That Viral "Poverty Thoughts" Essay Is Totally Ridiculous

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There are times when the good deeds that happen by the magic of the Internet make us quite giddy. This time? Well, this time they make us cringe, to the tune of $100,000.

If you haven't read the "insightful" personal narrative that recently went viral, "Why I Make Terrible Decisions, or poverty thoughts," there's a good chance it's somewhere on your Facebook news feed. This thing is everywhere.

The essay, which is being touted as a poignant look at the "terrible" decision-making processes of the poor, is the product of writer Linda Walther Tirado's personal experience with poverty. Linda, a married mother of two, speaks of having to live in seedy motels, where there are roaches that she stabs with toothpicks. She can't cook for her family because she lacks a kitchen, and she's afraid of attracting more roaches, so they survive on junk food in said seedy motel.

Oh, and not only does Linda say she's living in seedy motels and stabbing roaches, but she's also working two jobs, taking a full load of college courses, and is banished to a life as a cook in the "back of the house" at a restaurant, as she is deemed too unsightly as a waitress -- or apparently a legal secretary -- due to an unfortunate set of teeth. She's in desperate need of dental work, and her body is full of infection, but she can't afford to spend the money on medical or dental care. It's a tragic, tragic story.

It's also tragically fictional.

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You see, Linda Walther Tirado, or "KillerMartinis," as she's known on her Kinja screen name, wrote this brain-grating essay, and it's all about being subjected to the pitfalls of poverty. Linda's not actually poor, though, nor was she raised in what most would describe as poverty. Unless you consider a boarding school education as a marker for poverty, anyway.

The inferences on what it's like to be poor -- from the roach-infested living quarters to the lack of wholesome food -- would almost be laughable, if they weren't such freakin' gross stereotypes written by a person who has never experienced true poverty. That little fact takes it from laughable to infuriating.

What's also infuriating is that Linda -- who is panhandling for $100,000 worth of donations on GoFundMe -- wrote this piece, and the comments and rebuttals to it, while masquerading as a "poor person," but has now decided to clean up the mess by copping to her past as a person from a much different background.

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The real Linda owns a home, thanks to some pretty generous parents. Her LinkedIn profile states she's been a freelance writer and political consultant since 2010, and has worked in politics since 2004, a claim backed by 27 decent connections.

She's married to a Marine, has met President Obama while interning for a politician (who obviously wasn't disgusted by those rotten teeth), and has plenty of time to visit Las Vegas on vacation. And blog about her privileged life on Wordpress.

She speaks both German and Dutch, and has a well-rounded political blog that ended in 2011. It's also a blog where she quite plainly references being paid to win races.

She didn't cop to any of that in her generalized disclaimer, though. She simply stated the following on her GoFundMe page, conveniently tucked away at the bottom:

"How is it that someone with such clarity and evocation has any right to assert that they are poor? It is likely untrue. Well, it is and it isn't. You have to understand that the piece you read was taken out of context, that I never meant to say that all of these things were happening to me right now, or that I was still quite so abject. I am not. I am reasonably normally lower working class. I am exhausted and poor and can't make all my bills all the time but I reconciled with my parents when I got pregnant for the sake of the kids and I have family resources. I can always make the amount of money I need in a month, it's just that it doesn't always match the billing cycles."

She's cleaned up her Twitter feed, removing any reference to being poor, and has added disclaimers to her essay to quell nosy naysayers or reporters. A well-hidden Facebook page from 2011 still exists, though. You might want to go check it out before it disappears as well.


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345 comments
zelameh
zelameh

What's funny is when I was reading her essay, not only did it raise red flags for bullshit, but it also upset me for it's totally defeatist undertones. I've been poor. Hell, I'm living off $700 a month, in California, right now. My apartment leans to one side and the water pressure almost dies if the downstairs neighbor does laundry. I can't ask for help from family because they're struggling even more than I am.

When I was a kid it was worse; mom sold our food stamps for drug money and I remember a summer where I would be falling on my face so I'd force down some white rice and tuna for a little burst of energy.  It sucked. But nobody I know ever said, "well golly gee, I'm poor, I guess I'll always be poor, so I shouldn't even bother trying".

