Also, Matt usually uses these "Q & A's" to take not-so-subtle jabs at things he doesn't like. You might remember in a previous "Q & A" - Matt launched into a bizarre rant about (seemingly) our site, declaring that his family always welcomes "challenges" (apparently our interview offer). It was a bizarre and out of the blue rant from Matt, considering that they indeed did not accept that "challenge" and I completely understand their reasons - obviously it's easier to do "interviews" where you control the questions. However, it was bizarre for Matt to declare something like that when he obviously had no intention of following through. So why bring it up and rant about it? Odd.
Anyhow, I think Matt uses these Q&A's as a passive aggressive way to vent about things that are bothering him.
You know what I think would make for a great episode? Showing Zach's honest reaction to some of Matt's answers ;-) Like him or not, think he's disrespectful or not, I think it's well known that Zach is quick to call Matt on his "BS'ing" and in my opinion Matt was doing that a lot in these answers.
For anyone that doesn't know about Matt's board, you have to register to ask a question, in addition they had implemented something about having a certain number of posts, and the only people that usually stick around there are those who agree with all that Matt Roloff does and says. As a result there are about three or four people who do the majority of posting about their pets and remind a lot of people of a high school clique. If they praise Matt enough and insult the "haters" (ie. if you've disagreed with something Matt or Jeremy has done you're probably a hater....Amy, Zach and Jake seem to be fair game, as well as the physical appearance of the various girlfriends of the Roloff boys) enough Matt might give you a special shout out once a year. That is the site where they giggle at our site by calling us "Spit-wadder"...I don't think I need to further comment on the maturity of the adults there.
Basically this Q&A consists of Matt once again stating that he "chuckles" at everyone who disagrees and/or has a critical comment about him and pandering to the few people that post on his board by saying they are usually. Keep in mind, most people there make it known they believe all that Matt says and agrees with almost everything he does.
Anyhow. The goal of our site has always been to talk about the truth of the matters, so let us take a look at what Matt is saying and if we think he is being up front and on the mark? Feel free to make up your own mind though. That's always encouraged. Being a fan of this show, does not mean one needs to be void of an opinion of their own.
All the questions and answers are located in the above link. I'll discuss a few of the points and reference a few of the answers. Let's start with the big topic – Matt and Amy's marriage. People everywhere, after watching the show recently are inquiring about a Roloff family divorce? Are Matt and Amy headed for divorce? They have a troubled marriage? That was one topic that was addressed.
20. "Don't leave us hanging, are you and Amy really going through some marital problems, or is the show playing up what small problems you do have in order to make it look like more than it is?"
Matt's Answer: "Yeah I think the show is playing it up to make it look like it's more than it is. Amy and I are both definitely going through some changes. But I think they are making those changes look more like marital problems. Amy's doing more on her own. She went from being a school teacher and now she's out and about more and doing her own thing. But no, I wouldn't say we are going through marital problems as much as I would say changes as individuals like anyone goes through. The only difference with us is that people have a chance to watch and dissect us. Which is what we signed up to do. A lot of marriages go through changes and you never get to see it. Even close friends may not see it. But in our case, we have cameras here to see it. You're getting the luxury of seeing it good, bad or indifferent. Amy and I are deeply committed to each other and I don't think that it's as catastrophic as people may think."
Let's really examine this. Let's take Matt at his word and "the show" is making it look like marital problems and really there is nothing unusual going on in their marriage. I think they're crossing onto shaky moral ground there. It's quite clear "the show" is making it look like they could be headed for divorce with previews such as "Matt and Amy's relationship continues to deteriorate" and Zach stating that "the divide" (Zach's words) between Matt and Amy has been getting worse.
At some point, I think the Roloffs need to stop making it sound like it's the evil "show" doing this to them and that they are innocent. Matt and Amy are listed as producers of Little People, Big World. They continue to take the money, the trips, etc. and agree to continue the show in return for personal profit and the fame.
So if Matt is telling the truth about the stability of their marriage, then they're basically allowing a network to deceive the public and pretend like they have serious problems in their marriage when they actually don't. If a viewer watches these episodes in Season 5 and comes away thinking that Matt and Amy have serious marital problems, that they are unhappy and are headed for divorce -- don't blame (or in Matt's words "chuckle") at the viewer for how you're allowing your marriage to be portrayed to the world.
In a family that has 4 kids, one who is a 12 year old, would you be comfortable doing a show that is portraying it like you might be divorcing? Is money really worth that? Obviously the Roloffs feel it is. At some point though, the Roloffs can't have it both ways. They can't do television interviews and when asked by Oprah and local Portland AM hosts, if what the viewers see is real, answer yes it is and please watch because you'll see reality...and then allow the show to make it appear as though their marriage is in trouble -- in the name of good ratings and interest -- while then implying that the show is just deceiving the audience.
