Allow me to alienate myself once and for all from the human race

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by homelessmandril, May 19, 2007.

  1. homelessmandril

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    Anyone in the UK or Portugal will doubtless have heard a lot recently about the very sad disappearance of four-year-old Madeleine McCann who was abducted from her parents' hotel room last week and remains missing.

    But does anyone else beside me and Matthew Parris in the Times think that the whole thing has been blown wildly out of proportion? Does it make me a dick for thinking it has?

    I've just sat down to watch what turned out to be a rather miserable FA Cup final and witnessed a short documentary film about the missing girl being played to the assembled crowd of 90,000, as if someone in Row 32 is suddenly going to recall seeing a toddler being bundled into a car in the Algarve several days earlier. I'm sure raising the profile of a missing-persons case is generally very useful, but didn't she go missing abroad? And how exactly is the kidnapper going to have ferried his victim over the border into Spain when every law-enforcement agency in that country is looking out for her?

    And I read the other day that a number of private individuals (or 'publicity-seeking pseudo-humanitarian fuckholes' as I call them) have donated sums up to £1 million for information leading to the return of the kidnapped girl!

    All very noble perhaps but why now? Is this girl the Second Coming? If so, why has no-one told me? You can go to the National Missing Persons Helpline website (National Missing Persons Helpline (0500 700 700)) and read about dozens of other children who have been missing for far longer, and in total obscurity as well. And then there's poor Alan Johnston who's been rotting in a cell in Gaza for two months for the heinous crime of objective journalism......here's someone who's actually DONE things (unlike some pathetic lazy four-year-old) and he's forced into the background throughout all this! It seems so grossly unfair that I'm starting to lose any sympathy I previously had for the parents (which is not a good thing).

    Is there a perfectly rational explanation for the anomalous prominence of this particular case, or is it the Princess-Diana-Syndrome rearing it's retarded head once more? Will people oneday say 'Oh yes, I can well remember the day WE lost Madeleine....'?
     
  2. SpoiledPrincess

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    Although I agree that we've been saturated with coverage I can hardly agree with calling a four year old pathetic and lazy. However I do think the Portuguese police are being given a hard time over not jumping into action quickly enough, while her parents are escaping any castigation over leaving her alone. If it had been a single parent in a council flat who'd been discovered to have left their child alone she'd have ended up deep in crap.
     
  3. homelessmandril

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    that was just my twisted sense of irony there, I don't really think she's any more pathetic or lazy than any other four year old, for the record. You're right though, how can any parent countenance leaving a four-year-old alone in a hotel room while they go out for dinner?
     
  4. IntoxicatingToxin

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    Same in the US. The parents would've been arrested at this point. Child endangerment, negligence, and whatever else they could charge them with. When my son was four, I got worried just leaving him alone for a minute so I could do my laundry (which was in my apartment building, just downstairs.) I couldn't imagine leaving the property completely and eating a meal and everything else. That's just fucking stupid.
     
  5. swampy

    swampy New Member

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    I can understand it to a degree getting a lot of coverage in the U.K., but it's been on the TV down here in Australia nearly 24/7 for the last week or so also.
     
  6. JustAsking

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    Innit, though!

    I haven't seem the news about this, but if it is anything like the media circus that surrounds many events in the US, then I totally understand what you are saying.

    Naturally, a child being abducted is a real tragedy. But so is 30,000 children dying per month of preventable thirst, hunger, or disease in the Sudan. Each one of those children and including Madeleine are monstrously tragic.

    Your complaint is the same as mine, though. The fact that Madeliene gets 24/7 press coverage for a week, is totally out of balance. It panders to our baser instincts to be far more concerned about one of our own than 30,000 of someone elses. And it panders in the most melodramatic exploitative way. Madeleine gets to own the media for a week, and the kids in the Sudan get an ignored brochure in rack in the church vestry.
     
  7. madame_zora

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    Welcome to your new American import- yellow journalism. We can make news out of absolutely anything.