That line (paraphrased, sarcastically) really burned me up, and set of the major alarms for this woman being full of it up to her ears, because people who have ever, ever actually lived that way and thought like that are rare, because they wouldn't make it, emotionally or otherwise. They certainly wouldn't end up as successful writers. 

photo01
photo01

It is sad if Linda's essay is phoney because it mirrors my real life problems.  I am not asking for money but I can relate to most of what she wrote as pertaining to me and others I know.  Right now I am so close to losing my house it is really scary.  Yes, I am a homeowner (as long as I can pay the bank), a senior citizen, and refinanced to keep my house, but homeowner's insurance has doubled twice and that puts my future in real danger.  I have no (zero, zilch, nada) discretionary money left over for anything, even gas for my old car. I also can not get my teeth fixed (the only thing we poor people get is teeth extractions and I have had 5 removed in the last two years).  It is not pretty.  I am not on food stamps or welfare, and do eat more healthy than most of my friends, but how long that will last is unknown.  Her article did a service to a lot of us and it is a pity that it is not real (at least for her).  The problems in the article are way too real to me.

sherrietee
sherrietee

Fascinating. Let me share my own story. I, too, came from privilege. I went to a boarding school. My family has money.  Oodles, apparently. But yet, I still found myself living in poverty back in the early 90's. My youngest child was a medicaid baby. My children were on WIC. My ex-husband and I lived paycheck to paycheck, and we were always on the edge of losing the home we rented.


Like the woman said, poverty can happen to anybody, regardless of background. It might happen to you someday. It happened to me. I just happened to be lucky enough to find my way out of it.

Ewwwwww
Ewwwwww

This lady went to some no name school (srsly "Cranbrook?" no one knows what that is,) she is married to some low class army guy--public servant type, and she has some type of weird looking mixed race baby in her arms. 


She absolutely is white trash, and is definitely not winning. I dont think we have to worry about her showing up in the social registry or at any functions in the near future.

andromedaaaaaa
andromedaaaaaa

i do think her actions and lies are deplorable, but to be fair, her teeth don't look that nice. they're kinda concave, she looks to be missing some on the bottom row, and it is clear that she attempts to hide her top row. 


dental problems go a lot deeper than a quick glance on a low-res computer screen or tiny photo on facebook. my mother has periodontal disease, but you would never know that by seeing her straight, full set of teeth. i personally need (not want, NEED) about $6000 in dental work, but my teeth are white, mostly straight, i am frequently told i have a beautiful smile, and the parts i CAN control are meticulously cared for. people are surprised to learn that i have problems with them at all, or that one problem out of my control can be so painful and costly.


i'm not trying to excuse this lady's actions, because frankly i think it's disgusting. but focusing the crux of your hatred and mistrust of her based on the *appearance* of her teeth is misguided. she's done enough that is detestable without having to resort to that.

ElaineMW
ElaineMW

I sent her some money. Fiction or non-fiction, it felt good then and it feels good now. I probably won't send her any more, first because she closed the page and second, because this week I came close to being overdrawn and have to say no to a lot of spending I'd love to do. I sent some money to a couple on GoFundMe who say they got burglarized. Yes, it's quite possible that they made up the whole thing and are laughing all the way to the bank. But you know what? I got burglarized in 2008 and it was a sickening experience. While one ransacked all the closets (walking away with cash, collector coins my late father had given me, and jewelry that was mostly sentimental-value), another took the food out of our freezer, cooked it in our microwave and ate it, leaving the empty boxes on the floor. I told some people at the church I had just joined -- they asked me what I needed and I mentioned that our electric bill was due. There was an outpouring of cash, gift cards and support that I did not ask for, and nobody asked me one damn thing about whether it "really" happened or whether we'd done enough to protect our house, etc.

I guess what this rambling narrative means is that shit happens to everybody at some point. Despite a college education (no degree), I have been poor enough to have to choose between gas in the car to get to work vs. food in the stomach. I've taken days off from work, using PTO, because payday was 2 days away and I only had one day's worth of gas in the tank. Our yard looked like a dump last summer because someone stole our lawnmower and (probably) the same people who did it then started showing up at the door offering to cut our grass for thirty bucks. 