On to other topics:
1. A question about if they let the kids listen to music with bad language.
Matt's Answer: "Well, you know, Jacob we keep from listening to stuff that has explicit lyrics in them but Jeremy and Zach are 19 and they can listen to what they want. Fortunately they choose, as far as I know, not to listen to such music. That's just not their kind of music. They listen to a lot of Gospel and Christian music. They do listen to a variety but they like Country. Their favorite, well I think all my kids' favorite band may be Alabama. But if Jeremy and Zach wanted to listen to explicit music they certainly could. Molly doesn't choose to listen to such music I know for sure because she doesn't like it. And of course Jacob we don't allow."
I admit personally, I am finding the constant "we're a wholesome Christian family" image routine that Matt keeps insisting to be...hard to stomach, especially at this point after all that has unfolded. I think most informed people who follow the Roloffs are well aware that the Roloff kids, especially Jeremy and Zach are not foreign to using offensive language themselves. Honestly, while it is true from what we at Spiritswander know, that even Jeremy and Zach listen to Christian music, (we hear Zach is fond of a lot music from the 70s and 80s too) however the idea that Jeremy, Mueller and the gang get together on a Friday night and pump up the Gospel music is...quite ridiculous. For what it's worth, we hear that all three of the boys are fans of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and music such as that which is pretty common. Google some of their lyrics ... (not horrible lyrics in terms of "foul language", but certainly not gospel music ;-)
8. Will they have a behind the scenes episode?
"We're talking about. That's definitely a possibility."
As viewers know, so far the Roloffs have never acknowledged the show on the show. Free services that are performed in exchange for the publicity the company receives, are usually passed off (ahem, a lie) as "a friend of Matt's". Income from the show is never mentioned. Amy stated on the show for the Orlando vacation that "it was the first time we've rented a vacation home"...no, actually it was a comp by Global Resort Homes responding to a request by TLC in exchange for the publicity the company had hoped to receive from the show. The presence of the crew has never been acknowledged (ie. when the kids are home "alone").
9. A question about Jon and Kate Gosselin. If TLC had ever discussed a cross-over of the two shows visiting each other and Matt's thoughts on the current situation?
"Well, we have sat down and had dinner with Jon and Kate and discussed the possibility of them coming here. But we were never really able to come up with a schedule that would work for all of us and the kids. But yes, we have had that discussion before and talked about how fun it would be for the little kids to be on the farm. As for why it's worked out for us and not them, I can't answer what's going on in their life because we don't know. But, we certainly empathize with them. We know how stressful it can be to be on a show and to have cameras in your house. It's very, very, stressful and difficult and not an easy task at all. We certainly feel very, very bad for what they're going through but we certainly understand living in this life we both have chosen to live in."
11. "Matt or Amy, what do you think of people on other boards and blogs who post really mean things about you and your family? Do you read any of that anymore?"
Matt's Answers: "We don't really read any blogs and sites because we're mainly busy. But we know they're out there. There's just some mean spirited people. It always surprises us how some people think they've got it all figured out about us and, more often than not, we chuckle because they have it so wrong."
Hmm. I think this is kind of similar to how every athlete in the history of the world claims to not read the sports columns about their play, yet they somehow, magically, know everything that was said about them and know who wrote what about them.
And I don't think I'm the only person who noticed Matt's clever wording to include the word "Spirit". Clever :-) but that kind of goes to my above point. For the record, Matt can have his own opinion of our site, but I don't consider it mean-spirited at all. We do allow reader comments - some of which I don't personally agree with but this site is for the fans and we all other fans to express themselves-- but as far as the content of the blog items or commentary on them, it's not at all mean-spirited we just aim to be truthful and that might mean disagreeing with what the Roloffs do or say sometimes.
And I must point out that the conduct of those that Matt is praising on his official site has been described by many as mean-spirited -- it's just not mean-spirited towards Matt Roloff. For example, after a recent quick browse of Matt's site, one of the people he gives a "shout out" to, felt it necessary to publicly declare that a 12 or 13 year old girl, Taylor, Jacob's 'girlfriend' "is not cute at all". I ask, what is mean spirited -- making derogatory comments about the appearance of a 12/13 year old girl who is only tv because of a friendship with a Roloff child, or the main reason why the Roloffs apparently feel our site is "mean - because we think Jeremy Roloff was wrong to use the N word and other offensive slurs towards minority groups? It appears to me that Matt welcomes mean-spiritedness if it is not directed towards Matt or Jeremy or defends the Roloffs.
