Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cold Cockles

There is a type of story that tabloid newspapers sometimes like to run called a "heartwarming story".

Very often, these stories are not "heartwarming", they are actually "infuriating" and make rational people want to "throw" things through "windows".

This is one such story.

The FRONT-PAGE STORY in today's Herald Sun is about mother of two "Michelle", who has been "overwhelmed" with public offers of help after going public with her desperate plight, as she and her children have been forced to sleep in the car.

Oh, I'm sorry, did I say "forced"? What I actually meant was "chose to sleep in the car because she is an idiot".

READ this story.

She was too embarrassed to go to friends, co-workers, or her ex-partner about her situation. Oh, the shame, she cried. Nobody must know! And so she kept her secret, not telling anyone, even giving the children's father a fake address, so embarrassed was she, until finally she decided to...


Oh yes, how embarrassing it would have been to admit to your friends or your ex-partner that you are homeless. Far better to act with discretion and quiet dignity by begging for help in the Herald Goddamn Sun.

"Michelle" says her ex is a good father. Her ex says he would have been perfectly happy to give the children a home. But he didn't know, did he? Oh no, because it would have been just so humiliating to ask him for help. Far better to make your children SLEEP IN A FUCKING CAR than lower yourself by having them stay with their father.

She's also very grateful to Herald Sun readers for their offers of accommodation. The generosity has just blown her away. Not that she's taken any of the offers up, mind. No, she knows you never take the first offer. First rule of homelessness: play it cool. Play the field. Shop around. You don't want to seem desperate.

The father says, "I want to express my extreme distress that my children were so exposed across the media and I am concerned about the repercussions of such exposure."

Oh, you're such a killjoy! Look how happy they look on the front page! See how all our souls have been uplifted by this wonderful story! Isn't it worth it, for your children to be forced by their idiot mother to sleep rough, so the public can enjoy the feelgood story of the year?

Dr Sarah Wise, of Anglicare Victoria, said Michelle's story had put a human face on hardship experienced by many Victorians.

She said it showed that people trying to do their best could still get nowhere.

No it fucking doesn't, Dr Wise. It puts a human face on the fake hardship assumed by many Victorians who deliberately make things harder for themselves than they really are in order to get attention.

And it shows that people who absolutely REFUSE to do their best get on the front page of major daily newspapers.

Seriously, Dr Wise, on what planet is a woman who intentionally chooses to sleep in her car with her children when she doesn't have to "doing her best"? Shove it, Dr Wise.

And shove it, "Michelle". I hope you get a house, and I hope the roof falls in on your stupid publicity-whoring head.


Captain Ranty Pants said...

Agree with your comments totally.

Your angry examination far outweighs any ranty grumpiness I would post ion the matter

Good post Mr P

Jadey said...

I love your honesty and I agree with your comments and reasoning!

I don't understand why Miss "Michelle" went to The Herald Sun to gain sympathy. This is a woman who is either very smart or very unintelligent and taking advantage of kindness and generosity!

If she'd gone to Centrelink or any number of government funded organisations, e.g/ Public Housing they would've basically given her a house very cheap. If she is a single parent with more than 1 child, she'd be recieving at least a $1000 a fortnight. Therefore this brings me to the logical conclusion that she is chosing rather than being forced to sleep in her car. No sympathy from my end!

It frustrates me to no end the nerve of some people who whinge and complain about their lives but refuse to do anything to help themselves. You can't help a person who can't help wait just go to The Herald Sun.
However there are those that do genuinely need help and I support the system that supports them 100% just not the minority that take advantage!

It never ceases to amaze me what makes front page news!

alliewonder said...

Love this post!

mrs c said...

I agree, well said.

She put her pride ahead of her children's safety. I'm a new mum and there's no way I would force my child to sleep in a car outside a train station.

On the flip-side, there is a serious shortage of rental accom in VIC and in Aus. Hopefully her story will highlight this issue.

JB said...

Ben, thank you for your sanity. Often when I see media coverage of a story like this I worry either that the whole world has gone nuts, or that I am an unreasonably cynical, heartless person. Your blog is a beacon of sanity and I wish the Herald Sun would read it and develop some perspective.

Caz said...

Hear, hear.

My thoughts exactly, when I read of Michelle's shameful secret in our widely circulated daily tabloid.

It always warms my cold, shriveled, black heart when dolts rush in to give generously to someone like Michelle. (The kids are blameless, poor little sods.)

They are the same arseholes who give no thought to the genuine homeless, the mentally ill, those lost souls who need and deserve community support - something more than a bowl of free soup at Flinders Street each night.