What annoys me is people who look at the neighborhood we live in and say "You live there??!" As if anyone with any sense would "just" sell and move someplace "better." After 4 years with a sub-par paycheck and sacrificing here, there and everywhere, I've come to know a lot about what people say when they haven't a clue. What this woman wrote makes absolute sense and rings true -- the toll it takes on your MIND that results in figuratively falling asleep at the switch and doing something impulsively that just makes things that much worse in the long run. I didn't send the author all that much; it didn't hurt, and if it helps anything whatsoever, I'll just file it under "Pay it forward." For both her and the burglary victims. Being in trouble and getting help is nice, but being able to do for someone else feels better. Whatever she's doing, I wish her the best. And that's all I have to say about that.

EssayHelp
EssayHelp

I feel it all depends on their own experience.

doug_ramerth
doug_ramerth

Angelica is paid to parade her personal prejudice in the press against a person she doesn't know personally? Angelica is a low-life with too much venomous spittle. Go and meet Tirado, walk in her shoes for a week and then write something that's worth reading. Until then, keep your imaginary bullshit thoughts to yourself rather than blogging about it.

tomhanna
tomhanna

I am relieved to know that I am wildly successful and in no danger of poverty, as I have far more than 27 LinkedIn connections. Could someone tell me where I trade them for cash?

debirobinson1960
debirobinson1960

Give the girl a break, all you sound like is sour grapes to me. I can't see anywhere in anything she's ever written where she attempts to deceive anyone.

How about you spend less time attempting to discredit a person who in my opinion is trying, and a bit more time proving yourself as a serious writer.Because all I'm reading here is a lot of blah blah blah . . . . 

vartan_angelica
vartan_angelica

I don't usually post comments on anything but this truly made my stomach hurt.  I remember not having food and it sucked so I worked hard and I studied and now I don't have to worry about food.  It's called being a grown up and wanting to do better in life and having pride.  This woman is not poor. She's broke. She's broke because she made bad choices.  Instead of having to live with the consequences of her OWN choices she's been rewarded with all of those donations thereby teaching her that poor choices + bloggy whining = $60K.  (I guess this is what happens when all the kids who went to Fun, Fair, Positive Soccer grew up.  Getting trophies for showing up sure does build a strong work ethic, doesn't it?)

Now, the child in the article below?  This child is poor. This child is suffering.  The portion of the donations that Linda blew in Vegas could have fed this family for God knows how long or paid for a room that they didn't have to share with rodents.  Shame on you, Linda Tirado.  Shame on all of her supporters.  This child probably could've written an accurate almost live view of real poverty in America but I bet she doesn't have easy access to a computer and I'm pretty sure WiFi is not standard in the 520 sq ft room she shares with her family.

"http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2013/invisible-child/?chapt=1#/?src=mv?WT.mc_id=NYT-YHO-NYT-IC_P1?chapt=1&chapt=1"

mbsmallwood76
mbsmallwood76

I actually do need help with donations. Im a service-connected disable veteran and a single dad for two young girls and I struggle to give them the basics. I have been unable to work since 2007 and almost died from complications of surgery. I contracted a MRSA infection on my spinal cord and had kidney failure from an allergic reaction to the meds they gave me. Every day is a struggle to live a normal life and provide for my girls. Please consider sharing this link with your facebook friends or other contacts.