We post any news items about the Roloffs whether it positive or negative, if we think fans would be interested, we pass it along. Readers of our site can trust that we don't censor information about the Roloffs whether I personally agree with it or not (as opposed to something like Matt's official site where there are fairly significant things that you'd never know about if you just got your Roloff news from there because they don't want people to know about certain things). Here we pass along everything. We also opened our episode reviews up to anyone who wanted to volunteer and got people with very different opinions. However, I'm not an idol worshipper. I don't automatically believe something because Matt Roloff says it and I have my own values about what is right and wrong. If Matt Roloff thinks that is "mean-spirited"...oh well.
Listen, we all know what this is about. This blog has been very firm about Jeremy's past use of racial and homophobic slurs. It's not funny or cute, not even when a Roloff uses them. I don't give the Roloffs special exemption because they're TV stars. In fact, I think he should have known better because of their own stance on the word "midget". Jeremy was wrong and unlike some people, he didn't feel the need to apologize or admit a wrong. I was disappointed in the the Roloffs dismissive attitude about it in their vague public statements about it, considering the original moral of their show and their own (positive) message about the word "midget" and how it is derogatory and hurtful. Matt and the Roloffs sort of put out a message ordering people to not talk about Jeremy's use of offensive slurs and not to care about it. We didn't obey to Matt's orders.
Matt's "boardies" like his chosen message board adminstrator who he conducts these Q & A's with is an adult who doesn't feel a teenager should be corrected/chastized/criticized for using words like the N word and the F gay slur. She advocates that "words don't hurt..." Matt obviously appreciates this defense of his Jeremy. Yet when the Roloffs and the LPA hold a press conference about their desire to ban the word "midget" from television, members of the Matt Roloff board cheer for them -- 'How can people be so insensitive to use the awful "M word? Go get 'em!...... I look at that and think: "Gee, the hypocrisy is too glaring to not comment on it. What happened to "words don't hurt..."?
And for the record, I've been very consistent that I don't think the word "midget" should be used. However, unlike the Roloffs and Matt Roloff's board that he is praising, I don't give Jeremy a pass to use slurs about other groups while cheering the Roloffs when they demonize the word "midget". Apparently, that's the way to win Matt Roloff's affection but that's not what I'm interested in.
13. As we stated all along, the twitter acount: http://twitter.com/mattroloff is really Matt, however he doesn't use it often. He says TLC has been encouraging them to use it more, but claims they don't spend time online...Matt and Jeremy usually float that one out when they're being questioned/criticized for their lack fan interaction.
19. "Which forum members, if any, have you cracking up when you read their responses on the forum?"
Matt's Answer: "There's a couple of them that I've cracked up over. But most of the time with our forum, most of the members seem to be right on. They seem to get the truth. When you read some of these other crazy sites you laugh at the ridiculousness of their hypotheses and how far off base they are on things. I think our forum members have watched enough episodes of the show that they have a more balanced and accurate view point. They seem to have a more accurate picture of us. You know, they see enough to know that Matt has his good days and some days he's a jerk but that doesn't mean he's always like that. And yeah, some days Amy can be harsh but it's not every day. And so yeah, people on our forums seem to be smarter about it and see what's really going on.
A few points about that....
First of all, and I'm sure this would be denied until the end of time, however I have a feeling the Roloff site the the Roloff family members pay the least attention to is indeed MattRoloff.com. The reasoning goes like this. The show is a business to them. Matt, through staff he controls, ensures what content is on his site. From a business standpoint, why be concerned with something you are in total control over? It would be like talking to yourself -- You know what's there and you know what's going to be said - what you want to be said.
Secondly there are only a few regulars over there and I think the reason for that is obvious -- the high school clique mentality, the immaturity, the "agree with us or be bullied" attitude, the secretive nature of the Roloffs even about things that are public knowledge (the Roloffs trek through Europe and World Dwarf Games results).
Thirdly, I'll use an example of a general attitude that Matt seems to be saying is "right" which in turn, I think makes Matt wrong :-). If you bought the Roloffs book, and believe the Roloffs were not lying, then you believe that Jeremy and his friends do not drink alcohol and it's because of his faith in God. If you were to suggest that you had doubts about that, you would not be welcome. Good Matt Roloff fans believe all that the Roloffs say so that means Jeremy does not drink alcohol.
I think *most* logical people really doubt that to be the truth. Just by general observation -- even Matt's own words on the show about Jeremy being such a rule breaker -- Jeremy and his group of friends don't give many the impression that they are the squeaky clean teens the Roloffs claim they are in the book and that the people on Matt's board have said he is -- people who Matt Roloff is saying is correct and the "smart" ones. In addition to the general impression of Jeremy and his friends, Jeremy in his own words online reminisced about their wild drunk vodka stories. His friends referenced Jeremy drinking and drunk. There have been pictures of Jeremy drinking alcohol. You can read the comments in a very poignant and sad article on this blog regarding the tragic death of one of Jeremy's friends. In the comments, friends of the deceased referenced certain "typical teen" behavior with Jeremy at parties-- and it was not done to ridicule or shame him.
