Day 9 – the video (continued)

amanda todd copycats

Amendment: At this point, I realised that people liked some sort of picture or video on a post. I also began to realise that people didn’t like long posts. I was still working very much on my own – the Todd story was still very much the ‘one-off photo’ style.

We are now at 3:01 in the video – ‘Then nobody liked me’. See the previous blog entries, and the previous Day 9. We can safely assume that Amanda Todd was not very well-liked throughout most of this story. She has simply managed to alienate herself through her own actions.

‘name calling…judged’ – well, I’m not surprised. What would you have thought? Given what you now know about Amanda, it’s very likely that, if you were a parent of any of the kids who knew her, you would discourage your kids from having anything to do with her. Her reputation was firmly established – she was not the sort of child you would want to see your kids with. If you’re a kid, you’re dealing with revenge – the fall of the bullying cheerleader; the comeuppance of the attention-seeking YouTube channel show-off; the decline of the BlogTV celebrity. She deserved it (a phrase used commonly).

‘I can never get that photo back’ – more lying. No mention of all the other stuff that was, by now, all over the Internet. Does she seriously believe, at this point, that no-one is ever going to find out her history? Is she really that stupid? Or is she just simply locked into having to retell the pack of lies that she has been telling everyone? Is it really possible that her parents and family were still, at this point, unaware of her activity? Why does she never come clean and admit to all her past errors?

‘It’s out there forever’ – she knows that for sure.

‘I started cutting’. Interesting. Yet again, no evidence. Sensationalism at its finest. Look at all her photos – no wounds, no scars, no bandages, nothing. She wears short sleeves in nearly all of them, and it is clear to see – no cutting. Short sleeves are not normally worn by cutters. And in one of her mother’s seemingly endless interviews, mother actually states that she was prevented from cutting. So yet more lies.

‘Didn’t have any friends and sat at lunch alone’. Probably true, but, yet again, not in keeping with the news that followed.

‘So I moved schools again’ – why ‘again’? We have no record so far of her moving schools. There are rumours that she moved around schools many times BEFORE any of this, and that it was due to ‘problems’. I’m guessing that she moved from Maple Ridge Secondary to CABE – a school for special needs.

http://www.sd43.bc.ca/secondary/CABE/About/PrincipalMessage/Pages/default.aspx

Note: ‘Our small, welcoming environment creates an alternative structure that allows students who have struggled in other Coquitlam Secondary schools to excel.’

So – it’s for kids with problems. Like Amanda.

She feels better. But then – for God’s sake – she’s back to her old self. ‘After a month later I started talking to an old guy friend’. Well, for the nutcases out there, this has provided a marvellous opportunity for hysteria. The idiots have interpreted this ‘old guy’ as meaning just that – an ‘old guy’. In context, it means old as in ‘from the past’. This smooth-tongued (or is it now ‘smooth-texted’) devil leads her on. But, as she writes, she knew he had a girlfriend. She willingly walks into the problem.

She knows the girlfriend is on vacation. She knows this boy has this girlfriend. Bad territory for any teen, even one as dim-witted as Amanda. But no. She goes ahead. I get the impression that she’s not new to this, if you know what I mean – she’s no virgin, for those who don’t.

She writes ‘huge mistake’. Hindsight is always 20:20. But then she writes: ‘He hooked up with me’. What? While her back was turned? While she wasn’t paying attention? Did she have no part to play in this? Could she not say ‘no’? Very typical victim behaviour. Put the blame on him. They text; girlfriend goes away; he says come round. She thinks it’s for a cup of tea and a slice of cake followed by polite conversation and a game of Scrabble? You’ve got to be kidding me.

‘I thought he liked me’ – well, he probably did. With a modicum of sympathy, I’ll allow her a degree of leniency. She’s not the first, and definitely not the last girl to tread this well-worn path. She was young, naive, easily led. Drastically in need of love and attention. But hang on a minute! We’re talking sex here – not holding hands and sharing a milkshake. What is going on? In case people out there are unaware, under-age sex is a felony – a felony in which it’s nearly always the guy who gets punished. In my country, Social Services would have gone batshit crazy by now. After the online events, it is very likely that she would have been seen as at risk; the drugs and alcohol would have brought on major responses; and this event might even have tipped the balance into serious action – maybe even taking her into care or supervision. So we really must think here – just what was going on around her? Where were the responsible adults? It’s really difficult to find any.