http://www.gofundme.com/5nymro

Jezebella
Jezebella

The similarities between my own background and killermartinis I find a bit unsettling. Perhaps that gives me a bit of an entitlement to criticise her actions, and decline to accept her excuses. Like KM, I was given a large house, mortgage-free, by my parents. Like KM, I went to a private boarding school. Like KM, I had private music lessons throughout childhood and adolescence. I had a new piano. Quite possibly like KM, we were not "overtly rich" and quite unpretentious materially. We looked much less affluent than we were. We were brought up in a middle-class neighbourhood, while my parents would have easily been able to afford a more affluent suburb. We absolutely did not identify as "well off". This kind of in-between-classes family profile can be quite unsettling, particularly if there is a bit of mental illness in the family (something KM and I have in common). So, with similar backgrounds, why do we differ today? Well, in my case I've never shied off work, I don't smoke, and I only drink moderately/socially. I've worked as a cleaner rather than be out of work, but I've never regarded that as "tough times". I've regarded that as "thank goodness I have a job!". I completed my studies part-time while doing two jobs and with young kids (however, without a husband at home). Why did I regard my situation as just, "hey, how I've run it and I never competed very hard with tougher, smarter people for high-status jobs. Or maybe, hey, I was less smart and less competitive for said high-status work!" KM's sense of entitlement puzzles me. I've also worked in fast-food joints as my second job, while contracting in another field. Fast-food work is just part of student-hood, Linda! I also share with killermartinis a highly creative imagination and a tendency for self-delusion. Where she complains, though, I tend to optimise my situation and think things are great in my life. The reality is, I have NEVER BEEN POOR, lower-class jobs notwithstanding. And nor has Linda Tirado. So, I do wonder, why is Linda Tirado whingeing about her lot and humbugging the public for donations?

PynoMrah
PynoMrah

She gets $60K for a load of lies, and meanwhile, I'm trying to get $4k to get my car back from the transmission shop and can't get a single donation because people think I'm full of crap. That sounds reasonable. 

MentalTraveler
MentalTraveler

She had better donate all of that money if she ever expects to live this down. She misrepresented her situation, and it was clear that others thought she was currently experiencing the stories she described. It's really despicable. Great example to set for her children.

glenn88
glenn88

Wow. After being responsible for most of my life, at 51 due to some bad decisions and being over 50, I can't find work and have gone totally broke. I'm about to move out of the tiny place I rent to go live in a house that a family member has moved out of but can't sell 1500 miles away in the middle of nowhere, where I don't know anyone. My car is about to be repossessed, I don't have health insurance but have high blood pressure that's not getting treated. My glasses are old and I need a new prescription. I've had 5 very bad years and now am unemployable in my field due to being out of the workforce for too long. 


Why am I writing this? Because I'm so angry at this woman. I'm really broke and really without any choices - after a lifetime of paying my bills and putting a daughter through college (110k on that alone). But I would never do some blog post begging for money but I could really use help. Her? She thinks this is some fun sociological experiment to speculate about - and now is not even apologizing after she's been discovered? Her blase attitude about this makes me want to wring her neck (metaphorically, of course). And apparently some really daft people are dissembling about it and trying to not call it what it is. She's a fraud - she didn't have to accept those payments, she could have returned them all. 


There is something very wrong with a person who does this. It's so sick. And to someone who's really struggling with poverty and hard times, it's so galling. Sigh...

AwManNotAgain
AwManNotAgain

@sherrietee It's true. No one in my family is in poverty. I am, and most of them don't understand how or why someone gets stuck in the trap.

mamachitchatchitterl
mamachitchatchitterl

@Ewwwwww - Cranbrook Academy outside Detroit is anything but "no name." It is an expensive and old arts academy, "the cradle of American modernism" that has been around since the early 1900s.

Ewwwwww
Ewwwwww

@vartan_angelica  Why would anyone care about that street urchin you posted in your article?



She is just some worthless street trash. She is very unlikely to ever contribute anything positive to society and is very likely to pop out some kids just like her which only will lead to a further burden on our healthcare and probably prison system.


This is the reason that eugenics and forced sterilization of trash is so important. I hope our next president actually has a brain. This one is so concerned with taking away our guns and giving our country over to the muslims that he wont ever do anything.

Ewwwwww
Ewwwwww

@mbsmallwood76  If you are really a vet, go to the VA. I do, because I served.


You sound like a sniveling little libtard homeless. I doubt you ever served, and if you did, I bet you were a dishonor.

Ravenpaine
Ravenpaine

Way to assume a bunch of things about a person, equivocate with them, and the be better than them in your proxy universe all in the same paragraph. That takes some imagination.

You don't have any statements to back up these claims you make for her, but I like that you tried to put yourself on the exact same level as Linda except that you did everything right and she is a loser. That really drove home your set of claims. I feel thoroughly like your argument was well made and not at all a pretentious attempt at undermining Linda's credibility.

Ravenpaine
Ravenpaine

Maybe if people on the Internet couldn't just claim you were lying and everyone believed that without any kind of proof, then maybe people would be more apt to believe you.

