even still, the toilet paper market in the United States has largely plateaued. The real growth in the industry is happening in developing countries. There, it’s booming. Toilet paper revenues in Brazil alone have more than doubled since 2004. The radical upswing in sales is believed to be driven by a combination of changing demographics, social expectations, and disposable income.
“The spread of globalization can kind of be measured by the spread of Western bathroom practices,” says Praeger. When average citizens in a country start buying toilet paper, wealth and consumerism have arrived. It signifies that people not only have extra cash to spend, but they’ve also come under the influence of Western marketing.
America Without Toilet Paper
Even as the markets boom in developing nations, toilet paper manufacturers find themselves needing to charge more per roll to make a profit. That’s because production costs are rising. During the past few years, pulp has become more expensive, energy costs are rising, and even water is becoming scarce. Toilet paper companies may need to keep hiking up their prices. The question is, if toilet paper becomes a luxury item, can Americans live without it?
The truth is that we did live without it, for a very long time. And even now, a lot of people do. In Japan, the Washlet—a toilet that comes equipped with a bidet and an air-blower—is growing increasingly popular. And all over the world, water remains one of the most common methods of self-cleaning. Many places in India, the Middle East, and Asia, for instance, still depend on a bucket and a spigot. But as our economy continues to circle the drain, will Americans part with their beloved toilet paper in order to adopt more money-saving measures? Or will we keep flushing our cash away? Praeger, for one, believes a toilet-paper apocalypse is hardly likely. After all, the American marketing machine is a powerful thing.
Andrew Koenig’s Body Found in Vancouver
Koenig’s body was found in Stanley Park about noon, Vancouver police said. Friends of Koenig initiated their own search of the park and invited his father, Star Trek alumnus Walter Koenig, along. His body was found in a densely wooded area where it initially was unseen from the path.
Search and rescue teams had scoured the park Wednesday and found no evidence that Koenig had been there recently. The park was known to be one of the actor’s favorite spots when he lived in the city in the early ’90s.
“My son took his own life,” Walter Koenig said, trying to keep his composure at a news conference Thursday night. “The only other thing I want to say — I’ve already said what a great guy he was, and good human being — he was obviously in a lot of pain.”
The Vancouver police would not give details on cause of death but “have no reason to believe that foul play was involved at all,” Constable Jana McGuinness said. The case has been turned over to the British Colombia coroner’s office.
Koenig’s father went on to mention “hundreds of e-mails” he had received from depressed people and their loved ones and express hope this tragedy would help them.
“If you’re one of those people who … can’t handle it anymore,” he said, breaking down in tears, “if you can learn anything from this is that there are people out there that really care. You may not think so, and … ultimately, it may not be enough. But there are people who really, really care. And before you make that final decision, check it out again. Talk to somebody. And to families who have members who they fear are susceptible to this kind of behavior, don’t ignore it, don’t rationalize it. Extend a hand.”
Koenig’s mother, Judy Levin-Koenig , echoed those sentiments: “There is love out there.”
The 41-year-old Venice, Calif., resident was last seen by friends Feb. 14 during a visit to Vancouver. Friends and family reported him missing Feb. 16, when he did not return to Los Angeles as scheduled.
The Koenigs previously held a news conference at the Vancouver Police Department on Wednesday afternoon. They were later scheduled to appear on Larry King Live to discuss their missing son, but walked off the set moments before their segment because of “personal reasons,” according to Walter Koenig’s website.
Koenig is best known for his role as Boner, the best friend of Kirk Cameron‘s Mike Seaver, on Growing Pains and appeared frequently from 1985 to 1989. During the search for Koenig, Cameron told People he was “praying for his family during this time of distress and for his safe return.”
Koenig also appeared in various TV shows, including Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, My Two Dads and 21 Jump Street. He dabbled in directing and writing as well, with a 2004 short called Woman in a Green Dress.
Andrew Koenig‘s family is keeping hope alive, but they remain “very, very worried” about him.