By the way – how come the boy seems to have got away with it? He’s never mentioned by the press – maybe because he’s a minor. And I don’t think I can risk naming him now, however much I would like to – it’s too close to being illegal, though I don’t think I’m bound by press rules. But he does exist – I know who he is, as do many others. But it’s irrelevant. Let him be.

So – she gets a text from the guy’s girlfriend. The torrid soap-opera of the school playground. ‘get out of your school’. The pistols-at-dawn threats from over-dramatic kids. The girlfriend and 15 buddies, including him arrive (cue the Ennio Morricone music). It’s showdown time.

Perhaps I should not be too flippant here. Teens can be evil little shits – the nice ones are rarities, and should be prized. The bad ones are almost feral, especially girls. They know exactly what to say or do to get at someone – they can spot weaknesses a mile off, they can detect the smell of a victim from across the other side of a football field. And Amanda has presented herself – signed, sealed and delivered. She has broken the rules – the unwritten rules of teenhood: don’t sleep with another girl’s boyfriend; don’t even talk to him, even if he leads you on; and don’t have a reputation. She is doomed – yet again, by her own actions.

The girls begin. Note here: several commentators have chosen to use this story as an example of misogyny. They are wrong. This is girl against girl. It is very likely that boys wouldn’t care. This is all about girls, and you can see it in nearly every story of female teen bullying. The most vehement shaming comes from girls.

‘nobody likes you’. Words will never hurt? Rubbish. A thump in the face hurts for a while; phrases like ‘nobody likes you’ can lead to therapy thirty years later! It’s one of the most unkind phrases in the ‘revenge’ repertoire.

But was this true? The Amanda Todd story repeatedly has two parallel and opposite threads: in the press, she was well-liked, with few enemies; in reality, it looks like she was hated, with a few friends. Establishing the truth is not easy.

Things develop. We have Amanda, a group of 15 trouble-makers, and now an audience of 50 from her new school. And no-one helps. Why? Where are all her friends (the ones who attended her memorial and in all her pictures)? Is she truly alone? No-one notices. No responsible adults. Strange.

Like something out of ‘Lord of the Flies’ someone shouts ‘punch her’. It probably didn’t matter who the victim was – it’s now just a spectacle, an entertainment. A fight ensues – similar to fights that occur every day at school. Nasty savagery. The Law of the Jungle. Kids film it. It’s probably online somewhere, even now.

We are now at 6:09. The fight has occurred. But what about the response? ‘I lied and said it was my fault and my idea’. This is an odd statement, and out of context. What did she say was her fault? And what was her idea? And who is she telling this to? Teachers? Police? Parents? She’s not talking about the fight – it’s not her ‘idea’. She’s talking about the episode with the boy. She’s talking about discussions AFTER the fight – investigations.

I’m going to take a break. These posts are getting longer, and maybe they are getting boring. I’m also conscious that I’m beginning to rush things. The points raised by the video are important, and I wish I had the time and ability to give them proper treatment. I will return to the video tomorrow. Events after the fight take more strange turns, and raise more important questions – mainly about the responsibility of responsible adults in all this.

All comments/criticisms are appreciated. Thank you.

5 thoughts on “Day 9 – the video (continued)

  1. You refer to Amanda as dim witted, yet you call her ever resourcefull? That’s a contradiction. She knows about on line technology but she doesn’t suspect her story will be researched? Come on. You seem to assume an awful lot. She’s a cutter but it doesn’t show? It doesn’t always. (I know video shows cut arms but that could be anytime.) Her mum says she put a stop to her self harming? Only the self harmer does that & ALL teenagers lie to their parents…its part of growing up.

    I came to this story very late & Amanda was just a wee lassie on Facebook who had taken her life. I felt bad for her & her family & then more so when I saw the hated comments on some of her pages. I then got involved in the Nicole Barker nonsense & you manipulated yourself into my life. I know your real opinion of Amanda (you have been somewhat respectful in this blog) but I’m not sure exactly why you feel that way. Somehow you felt it necessary to gain my support.

    At this point I will thank you for your information. As I have said I came to story late so missed the immediate aftermath. I’ve never seen the video you speak off & have only seen a couple of censored ‘flash’ photos. I have little knowledge of her on line activity until this blog. She appears to have been a very unsettled girl with a lot of personal issues….not uncommon for her age group. Flashing or stripping for attention isn’t the best behavior but as it is so common (according to yourself) then why is it such a problem here? Maybe she was hated cause of the bandwagon you often speak off? People do tend to go with the flow…not to stick out from the crowd & all. Maybe folk were jealous….girls are awful jealous right? (you assume to know a lot of the female thinking?)
    Anyways I’ve enjoyed a lot of this blog, your research is good, & I will continue to follow it. I firmly believe that everyone has a right to their opinion (as long as its respectful) & once again you appear to be the only one willing to give me information.

