I have never seen an episode of "Jon & Kate Plus 8" -- not one -- but yesterday afternoon I could not help having a conversation in which I expounded my elaborate theory about their relationship and what they really ought to be doing for the sake of their family (quitting the television show, recommitting to each other and the marriage, seeking meaningful therapy as a couple and also as a family).
What right do I, or does anyone, have to an opinion about what the Gosselins should do? One could argue that by making themselves public figures, they've invited everyone to have an opinion.
But this issue of having an opinion without any background knowledge goes way beyond reality TV. I do it all the time, in almost every aspect of my life. My friends know that I am liberal with advice about all kinds of things I have no personal experience of, and yet they continue to put up with my spouting off on stuff I know nothing about: marriage, child-rearing, career development, real estate, galactic domination...
On a good day, I pretend that my status as a noncombatant makes me an objective observer, much in the way that people go to priests for advice. But priests at least have some counseling training (not to mention that whole mission-from-God thing), and the power to confer absolution when necessary.
Then again, if I limited my conversation and opinions to things I actually know about, I wouldn't have much to say. Dogs are funny. Coffee is good. Macs are better than PCs, and Tide with Bleach really works.
Beyond that, it's all just a matter of arbitrary opinion... leave some of yours in the comments section.