“We’re all kind of a mess as you might guess,” Koenig’s sister, Danielle, told E! News Tuesday when our cameras caught up with her outside CNN headquarters in Los Angeles, where she was interviewed for Larry King Live.
While Koenig, who was last seen by friends on Feb. 14, is said to have suffered from depression, Danielle said that the last time she saw her brother, he was “acting normal.”
“I spoke to him briefly via email, maybe around the 5th or 6th of February,”
she said. “And I saw him January 31st, for several hours.
“He was acting normal,” she added. “But he’s suffered from depression for many years. He didn’t seem particularly depressed. We were there for a birthday and he seemed all right.”
Danielle said that she doesn’t know whether or not her brother gave his landlord 30 days’ notice on his Venice, Calif., apartment—but that if he did indeed clear out, she hopes he was merely relocating.
“I hope that’s what he was doing. I hope that was it,” she said.
Authorities say that Koenig’s trail went cold on Feb. 16, the last day he used his credit cards or cell phone. He had been booked on a flight from Vancouver to Los Angeles, but he never boarded the plane.
Vancouver police are still expressing hope that Koenig is alive, but none of the tips they’ve recieved have panned out.
“A good lead would lead to them finding him,” Danielle said. “So I guess none of the leads have been fruitful yet. I certainly encourage anyone who thinks they’ve seen him to call the Vancouver Police Department and talk to Constable Ralla and Detective Payette and tell them what they know.”
Her continued hope that Andrew is out there somewhere is why Danielle has been talking to the press in the first place.
“This is not comfortable being on camera like this,” she told E!. “It’s not something any of us want to do. But we really appreciate people caring. I read the Facebook stuff and everyone’s been incredibly supportive. And that does help.”
Actor, producer, director, writer, editor, photographer…. Andrew Koenig –
Walter’s 41 year old son – has been missing since February 14th.Andrew Koenig was last seen on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2010,
in Vancouver, British Columbia. Andrew Koenig never boarded his
flight back to the US, on 2/16 and he hasn’t heard from since.
Andrew was last seen at a bakery in
the Stanley Park area of Vancouver. If you’ve seen Andrew since February 14th, PLEASE contact
Detective Raymond Payette of the Vancouver PD at
Have a litter of children and YOU TOO could be a TV star! What does this say to young girls? Forget about college, just abuse fertility drugs or find a unethical fertility doctor, play with science and see how many lives you can create, and then proceed to ruin, while you get your 15 minutes of fame, tabloids and “nice things.”
Octomom learned from Kate Gosselin. Kate Gosselin saw the McCaulhey’s get freebies for all their babies and knew she could do that too. I understand helping out a family with diapers, formula, and even “juicy juice” but vacations, plastic surgery, million dollar homes and TV appearances are all on the sweat and tears of 21 children.
None of these 21 children live with 2 parents. NONE of these 21 children could possibly be getting the love and attention they need from their mothers. 14 of these children don’t have a father and their mother is busy at the gym and out on dates.
“The View” has lost all credibility. Barbara Walters was one time a respected journalist. Now she’s a shill. She’s putting people on her show hoping to discover another “Hasselbeck” but she’s just making a fool of herself and her show.
I won’t watch Kate. I won’t watch Nadya. I haven’t watched “the View” in months. I miss Rosie O’Donnell and I think Sherry gets dumber by the day. I actually sort of like Elizabeth now, but that is only because I see how much more poised and capable she is in front of a camera compared to the clown uteruses that are trying to steal her job.
The Bad Made Worse (posted December 8th 2009)
The Learning Channel’s announcement that “Jon & Kate + 8” would be replaced by yet another family living under the lights and cameras of reality programming gone mad…this one called “Table for Twelve” with sextuplets and two sets of twins…should surprise no one. In the absence of shame all conduct is excusable.