And I in no way wish you failure. I would like to see everyone getting good things and succeeding at life. 

But at least nobody is demanding that you sell the current car and ride the bus, because how dare you ask for a reasonable thing that will fit the life you are currently living. Because that is a lot of what people are doing to Linda for no reason other than they are angry.

Faith
Faith

@MentalTraveler I donated money to her with the knowledge that she would use it however she saw fit, in the hopes that she'd free up time and mental energy to write more. That's what she said it would be for when she opened the GoFundMe, and that's what she now says she will do with it. I do not want her donating it to whatever cause you, random internet commenter, deem worthy.


It is not her fault that you apparently don't read before you donate.

Faith
Faith

@glenn88 She didn't post a blog begging for help. She posted an article about bad decision making and poverty, and after a series of back-and-forth exchanges in the comments, Gawker commenters (myself included) asked her to start a GoFundMe. The fund was started so she could free up time and write more - all of this was outlined in the actual GoFundMe page.


Draw whatever conclusions you like, but at least base your conclusions on the actual facts, not the spin this particular opinion writer's put on it.


On a side note - aren't you eligible for healthcare now, either through Medicaid or ACA? That's not a snarky question, I'm legitimately wondering.

JawJar
JawJar

No sale here, kid. A bunch of bloggers who have never met in real life writig up some emphatic praise for the con artist who scammed everyone? Right

mbsmallwood76
mbsmallwood76

@Ewwwwww @mbsmallwood76  I have an honorable discharge, and am 80% service connected. I go to the VA jerkoff. I just am having a hard time raising kids by myself. Im a huge fan of John Boehner, and will be volunteering for his campaign this year. Have a great day.

Jezebella
Jezebella

Why thanks, Ravenpaine, for your more conciliatory tone (attempt at sarcasm notwithstanding).

JawJar
JawJar

@Ravenpaine Single mom here, honey. And when my used car (the only thing I could afford) that I bought without a warranty in June died in August and I couldn't afford a new vehicle, I began taking the bus. 


As of two months ago, I'm out of debilitating poverty and in a higher tax bracket than you will probably ever see in your lifetime...and as a single parent with no child support, I pay for everything myself, which means I can't afford another car...so I >>still<< take the bus. 


Let's see, what other commonalities can I find between KM and myself? A lot, actually. How about another? I have a visible condition that worries me about how others see me, but I can't get it fixed because my insurance sucks and it's considered cosmetic. But I can cover it in ways that are cheaper, which I do from time to time. Thing is, rather than look 100% perfect all the time, I'd prefer to pay for my kid's day care so I can keep my job.


Making choices with your money is called being a grown up. Not being able to afford stuff and figuring out how to deal with it? Also part of being an adult. Whining about what you don't have and saying it's because you're poor? That's KM. Conning people into paying for what you can't afford yourself? That's KM, too. 

PynoMrah
PynoMrah

@Ravenpaine I linked her story from my own poverty blog and lost what little credibility I was managing to gain, so yes, I'm angry.


I'm upset because I actually had to live what she fictionalized from the comfort of her nice home. 


I'm upset because she made money off my plight and the plight of thousands of other Americans like me without a care for how many people it would end up hurting in the end. People like me, who aren't asking for the cost of a house, but are only looking for a little help and compassion. A little basic dignity.


Because of her and people like her, anything that I have to say is now going to become immediately suspect. Why shouldn't I be mad about that?

Faith
Faith

@JawJar It's a bunch of bloggers with a multi-year history with this individual, all writing in real time as the process happened. That's what people don't seem to get: KillerMartinis was an active Gawker community member for YEARS. She's got a history, there's a documented trail showing her disclosures, the encouragement to start a GoFundMe, and the reaction to going viral. 


It's also important to note that reporters aren't actually turning up lies, like she's really a 54 year old stay-at-home mom in Chicago named Barbara whose husband is a lawyer and she just decided to con everyone. Reporters are mostly objecting that Linda isn't currently as poor as they thought she was (dubious reading comprehension on their part), and that she didn't disclose she was raised middle-class. They're also misrepresenting the GoFundMe as a "get Linda out of poverty" fund when it never was - it was always a fund to help her carve out time to write, from the get-go.


