Can any of the Amanda Todd story be trusted? So far, it looks like a resounding ‘No’ as an answer to that question. But still this paradox goes round and round. We could make an attempt to understand why Amanda’s video was so full of lies. After all, not many people would want to go on and admit all their own shortcomings on YouTube. But why does the aftermath of it all seem to be so mishandled? I could understand a rapid response from the media ending up in a jumble of misinformation, but for none of the mainstream Canadian press to actually have sorted it out by now seems very strange. They could have chosen to ignore it and just let the problems go away, as it will in time, but there are still references, even at this later stage, to 32-year-old predators and what have you. But I can simply guess that no Canadian reporter is going to have the guts to want to try to get to the truth. Amanda Todd is to Canadian youth what Ben Johnson was to Canadian sport – an icon that nobody really wants to criticise.
So we’re left to try and sort things out ourselves. So, let’s have a look at the Amanda Todd Legacy Fund blog – supposedly written by Mrs Todd. Now, in all seriousness, you have to ask yourself several questions about all this.
Just ponder. If you were the mother of a daughter with such a bad reputation, what would you do? According to various reports, Carol Todd knew all about what her daughter was up to. How much of this is true, we don’t know. But if you DID have an inkling of what your daughter did, wouldn’t you want it buried? Wouldn’t you want to protect your daughter from all the Clorox pictures, all the naked pictures that are still online, all the insults that are still being hurled at her? Wouldn’t you want her just to disappear from public gaze and be allowed to rest in peace, mourned by her family and close friends, forgotten by all the gossip-mongers and haters? If the story is true, Amanda committed suicide to put an end to all the hate – Mrs Todd has just let it continue. There is even the possibility that Amanda Todd has suffered more after death than she ever did during her life.
A mother’s primal urge is to protect her kids (or so I thought before all this. I am now having my doubts). Surely, an urge for fame and glory would have been counteracted by the urge to protect Amanda from any further defamation.
But it all went in the opposite direction. This could be put down to a misplaced desire to try to erase all of Amanda’s bad history by making her into a saintly icon. But it never quite worked. Amanda’s family flooded the Internet with intimate picture after intimate picture – most of which did not, in all reality, portray Amanda in a good way. The live broadcast memorial service produced even more publicity. But the more the publicity grew, the more news about all her nude pictures also grew. With the Daily Capper information being released, the publication of her flashing video and other pictures, the good story of the victimised saint was blown apart. Once people took a closer look at the video, and realised the subtext of drinking, drug abuse, and under-age sex, it soon became clear that this was no ordinary story.
But Carol Todd persisted, even then. Instead of just slowly withdrawing from public view, she wanted to raise the stakes even higher – a cookbook, Starbucks cups, Evander Holyfield – all plastered with the Amanda Todd brand. I’m not sure what was going on here. Was Mrs Todd just in incredible denial? Did she think that if she kept on and on pushing her daughter into the spotlight that sooner or later all the bad memories would disappear? Or was it something more selfish – a desire to hog that limelight for as much as possible, making Carol Todd the star of the show?
Carol Todd supporters will see her as some sort of crusading Superwoman, selflessly refusing to grieve whilst spreading the word against bullying. I see it as something different. I see it as strange behaviour from a very confused woman. My analysis of the blog will show the reasons why I am highly suspicious of what is going on.
As usual, I’ve wittered on too much in my preamble. Believe it or not, I do have other things to do – today it is 340 minutes of opera (Parsifal). I do love opera, but that’s another story. Maybe I should write one about Amanda Todd!
So I need to sign off for now. Hopefully, I will have dealt with the Todd blog by Monday. Meanwhile, have a good weekend!