    • Thanks for the comment. Amanda was resourceful, in that she seems to be able to manipulate online media very easily, and she was computer savvy. But, as in so many cases, she was dim-witted when it came to thinking about the consequences and dealing with them. Think, at an extreme, of idiot savants – very clever when it comes to certain things, but useless at the rest. I think that, when she did what she did online, she knew precisely what she was up to, but never once thought that it could be damaging, and never thought that other people might find out. Dim-witted indeed.
      You say about assumptions, but that is what we have to do. If you assume she DID know that her online activity was open to all, then you would have to assume that she was VERY stupid. If she thought it would all just disappear, and nobody would ever follow it up, then perhaps we can put that down to minor stupidity. Whatever the assumptions are, none of them show her as being particularly sensible.
      I will come to the cutting later. In a way, it’s not hugely relevant, but it is easy to cast doubt on it.
      I’m not sure where you are going with the next statement. The implication from the video is that she cut her arms. VERY difficult to hide that from vigilant parents.
      Good that you introduce the Nicole Barker nonsense. Hopefully, I will get to that later.
      My real view of Amanda? It is too easy just to resort to the short descriptions – camwhore, attention-whore, skank, narcissistic liar, and so on. In my research, it looks as if she wasn’t very nice to say the least – and she certainly wasn’t this innocent little angel as portrayed in the media. I’m not one for excusing other people’s behaviour. Her activities were too repeated to put down as being minor teen errors – she was a persistent offender. Not praiseworthy.
      However, as you will see, I blame the parents! However good or bad Amanda might have been, there were plenty of opportunities for the parents to step in on many levels. They might not have been able to watch her every minute of the day, but they gave her far too much freedom to get into trouble. More of that later in the blog.
      Thank you for thanking me! I’m glad you think I am supplying decent data. The video I speak of still – I think – exists. It’s a shame it’s so off-limits, as it would be end-of-story for the confirmation that she enjoyed what she did.
      But you are 100% right in the ‘unsettled’ girl comment, and I get very angry – parents really are doing nothing these days, and seem completely ignorant about what teens are doing in the 21st century. I will also try to show that in my blog.
      Flashing and stripping IS common – but not on such a scale. The sexting of a flash is becoming almost compulsory (sadly), but Amanda’s exposures seem to have taken it much further. This is why she became the target for trouble. But it doesn’t take much to understand why she was hated. Have you seen ‘Mean Girls’? She was a cheerleader type – hated. She was a show-off – hated. She was online naked too often – hated. So many reasons for kids to hate her. But you can rule out jealousy. This online thing about ‘she was beautiful, therefore she was hated’ is utter nonsense. She was hated for who she was – plain and simple. She wasn’t hit for being beautiful – she was hit for sleeping around. She wasn’t called ‘pornstar’ because she was pretty, it was because she was naked online. She wasn’t shunned for being nice – she was shunned because she was not a likeable person.
      Thanks for the comment, and thanks for following the blog. Like I’ve said, feedback is good.

    • Colin, I attempted to post a helluva long reply illustrating a real-life incident where a brilliant child was almost manipulated into doing some things she would have later regretted. The blog crapped out and dumped my several paragraphs, so I won’t type them up all over again. Suffice to say, genius kids can and do make poor decisions sometimes.

  2. A correction here. You stated:

    “In case people out there are unaware, under-age sex is a felony – a felony in which it’s nearly always the guy who gets punished.”

    This isn’t always true. In some jurisdictions (I won’t say “many” jurisdictions because IDK), so-called Romeo-and-Juliet laws are in place which actually allow minors who engage in consensual sex to avoid prosecution as long as their ages are within a set range, again depending on the location. Thus, it is entirely possible for a 17 year-old boy, for example, to engage in intercourse with a 14 year-old girl in some places and not have to worry about legal consequences. Of course, this doesn’t remove parental consequences if caught, or more seriously, reproductive consequences.

  3. Regarding cutting, I remember a high school girl telling me that it was common practice to cut on the leg just below the thigh, as this wouldn’t show.

    That being said– thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this blog. It’s the first sensible piece of writing I’ve seen on this damn case.

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