Jon Gosselin’s counter-suit against TLC should serve as a warning to the Hayes Family of New Jersey. Jon and Kate sold their family for a song and didn’t even know that child labor laws applied, something TLC conveniently neglected to tell them. Naiveté’ and ignorance of child labor laws will most certainly be exploited by major broadcast companies. It’s in their interest to keep you in the dark when they profit from the unpaid labor of twelve children. Here’s a tip: There most certainly ARE child labor laws in New Jersey specific to Entertainment…just like in Pennsylvania…and pretending that the children are just “participants” will not prevent the Piper from asking to be paid.
You owe it to your children to become informed about the world you are entering, Mr. and Mrs. Hayes. The Industry is not obligated to educate you. In fact, it is in the Industry’s economic interest to keep you in the dark as long as possible.
A Minor Consideration and its allies are not going to go away. The moral imperative is to do what is right for the children…now, before the trouble starts…because the Day of Reckoning will be brutal when the children reach the Age of Majority. If the contracts signed on behalf of Minors have not been reviewed by competent legal council acting solely on behalf of the minors, and these contracts are not subject to Court Approval, all of these reality show Minors will have the Common Law right to assert Disaffirmance and sue for recovery.
Children are not amusements.
by Kara Kovalchik – February 16, 2010 – 2:05 PM
Some cults get all the publicity. The Manson Family, the Branch Davidians, Heaven’s Gate—everybody’s heard of them. But last week’s arrest of Goel Ratzon in Israel reminds us that there are many cults that continue to attract followers and have managed to flourish due to a lack of publicity. Here are four such cults you might not have heard of.
1. The Savior cult– Goel Ratzon (his first name means “Savior” in Hebrew) was arrested in Tel Aviv last week and charged with enslavement, rape and incest. But his victims weren’t the ones who blew the whistle on their savior; it was Israeli social services and police who’d launched an investigation when they’d heard rumors of children living in overcrowded conditions and possibly being abused. They found out that Ratzon had been head of a bizarre cult he’d founded about 10 years ago.
The 60-year-old self-described “healer” had 17 women and dozens of children (all of whom he’d fathered) crammed into in three small apartments in the Hatikvah area of Tel Aviv. (The total count of his offspring may never be known, as some of them were allegedly sired via his own daughters, and they are keeping mum to avoid additional charges.) He monitored their activities via closed circuit TV, dictated their modest mode of dress, and collected the wages they earned from their day jobs (mostly as cleaning women). Oh, and he issued them cell phones so that they could text him when they were ovulating. A TV documentary aired on Israel’s Channel 10 last year presented a tableau that would make your blood boil. The women and children all had Goel’s name tattooed on their bodies and took turns brushing his hair and spoon feeding him.
Why wasn’t the “Messiah” arrested immediately after that mind-boggling broadcast? Actually, authorities did launch their investigation shortly after the program on the grounds of child endangerment. But what with the women so slavishly devoted to their collective husband and protective of him, it took some time to gather the necessary evidence. While Ratzon sits in jail awaiting trial, most of his harem have remained loyal to their leader and have told the press that outsiders just don’t understand their guru, this Perfect Man.
2. Children of God David Berg, who called himself Moses David, founded the “organization” called Children of God in 1968. The so-called Jesus Movement was gathering steam in the late 1960s and a lot of disenfranchised hippies were ripe for the picking. Berg started his first “colony” in Huntington Beach, California, and similar colonies soon sprung up in other states, as well as Europe and South America.
Members were required to relinquish all their worldly possessions to the commune and cut off all ties with their families. In the beginning, members panhandled or busked to earn money to pay for food and other supplies. But as their numbers increased, Moses decided they needed to earn dollars, not spare change. With so many young attractive women ready to do his bidding, the answer was simple – why not exploit the world’s oldest profession? Berg called this fund-raising effort “flirty fishing” as a result of his unique interpretation of Matthew 4:17. Flirty fishing was officially banned by Berg in 1987 (mainly due to the escalating AIDS epidemic). Watch Berg’s daughter explain the practice:
Children of God has changed its name several times in recent years after a barrage of bad publicity, including accusations of incest and other abuse. Berg passed away in 1994 and the group, now known as The Family International, is led by Steven Kelly (who calls himself King Peter).
