There are things – a LOT of things – about the Amanda Todd story that make me feel profoundly ill at ease.
People bandy about the word ’empathy’, and my God I’ve tried to have some. Time and time again, I’ve revisited this tale of woe, trying first to provide any logical explanation (is that a male thing?) and then to investigate it emotionally from every possible angle I can think of. But I keep on coming to the same sort of inconclusive conclusion – that there is something particularly fishy about all this.
Regular readers will know that when I do approach things emotionally, I revert to the purple prose of the f and c words. That’s because temper tends to take control – along with anger and frustration. Just how stupid were all the people involved in this fiasco?
Given all the evidence I can find, it’s relatively easy to dismiss Norm as an oaf, pure and simple. I think that he’s the type of man who would have been intellectually out of his depth in any century, let alone the 21st. Maybe we would have to go back to caveman times to find a situation in which Norm would have been comfortable – when a club on the noggin would solve every dispute, and the greatest mental effort meant how to kill a mammoth or light a fire!
Recently, there’s been another character emerge in this pathetic drama – the lovely Laura, yet another hapless human being. We have to ask ourselves – why the Hell did she contact me with her muddled thoughts?
I can have several guesses. If Laura was confused by all this nonsense, who better to come to than the one person on this planet who seems to know the truth? But maybe that’s not the reason. The only man in her life is a brainless twerp, so she came to me? That’s probably more like it. Don’t they all?
Why did Laura try to feed me the agoraphobia tale, when she must have known it would be easily dismissed? Why tell me one minute that she knew all about Amanda’s escapades, then next minute appear to have no knowledge whatsoever? My conclusion is that Laura was just doing what everyone else connected to Amanda tries to do – clear themselves of all blame. How reassuring it must be to be convinced that nothing is ever your fault.
I know that some of my readers consider me to be slightly misogynistic, in that I appear to let Norm off the hook, whilst berating the women. I will try to explain.
Norm is a clod. Being a clod is no crime, and he’s not gone round since Amanda’s death proclaiming that being a clod makes him a worthy parent. But Laura and the arch-fiend Carol – well, that’s a different matter, for a couple of reasons.
Maybe rather traditionally, my personal view (I won’t pretend to speak on behalf of ‘society’) is that a mother/daughter relationship is something special, ranging from moments of extreme animosity (the inevitable moment when the child says ‘I hate you and wish I had a different mom’ when she’s told that she can’t possibly go to a party dressed like THAT!) to a closeness that only two blood-related females can achieve. But Carol and Amanda seem just so devoid of any connection that isn’t false.
So that’s one thing I can’t fathom here (my guessing and thinking would fill too many pages) but apart from that, both Laura and Carol are teachers. Just how could they be so brainless?
So…to a chorus of ‘Here we go again’….I return, full of emotional venom and spite, to the topic of my favourite person – Carol Todd. Is it really possible to dislike a person more and more as each day passes?
To say I hate this woman might be some sort of understatement, but someone out there must now how I feel. You know that feeling – every so often, you encounter a person who just instantly kicks off something inside you. You don’t know why – it’s irrational, it’s just something intangible. Like with Tony Blair. But nine times out of ten, those initial feelings are wrong or overstated. With Carol Todd, it got worse.
First impressions. Why wasn’t this woman paralysed by grief? Personally, I want my grievers to be scarcely able to walk or talk, to have to be physically restrained from chucking themselves off a cliff. Not all over TV. But I made allowances. She’s in shock. She’s being brave. She’s strong. Those thoughts quickly went out the window, I can tell you.
I’m not sure of the order of things, but a series of, to me, incomprehensible actions from Carol Todd sent my thought processes spinning.