Seriously, I was there from the start. The way this entire story is being reported is out of this world - very much a case of media shoehorning a story into a preset box (in this case, "it's a hoax!"), then willfully ignoring all contradictions to their favored theory. It's bizarre.

Ravenpaine
Ravenpaine

And they did it BEFORE the con. That is some coordinated Oceans 50 kind of thinking right there.

I would be less sarcastic but you are just so much repetitive prattle.

trollsBgone
trollsBgone

@mbsmallwood76 @Ewwwwww  Don't feed the troll. Ewww is well named, and trolling by imitating the worst stereotypes of conservatives. The level of unreasoning ignorant hatred expressed is a dead give-away. MB thank you for your service and I hope you and your family get some positive breaks soon. 

JawJar
JawJar

No snark with this question intended, I'm just asking, but was this comment for me? I don't have a car. Despite my good job, I can't afford one. I take the bus with my toddler in tow in 28 degree weather. I believe I posted this already.

Ravenpaine
Ravenpaine

Hi. I just go back from a lovely 3 hour slog through the snow to a pay station to pay my power bill. I don't have a car and cannot drive, so I have to walk everywhere, and when it is cold that gets more difficult.

Fortunately I live in a world where I can work from home and don't often have to go so far out of my way.

Today was special though because the power company has a terrible website and doesn't let you pay without a checking account, which I don't have because check systems won't let me have one. And it won't tell me why it won't let me have one, because it doesn't know. A computer glitch from 7 years ago that nobody seems to know how to fix just cost me a 3 hour slog through the snow.

But you can take to task everything everyone says because you have the all-seeing eye of truth. And the luxury of a car. Something that some of us are just too far away from to even bother thinking about.

JawJar
JawJar

Nope, don't care, I'm not a teenager who worries what other people think of me...

And if you don't work for the NSA (which you don't), then you don't know squat about me... :)

Faith
Faith

@JawJar No, not really. Speak on, it's illuminating.


I just assume people care about how they're coming off, so I highlighted that section as being really unattractive in that it's a hideous blend of arrogant and gloating. But it seems you're totally okay with being perceived that way, so go for it.

JawJar
JawJar

I can say whatever I want. Isn't that just infuriating? :)

JawJar
JawJar

Problem is, your sketch of Killer Martinis is also way off, so I'm sure your little psychobabble UX or whatever it is you do is completely off when it comes to figuring me out, too.

Keep doing your little defend linda to the death thing....we'll see what happens.

Faith
Faith

@JawJar No, don't be the person who says stuff like "I'm in a higher tax bracket than you will probably ever see in your lifetime". It's both asserting your specialness AND gloating. It's unnecessary, it's gross, and it's also totally unsupported.


You know, like you say that all of KM's claims are totally unsupported. Like that.


(And I am getting a great sketch of you. This fits, it's just not particularly attractive and I thought I'd let you know how you're coming across when you say that stuff.)

JawJar
JawJar

God you're relentless. I highly doubt your employer pays you to sit around and read gawker comment threads.

Be what person? You don't believe I worked my way out of poverty into a high paying job? I thought you were getting a grea sketch of me??

Faith
Faith

@JawJar "in a higher tax bracket than you will probably ever see in your lifetime"


Oh dear god. Don't be that person.

Ewwwwww
Ewwwwww

@PynoMrah @Ravenpaine  How about instead of having a "poverty blog" you go out and get a "job."


You are everything that is wrong with this country. You are an absolutely lazy good-for-nothing, piece of libtard crap that for some reason feels all entitled to be given things.

andromedaaaaaa
andromedaaaaaa

@PynoMrah @Ravenpaine the plights of others who need money, and how others react to those plights, is complicated and interesting. if not uncomfortable.


i have to admit that there is a part of me that says, "holy shit, a $4000 transmission? is she driving a $40,000 car?!" and extrapolate from there that anyone who needs to drop $4k into one single part of their ride must not be that bad off in the grand scheme of things. i've never owned a car worth more than that, and if ever faced with such a decision, i'd more than likely be forced to just buy another $1000-3000 car and hope for the best.   