3. The Ant Hill Kids ant-hill The majority of Canadians consider Roch Thériault to be one of their country’s most notorious criminals, but his devoted followers still call him “Moses.” In 1979, Thériault set up a safe camp in Burt River, Ontario, in preparation for the apocalypse. Charismatic and politically savvy, Roch attracted a small group of followers he called “The Ant Hill Kids,” all of whom were looking for spiritual salvation and a pure existence. The nine female members were his concubine and were required to be subservient to the few male members of the sect. Over 20 children were born to the group in the ensuing years, many of which were sired by Roch.
The group earned money by selling baked goods door-to-door. Because Moses had officially registered his commune as a church, provincial officials were unable to do much about the primitive living conditions the members were subject to; they could only ensure that the children had warm clothing and proper nutrition. Thériault had a drinking problem and a superiority complex and demanded absolute obedience from his followers. Such unquestioning submission led to the death of one of his “wives” when she allowed him to operate on her for a stomach ailment. Another female follower risked his wrath when she fled to a hospital after he chopped off her forearm with a cleaver in a fit of anger.
It was that act of brutality that finally brought authorities swooping down on the Ant Hill. Thériault was found guilty of murder in 1993 and sentenced to 25 years in prison. He was denied parole in 2002, but has fathered three more children during his years in jail as a result of conjugal visits with some of his remaining faithful few.
4. The Source Family cult- What Jim Baker had that other cult leaders did not was timing and (as realtors say) location, location, location. Retired medal of honor-winning Marine and judo champion Baker first headed to Los Angeles after the end of World War II to work as a movie stunt man with his eye on becoming filmdom’s next Tarzan. When that dream didn’t pan out, he fell in with a local group of beatniks called the Nature Boys, strict vegetarians who lived according to “Nature’s Laws.” Baker flourished in the hippie lifestyle to the extreme—he studied philosophy and religion and became a follower of Yogi Bhajan. Like all good gurus-to-be, Baker eventually left Bhajan and formed his own religion. He also adopted a more spiritually-jazzy name, Father Yod. He called his new religion the Source Family and opened an organic vegetarian restaurant in Laurel Canyon called (what else?) The Source.
Religion plus natural food plus nubile young servers in colorful robes equaled celebrity cachet in the early 1970s. Marlon Brando, Warren Beatty, Frank Zappa, Julie Christie and many other famous people made The Source the hip place to dine. As a result, Father Yod was able to rent a small home in which to house his devoted followers, which numbered about 160 at its peak.
In addition to the sex and drugs typical of most communes of that era, Yod also embraced rock and roll. He and his faithful formed an ersatz band called Ya Ho Wa 13, which ultimately released nine albums (recorded in a home studio and mostly sold via his restaurant). The recordings were a mixture of an avant garde acid rock-type background while Father Yod chanting his wisdom.
All seemed groovy until Father Yod’s natural treatment of whatever ailed his minions failed, and a Source baby had to be taken to a local hospital due to a severe staph infection. In anticipation of The Man swooping down on his kingdom to investigate the possibly unsafe environment in which children were being raised (more than 100 people in a three-bedroom house), Yob moved his “family” to Hawaii. In 1975, a totally inexperienced Baker decided to try his hand at hang-gliding, and his first flight was his last. The Source Family pretty much disintegrated after his death.
10 years ago I had an hour commute to work. On the way home we listened to “Love Line” with Dr. Drew and Adam Corolla. I LOVED Dr. Drew. Thought he was wise, empathetic and ethical. His career has exploded the past few years and he is the “go to” guy for addiction on VH1, MTV, CNN and HLN.
“Celebrity Rehab,” “Sober House” and “Sex Addiction Rehab” are three shows on VH1 that star Dr. Drew and D-list celebrities trying to either get clean and sober or to get their names back out in the public for future career revival. I completely understand that shows like this really do help addicts watching and can be very inspirational. However, I also think these shows are extremely exploitative. “Sober House” showed so many of the clients “having a relapse” — Yes, I undertand that relapse is part of addiction and recovery but watching it made me feel dirty, like a peeping tom.