So the Roloffs wrote in their book that Jeremy doesn't drink or engage in "bad stuff" like that, like most teenagers. The regulars on Matt's board that he is stating is right, believe Jeremy's written word in the Roloff book. Personally I think and I think the majority of people associated with this blog (even the hard-core Jeremy supporters) and the majority of our readers don't believe that is true. Let me make one thing clear, teenagers drinking does not make them worthless and it certainly is not uncommon. We just don't believe the image that the Roloffs are selling. Jeremy is very much like an average teen and that is average teen behavior.
So was Jeremy lying in the Roloff book about how he doesn't drink or do "bad" teen behavior because he and his friends only do things that please God? Are we good little fans who believe whatever Matt and Jeremy Roloff say publicly because we hope Matt might pat us on the head and might be our friend or do we form our own opinion based on logical facts? I'd love for a lie detector test to be performed so we could settle that one when Matt goes off about how wrong people are about his family :-)
21. Are the twins attending college now?
Matt's Answer: Yes. We are very proud of them. They seemed to have stepped up to the plate. They are attending a little local college. Taking classes and seem to be doing quiet well. They're really into it.
Yes, as readers of our site knew several months ago, Jeremy and Zach are attending Portland Community College with the majority of their friends that you see on the show (sans Scott LeSage). TLC cameras were also spotted at PCC the first week of classes.
22. How are the ratings so far for the show?
Matt's Answer: The ratings have been really good. In fact, surprisingly good. It's kinda like the Little Engine That Could. It's the tired, worn out, little show that's been around for almost 200 episodes. LOL And yet we just got ratings data today from last Monday and they were very, very, strong.
Hey, we passed along the ratings data to our readers a day before Matt received them! ;-) As we said in the item about it, on this one Matt is being factual, the ratings for the November 2nd episodes were very strong 2.4. Most episodes this season have been in the 1.7/1.8 range. Considering that the episode in season 4, surrounding the passing of Mike Detjen, had ratings of around 2.3, last Monday's episode rating for the 8:30pm episode were very impressive, although it might have been helped by being the lead in for TLC's 9pm program - the heavily hyped exclusive interview with Kate Gosselin which scored a 3.9 rating.
23. Matt's basically asked if he reads the stuff his "boardies" post.
Matt's Answer: "Yeah when we log on we get to see those signatures. I don't know if I've ever seen any videos. But we've seen different things. Remember, we don't spend a lot of time online. But we've seen various things and have laughed at them."
Again, I think the notion that the Roloff family are just too busy to use the computer like regular people (who usually are have more time in the day than the Roloffs do allotted to things such as work and the commute to work) is a little bit absurd. I think it's an insult to the public's intelligence. Gosh, one glance around almost any room in the Roloffs home and you see three or four laptops/computers all visible in one scene. That's a lot of computers going to waste! ;-)
And who exactly is "we don't spend a lot time online"? The entire family? Again, I would love to see Zach's and Amy's honest reaction to Matt trying to sell that as the truth ;-)
There are 4 adult Roloff family members, but apparently they're all too busy and hardly ever use use the internet? Right. Right..... Is anybody really believing this? Take Jeremy and Zach as an example. They have college course loads that are less intense than their high school schedule was (friends of the twins have said they have class 2 to 3 times a week including some online classes). Jeremy and Zach have no real jobs that occupy their time unlike the majority of people their age; other than to be filmed vacationing, playing soccer, going to dances and to be television celebrities. They aren't even involved in high school sports now. As of a couple of weeks ago, the cameras aren't even there. Yet they are too busy? Too busy doing what? Seriously, how much "fun time" do a couple of 19 year olds really need?
They certainly don't have a reputation for interacting with fans whose support provides them with all their material possessions and special privilleges that they love such as being able to have private meeteing with professional soccer general mangers/owners.
So personally, I wasn't particularly impressed with Matt's answers. It honestly astounds me that for all that Matt is a "people person" and a business man, that he has never realized how his involvement in things like that (the immature conduct on his offical message board - his remarks about "chuckling" at people who form opinions after watching the show he has agreed to be a part of, etc) reflect negatively on not only himself, but his family as well. When your family are the ones who are publicly at stake in terms of what people think and say about them, why would you want to egg people on? I find it very bizarre that Matt fails to realize that.