then there's the part of me that says, wait, that's really shitty anecdotal evidence to judge someone by. and i wouldn't appreciate it if someone did it to me. i can't say that because *I* do not value having a nice car, that other people shouldn't either. that's where the discomfort from the initial judgment comes in. for all i know, that car is the best thing you have. or ALL you have. maybe it was a gift, or you inherited it, but couldn't have afforded it on your own, and getting it in the first place was just a random stroke of luck you desperately needed. maybe you did buy it yourself and then fell on hard times afterwards, and are struggling not to lose your investment. maybe it is an integral part of your self-worth and self-confidence. 


maybe none of that is true and it was just a foolish, poorly-guided, or selfish decision. 


i don't know and none of it is my business if i did want to know. sometimes i have to remind myself of things like that when the natural tendency to make personal comparisons to see who has it worse kicks in.

Ravenpaine
Ravenpaine

I should probably take 'stuff said on internet' as proof. But it just seems so extremely unlikely to be true.

Jezebella
Jezebella

I love that Ravenpaine requires incontrovertible sworn evidence for the "case against" but is quite happy to swallow Linda Tirado's pastiche of fabrication - perhaps Dickensian novels read during her school days surfacing as her own story, perhaps just plain fantasism - for the defendant!

Ravenpaine
Ravenpaine

I was being a bit rash before.

Let me try again. It is a shame that the slander being spread by this article caused people to disbelieve your story. If only credible investigative efforts were being made, then perhaps your story would be more widely heard and not dismissed so quickly.

JawJar
JawJar

@PynoMrah @Ravenpaine And don't use my personal details to pull that "you're just jealous and hate the poor argument."


It doesn't change the fact that she lied in her essay and used her misrepresentation to get $

JawJar
JawJar

@PynoMrah @Ravenpaine I, too, have lived through poverty and I find this fictional essay to be nothing but stereotypes of the poor as seen by middle-class white girls. Her fiction does nothing more than bring herself attention and insult the plight of poor people. 


I keep saying I hope she gets into legal trouble (and believe me, I do hope she does), but at the same time, if I were her, I'd be terrified of the karma from this. That shit doesn't mess around. 

farmerjessica
farmerjessica

@Faith @JawJar I think you'd have to have some serious reading comprehension issues to not know that she wasn't middle class or at least not significantly in serious generational poverty for her entire life.  Even before seeing this article, at the moment I read her article that was obvious.  Why?  Because she went to college (I could stop there) at 16.  Who lives in poverty and goes to college at 16?  Sure, it happens but it's exceedingly rare.  REALLY rare.  That's the type of thing that should pretty obviously cause you to assume that she's likely raised middle class.

When you're raised in significant poverty you're often (not always) unable to get to school, unable to eat well enough to do well in school, changing schools regularly as your family moves about trying to find a place to live.  Those things don't tend to correlate with doing well in school... or doing REALLY well in school as she obviously had from her "going to college at 16" sentence.

Further, her writing.  Having met people who were raised in generational poverty, who graduated high school being unable to read (yeah, you can do that) her writing style and ability is obviously beyond that of someone raised in serious generational poverty unless she is a major outlier or has since her poverty increased her writing ability significantly (which would obviously mean she was no longer in poverty).  Even Dr Donna Beegle (raised in generational poverty) talks about learning to speak a second language- "middle class".  The article was written in "middle class."  (http://www.combarriers.com/ for more on Dr Donna Beegle)

But even more so, she's in college.  Even in her poverty she wasn't uber poor nor was she trying to say she was.  There are people way worse off than her and with way more going against them... she can both figure out HOW to get into college (there's a LOT of paperwork and hoops) and figure out a way to afford it, even if that's loans or scholarships or grants or whatever.  Sure, poor people can go to college and do but that tends to point to a swing of upward mobility that should be obvious.  

If people are pissed they're upset with themselves and that they didn't bother to comprehend what they were reading.  Nowhere in the original article is she asking for money and until these comments I was completely unaware that she was or why.  If people wish to help her get ahead so she can write more so be it.

You can choose to discount her experiences and say that because she's not doing it right now it didn't happen but that's asinine.  By that logic she also hasn't had a baby, hasn't ever married and was never a child.  It is just foolish.