This season has Dennis Rodman, Mackenzie Phillips, Heidi Fleiss, Carrie Ann Whatever, Joey from “Real World,” Mindy McCready, and some others who’s names I forget. This was filmed before Mackenzie’s book with her “revelation” about her father was released. So far, I find her to be the most “into” recovery and the most willing to do the things necessary to get where she needs to be.
In one very emotional scene, Dr. Drew took her to say goodbye to her dog before he was put down. Her tears and the love for that little dog touched my heart and I was crying along with Mac. Did Dr. Drew go with her because he was afraid she’d use drugs or because it would make “good TV?”
I guess I’m just so sick of every emotion, therapy session, puke and personal moment people have being exploited for ratings, sponsors and tears. Dr. Drew wrote a book about the addiction of celebrity but he is one of the biggest offenders. Click here to see how many shows Dr. Drew has on his resume.
Many of the clients on these shows comes from the management company of David Weintraub. On “Sober House” I saw him encourage his girlfriend, porn star, Mary Carey, to strip in club even though she was trying to get clean and sober and change her life. Great guy. Great manager.
The new season kicked off and settled into status quo in just minutes. The past season contestants were selected and divided into two groups; Heroes and Villains. I won’t bore you with the list because if you are fan, you saw the show. I don’t think any viewers were surprised by the selections but several of the villains were unclear on why they were placed on that team. Do you think they own a DVD copy of the season they played? They might want to review them.
Richard Hatch was unable to get an early release from house arrest to play in the game. I am not sure why the show would want to include him (if indeed they did) after he accused them of not upholding a deal to pay his taxes and sneaking food to contestants.
Russell was one of the worst villains in survivor history- right? You would think the tribe would want him out ASAP. Except that they don’t even know who Russell is. This season was filmed before Season 19 was aired. None of the contestants know Russell’s tricks or what to watch for. I happen to think this was an unfair advantage for him. Every other contestant can be reviewed in anticipation of the game.
Unfortunately for Sugar, the show was filmed while she was clearly in heat. She sniffed Colby and followed him around until he got so irritated that he made sure she was voted off.
A broken toe, a dislocated shoulder, a topless chick that flips the bird- and that was all in the first 10 minutes! This is going to be a good season.
Looks like Jon Gosselin’s past relationships are coming back to haunt him. In an upcoming issue of Steppin’ Out magazine,Hailey Glassman — dressed in skimpy attire — opens up on her feelings of ex Jon, Kate Gosselin, Kate Major, rumors about her and stands up to all those who dislike her. Hailey’s tell-all also reveals some intimate secrets about Jon — including what he was like in between the sheets.
In the personal interview with Steppin’ Out, Hailey reveals the actual size of Jon’s equipment along with what their bedroom antics were like.
She tells her side of the story when it comes to how much money the father of eight owes her and what really went down in their NYC apartment.
Hailey reveals that she feels Jon has a mental disease, and never tells the truth. She also blames him for a near death experience her mother had.
Looks like its her claims against his — maybe the truth is somewhere in between?
The issue featuring Hailey’s interview and pictorial hits the stands on February 17.
Hailey, whose big day is February 19, pokes fun at the age difference between her and Jon on her party invitation, titled “Black out or get out.” We don’t really get it.
She sent the invite to more than 3,000 people on Facebook.
“Come out and party for my 23rd. I may be turning 23, but I feel like 32. Come help me remember what it’s like to be 23, aka young and fabulous again,” she writes.
The newly single Hailey Glassman just wrapped a photo shoot for Steppin’ Outmagazine and is all ready to party next week at Quo, one of the city’s hottest sports.
The venue has hosted celebs like Lindsay Lohan, Gwen Stefani, and Diddy in the past. She assures invitees the “real Hailey” is back. So … this is the fake Hailey?