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You might have heard the distant rumbling and pondered the source of the thunder.

Or you might have felt the earth shift beneath your feet and wondered what is happening.

Be still and do not fear. I am here to tell you what’s going on.

It is officially the end of an era: “Jon & Kate Plus Eight” has aired its last original episode on TLC, which used to stand for “The Learning Channel.”

I can hardly believe it myself: “The Learning Channel!”

Jon & Kate have been on for five or six seasons, maybe seven — no one’s really sure — and they’ve provided so many minutes, nay, seconds of quality TV viewing.

But even a train wreck eventually must come to an end, I guess.

I have never watched a single episode of the show, but I feel as if I had. That’s reflective of the impact they’ve had on the popular culture, the influence they’ve wielded over the zeitgeist, the power they’ve exerted over the media.

They are pervasive. They are ubiquitous. They are omnipresent. They are repetitive, just like the three previous sentences.

Without wanting to, I feel as if I’ve met Jon and Kate Gosselin — and asked them to leave my house before I called the cops.

Without actively following their exploits, I know about everything that’s going on in their lives — the fights, the bank withdrawals, the name-calling, the court orders, the fights, the questionable dates, the unending tears, the tabloid stories and, of course, the fights.

It’s as if they are a part of the very air I breathe, which would explain that strange odor in the kitchen. (I knew we hadn’t had liver and onions recently.)

For the last episode, Kate took all eight of their kids to a dairy farm to learn how to milk cows. It was about time those little tax deductions started learning a trade.

Jon, who’s up for a “Father of the Year” award from Deadbeats Anonymous, took the kids to a firehouse, presumably to show them someone who actually works for a living.

So now the marriage is over, and Kate has been granted primary custody of the children.

And the show that made them infamous is kaput, though TLC is planning a new show next year starring just Kate. (Please don’t call it “Just Kate.”)

The lights are out, the cameras are off. Where will we ever find such entertainment again?

How about the WWE?

•••


There’s a movie out now that you might not have heard of. It’s called “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.”

It’s the sequel of a 2008 movie that was just called “Twilight.”

They decided not to call the new movie “Twilight 2” or “Twilight: Part II” or even “Twilight Again” because they didn’t want moviegoers thinking the sequel was just more of the same from the first movie.

Because it’s not.

“Twilight” was a vampire movie. “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” is a vampire movie with werewolves.

I haven’t seen the movies or read any of the books on which they’re based. But my daughter has, and she’s told me all about them.

So I’ll share with you all I’ve learned from her.

First, you must understand that the “Twilight” series is “soooo good!”

Basically, it’s a variation on the old boy-meets-girl story. In the “Twilight” books and movies, the girl meets the boy, and they come from two different worlds: She’s from Seattle, and he’s from Chicago. Problems!

There are other differences, too, even though they both look like pretty adolescent schoolgirls.

She’s very moody. He’s very pale. She’s self-absorbed. He’s undead.

Luckily, they both live in the Pacific Northwest, where that sort of thing is tolerated.

Anyway, they fall in love — making them the first two people ever to do that, at least in the Pacific Northwest.

But they just can’t get together.

I think it’s the age difference. She’s about 18, and he’s about 108, which means he’s old enough to be her dad.

So they just spend a lot of time looking mopey at each other because, let’s face it, being young and beautiful is a bummer.

That’s the plot of “Twilight.”

“New Moon” is kinda like that, except there’s a werewolf in it too. Without a shirt.

Information.

That’s what I’m all about.

You can reach Carleton Bryant at 202/636-3218 and cbryant@washingtontimes.com — but only if your name is not Jon or Kate.

About the Author
Carleton Bryant

Carleton Bryant

Carleton Bryant is the assistant managing editor for strategic planning and development/special projects for The Washington Times. He previously served as The Times’ Metropolitan desk editor, Features desk editor and an assistant National desk editor, as well as a National and Metropolitan reporter. He currently writes a humor blog and weekly humor column — both titled “Out of Context” — ...

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