    I saw this story the other day, my first thought was that I was surprised the parents weren't being arrested for leaving the kids alone in a fucking hotel, they sure would have been here. My second thought was I wondered if maybe this was not as common there as it is here. Maybe they haven't had enough reasons to pass those kinds of laws- I don't know.

    Obviously, I didn't have to click through too many thoughts to notice that she's white, blonde and cute. Of course she's news. Maybe the terrorists got her.

    Call me cynical, but maybe parents should actually pay attention to their own kids, and not leave them in vulnerable situations. I get creeped out over these high-profile cute kid cases, isn't it almost always the parents?
     
  8. SpoiledPrincess

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    It is almost always the parents, that's the main reason the police put them on camera, not because they think it will make anyone bring the kid back but because it's a good chance to observe the parents, both being doctors the parents must be quite aware of this fact. It's interesting to note that she was the result of ivf although I'm not sure what relevance that has for me, it just rings alarm bells a little bit as did the fortuitous event of her going missing while her parents had the alibi of being with a crowd of people.
     
  9. dolfette

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    you're right.

    if it wasn't a pretty blonde girl, it would've blown out in a week.

    it's awful but it's not news anymore.

    and yeah, what sane parent leaves children that age alone?
     
  10. dong20

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    That's the thing about the US blame culture; it runs the risk of transferring responsibility for the abduction onto the parents and thus away from those who actually are responsible, those who took her. Of course had they not left here alone it may not have happened - but that logic is specious. It's rather like blaming the victim of a crime for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, rather than the perpetrator of the crime.

    Assuming the parents are culpable to the extent of leaving the child alone - bad enough certainly and yes, hopefully punishable in due course. It disturbs me a little that your anger is focussed so singularly and immediately on them, and not on the criminals who took her - those you don't mention at all. But you're not alone in not doing so. I suppose the parents are easier, identifiable targets.

    My first thought was how can anyone kidnap a small child, and what must she be going through. Punishing the parents is one thing but it won't address the root cause, or get the girl back.

    As in 'The butler did it'. Indeed, often it's the simplest explanation.

    I also don't see the relevance (or 'interest') of the fact that she was conceived though IVF though it seems you do or I assume, you wouldn't have mentioned it. It would suggest that you consider an IVF baby is somehow 'different'. Or that you believe it's a factor in the events in Portugal, which amounts to the same thing. Not necessarily different in a bad way, but different nonetheless? I know you said as much but your remark rang my own alarm bell...

    I don't know what role the parents played in this other than what is already public knowledge - only they know, for now at least. It always seems that armchair criminologists read the papers then jump to conclusions and assign motive.

    If the the parents wanted the girl abducted they were clearly willing to suffer the wrath of LPSG sorry the media for leaving her alone in order to facilitate an 'alibi'. I'm not sure why; wouldn't it be easier to have her adopted for example, surely any 'stigma' would be less than the public castigation for abandonment would surely be worse than that never mind possible criminal charges, assuming that was their intention, for which, so far I've seen no evidence.

    I do entirely agree that the blanket coverage is a gross distortion and an insult to other missing children. The ethnic aspect is also rather sickeningly transparent.

    I just hope she is found safely and soon and the guilty parties are suitably punished, whoever they may turn out to be.
     
  11. madame_zora

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    Dong20, were you born a twat or do you work at it?

    Yes, obviously, I am thrilled stupid that a young child was abducted, clearly it brings me pleasure thinking of the torture she must me enduring, because basically i'm a psychotic bitch with no regard for human life at all, right?

    Please, stab yourself in the face at your earliest convenience, okay?
     
  12. B_ScaredLittleBoy

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    The first thing I thought was "Why the fuck did they leave her alone!?"

    I'm very protective of my young family members! I would be moreso if it were my child! Its a sad story but its been told to death! I want to see someone ask the parents why they left her alone.