Early on in Carol Todd’s blog, we get this: ‘‘The highlight of the day was finding out that Amanda Todd was the 8th most trended topic on Google. When Googling her name, she was in the top 3’. Later, we get: ‘Sometimes I feel like a ‘rock star mom’’
Now, if you were the mother of a tragic child, would you refer to yourself as feeling like the mother of a rock star? Surely it can’t just be me who finds that distasteful? (Please, someone, tell me it’s not just me!) It is just so off-the-scale improper. I’ve seen mothers’ responses in similar situations, and I can tell you that no other mother has ever responded in this way. It’s just not right.
Less odd, but maybe worth a mention, is the fact (according to Mrs Todd) that her first impulse on the night of the suicide was to write a blog entry.
But then things went from bad to worse.
Here is how I would have responded to Amanda’s September video had I been her mother:
I would have held Amanda in my arms, hugged her as tight as tight could be, stroked her head, given her reassurance after reassurance that she wasn’t alone, that she would never be alone for as long as I lived, that it would all get better, that we would get through this together.
Too emotional? Try Carol Todd’s response:
“At the end of her video, Amanda held up a card that read: “I have nobody, I need someone.”
Carol says she didn’t understand why Amanda wrote that, but she never asked.”
Regular readers will have heard all this ad nauseam, but I have a kind of theory that repetition leads to clarification. It’s just not been proven so far.
My next big alarm bell concerning Carol Todd went off when she wrote of having to track down Amanda from the back of beyond at some unGodly hour (a story subsequently confirmed by Laura).
OK – late night teen shenanigans are hardly a rarity, but this is different. We are constantly led to believe that Amanda was vulnerable from 2010 onwards. According to reports, she had PTSD, social anxiety, agoraphobia, learning difficulties, she was under threat from ‘predators’ and bullies – so I can’t understand why Mrs Todd couldn’t care less where her daughter was at 2 am.
Then, if that’s not enough, we learn of Carol’s attitude to drink and drugs – basically, it’s not worth fussing about:
‘So, looking through all the pictures of Amanda and her friends, I was happy to see her in good times, fun times, drunk times and even stoned times. Yes, she told me about the times she ‘blazed’. I commend her for being honest with me.’…..As we all say ‘We (as parents) pick our battles, and that wasn’t one I was picking.’ She wasn’t operating machinery or driving a car. So it wasn’t such a big one to me.’
Today, I read yet another article about the appalling effects of drink and drugs on young people. It is simply inexcusable that Carol Todd allowed it.
But now we come more up to date – the ‘Me to We’ award. An opportunity to show just what sort of person you are? Precisely.
Again – here’s what I would have done: I would have no doubt punched the air and said ‘Yippeeeee!’ or something similar. I might even have done the ‘Pachacuti’ (pay attention at the back there). But then I would have proceeded to extol the virtues of the other contestants and say how we all deserved to win. If I lost, I would be momentarily resentful; if I won, I would have split the winnings three ways.
Carol Todd’s view? Vote for me more than once! On the hour every hour! Cheat! Cheat! Cheat!
What a disgrace!
And then her latest blog entry. Carol Todd has been invited to some sort of gathering in Las Vegas (I believe it’s called ‘The Useless Parent Convention’ and that 50% of North American parents have been invited). So what does the glorious Mrs Todd think of this? A useful opportunity to speak out about not letting your daughter go naked online? To speak of the detrimental effects of drink and drugs? No: ‘Can’t wait to go to Vegas although I am not a fan of constantly breathing hot air? I guess the break to play slots will be good.’ Well, I guess all that Legacy Fund money is being well spent.
So congratulations, Mrs. Todd. You have already won my ‘Worst Mother of the Year’ award. Now I’ve decided to give it to you in perpetuity.
Oh, and by the way. Amanda’s chemical of choice was Ecstasy (that’s why she was forced to do a presentation on it as part of her therapy), hence some of the past music choices. But I have a feeling Amanda was more into Swedish House Mafia and that electro crap.
And don’t think I’ve forgotten about what went on at Missezula Lake, Laura. I’ve got pictures, you know. Wicked games, indeed!