Faith
Faith

@JawJar Oh, bull, she does not have a "history of crowd sourcing" - she mentioned that she was having trouble with an electric bill, the community threw some money in a fund and then sent it to her without her asking. And it's a fund that has since turned into a Gawker Emergency Fund, and sent money to other people. So... that's a community initiative, friend.


How did all of you read the post so comprehensively to apparently come away with the conviction that Linda is destitute, so convinced that you're now branding her a liar for "misleading" you, and yet you somehow skipped the entire first paragraph of her post?!


"There's no way to structure this coherently. They are random observations that might help explain the mental processes. But often, I think that we look at the academic problems of poverty and have no idea of the why. We know the what and the how, and we can see systemic problems, but it's rare to have a poor person actually explain it on their own behalf. So this is me doing that, sort of."


Random observations. OBSERVATIONS. Systemic problems as explained by someone in that situation. HOW THE HELL did you read that and come away with the idea that the following post was a faithful accounting of one person's current circumstances?


She's using "we" as a collective term for "poor people". She even divides herself from other people in sections like this: "I know how to cook. I had to take Home Ec to graduate high school. Most people on my level didn't." And then she writes about issues with cooking.


Clearly, she is not the one having trouble cooking. She is commenting on a general set of circumstances.

Seriously! How did you read that and take away that this is one woman's factual story? You can't. And if you did, then... well, I have my doubts about your reading comprehension skills.

JawJar
JawJar

Your multi-year history with her is online. None of you have ever met her in person. Kaycee Nicole Swenson went on for YEARS before they figured that one out.

No one is saying she's a wealthy housewife. The objection is that she wrote her essay in a misleading way to make people think she was poor: "You have to understand that we know that we will never not feel tired. We will never feel hopeful. We will never get a vacation. Ever. We know that the very act of being poor guarantees that we will never not be poor." If tou write like that and then you want people to come away with the understanding that you're not poor in the present moment, put a huge disclaimer at the beginning of the essay in bold and at the top of your GoFundMe page, don't sneak it in after you take in 55k. But she didn't want people to think she wasn't poor. Gawker would never have main paged (and people would never have read) an essay about "observations of poverty from a whole ago when I was kinda poor."

She has a history of crowd sourcing for $, and she knew exactly what she was doing despite seeming to "shy away" from crowd funding online; do you think those people really gave her $ to write a book? Sure, in part, maybe, but more than the book, they thought she was destitute because that's how she presented herself.

She lied and lied and each day she lies some more. Your blog posts and online relationships do nothing to redeem her or prove the authenticity of her or her character.

JawJar
JawJar

Your multi-year history with her is online. None of you have ever met her in person. Kaycee Nicole Swenson went on for YEARS before they figured that one out.

No one is saying she's a wealthy housewife. The objection is that she wrote her essay in a misleading way to make people think she was poor: "You have to understand that we know that we will never not feel tired. We will never feel hopeful. We will never get a vacation. Ever. We know that the very act of being poor guarantees that we will never not be poor." If you want people to come away with the understanding that you're not poor in the present moment, put a huge disclaimer at te beginning of the essay in bold and at the op of your GoFundMe page, don't sneak it in after you take in 55k. She has a history of crowd sourcing for $, and she knew exactly what she was doing despite seeming to "shy away" from crowd funding online; do you think those people really have her $ to write a book? Sure, in part, maybe, but more than the book, they thought she was destitute because that's how she presented herself.

She lied and lied and lies some more. Your blog posts and online relationships do nothing to redeem her or prove the authenticity of her or her character.

Ravenpaine
Ravenpaine

Given that the only 'evidence' from the post above comes from these exact same blog posts you just discounted you either have no argument or are simply playing favorites which proves you have an outside bias.

JawJar
JawJar

Sorry if I don't have my A game on, sweetie. I actually work all day and am pretty beat by 9 at night, don't have a lot of motivation to sound grand on some commenting forum.

You're missing my point, anyway, Raven. Your little blog convos from whenever? People fake lives on the net all the time (ever seen Catfish?) your blog posts from however long ago as some sort of proof of how trustworthy she is are meaningless.

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