    I also would not be surprised if the parents had some part in it. Even if they didn't, it was terrible, and could prove to have been fatal, leaving her alone in a hotel room.

    I agree with Mme Z, parents need to protect their children!

    dong: I don't know who you're trying to be but you come off as a twat.
     
  13. dong20

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    No, it takes much practice.

    Where exactly did I say you were any of those things? I remarked on the fact your first angry thoughts were directed at the parents, (based on your comments remember) - not the kidnappers and cast in it a wider context.

    Your anger is so often misdirected and, lately, rather pathetic.

    If expressing a view that being angry with kidnappers who are criminals as well as with parents who are clearly idiots isn't unreasonable makes me a twat, well, then I'll live with that.
     
  14. dolfette

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    i'll agree that often {yes, i'm going to generalise} the american culture leaps to blaming the victims or their carers...but i didn't think that was the angle here.
     
  15. dong20

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    It was, and my statement was no less of a generalisation.

    I'm just as pissed at the parents for their stupidity as anyone here I'm sure, but I'm also at least as pissed at the kidnappers, they committed the crime right? Yet no one seems have have expressed outrage at anyone other than the parents, that seemed unbalanced.

    If people want to read more into it and respond with abuse without asking for clarification, well so be it. I have broad shoulders.:smile:
     
  16. dolfette

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    because people instinctively look for a focus point for emotion.

    when the perps are found the public will want them torn limb from limb!

    but right now...who are they? just a concept.
    he/she/they...might be the parents, might be a stranger, might be a friend.

    the anger is no less but as yet has no target.
     
  17. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    I'm not going to comment on the publicity as enough has been said already.

    Let's assume that the parents are not in some way involved apart from their negligence. The priority should be to locate the girl and find her abducter.

    I agree with what others have said about the parents being charged with child endangerment/neglect or whatever however this should be done later. Although this situation has occured through their own stupidity and selfishness they must be suffering horrendously right now. Deal with them at a later date when the time is more appropriate.

    My 2 cents.
     
  18. fratpack

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    A couple of years ago here in NYC, a Scandinavian couple was arrested for leaving their young child in a stroller outside a diner while they ate inside. Their defense was that is what we do back home. Perhaps this was a cultural thing.
    In any event, in this day and age parents must assume responsiblity and take care of their children. They should have found a sitter or inquired from the hotel if there was one on staff. If one couldn't be found, then change your plans and take the child with you or don't go at all. Who leaves a four year old child unattended, especially while on vacation in a foreign country...two idiot parents apparently.
    This is just another heart tugging story that fills the news media. While unfortunate, this goes on everywhere, everyday.
     
  19. dong20

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    I know and It's perfectly normal and understandable. It's not about understanding what's happening, it's trying to understand it.

    That's the problem, misdirected anger. Even though it makes us feel better it's usually self defeating and thus dangerous.

    It's only a step or two from the torch waving mob, they can't find the true guilty party on who to vent their rage so find the nearest 'bad' person, after all, that's good enough isn't it?

    That makes sense to me. The trial by media of everyone with even peripheral involvement is surely making that very difficult for the Portugues Police I'd wager. The situation seemed to have become hysterical at one stage.

    Exactly, but that time and separation was arguably long enough for something similar to happen. Now please I'm NOT having a go at you - but consider this: Assuming they are not involved criminally I'm sure the parents in this case made a similar rationalisation, they probably felt just as bad.

    Was it a rationalisation too far? I think that's obvious - but who among us had never had a lapse of judgement or made a hard choice. I would never leave a four year old alone, but I don't think less of you for making your choice, the thing is, had (God forbid) your son been injured for example I'd wager many would do just that.

    Demonising the parents is fine but bear the foregoing in mind when you do it. Zora, no offense was intended toward you, I hope by now that's clear.
     
  20. dolfette

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    i just didn't see that attitude here.

    people weren't posting angry at the parents. they were posting "wtf?" at the scenario.
     
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