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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338 comments
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...

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

JawJar
JawJar

Yes. She wants expensive dental implants that cost 30 grand. It's cosmetic surgery. Her dentures look fine, but she wants the permanent teeth that grow into the gum. Insurance doesn't cover that; not being able to afford cosmetic implants does not mean poor and does not mean no access to dental care.

Here's how you get implants if you can't afford them: get your dentist to finance them. Pay the 200 a month for 20 years. No go? Then use dentures.

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.

JawJar
JawJar

I mean, get real, Faith. There's nothing wrong with wanting proper implants?

Well, hell then, in that same vein, pregnancy really destroyed the youthful physique I once had, and I'd really like breast implants. I mean, sure, you can't tell the difference if I wear a push up bra, but I need breast implants and I can't afford them. :'(

It's a case of Tirado describing her wants as needs, and it's crap.

Please.

Faith
Faith

@JawJar I'm not sure what you're on about here. Clearly she can't afford $200/month, that's why she has a dental plate. They make her talk funny and they loosen when she drinks water, but they're what she can make do with.


She made this video because people were claiming she didn't actually have dental problems. Now she's showing the dental problems. This is pretty in-line with what you advise, so I don't get what you're saying. Are you irritated at her for WANTING implants? Like - poor people shouldn't want implants, or something?


And just so you know - insurance WILL cover implants, at least they're about to cover one of mine. It's not a cosmetic procedure, it's considered the most effective long-term dental solution to tooth loss. And the longer she waits the more awkward it gets, because teeth shift. A plate is better than nothing, but there's also nothing wrong with wanting a proper implant.

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. 

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.

Faith
Faith

@JawJar You're not disagreeing, you're devolving into unrelated personal attacks. That's a form of trolling.


I work online. No idea what you do, but large-scale internet interaction patterns and individual behavior are my thing. And that's how you end up magically knowing things about (and having access to) the internet without being a teenager or a geriatric. Now you know.


I'm getting a pretty good sketch of you too, by the way.

JawJar
JawJar

@Faith @JawJar Someone who disagrees with you isn't a troll. 

I didn't even know what a troll was until this LW Tirado thing happened. 


Because of the copious amounts of time you spend online and the way you argue, yes, I think it's a generational thing: you're either very young, or you're retired. In any case, you have a large amount of time on your hands to spend on the net, learn the lingo, and make virtual friends. 


Dying to build myself up, huh? Nah, I'm pretty confident. When I say have a good job, I do. When I talk about my great boobs, it's because they are great. What do you want -- want me to sit here and have some long, drawn out philosophical discussion to prove my point? NO TIME, honey. 


This is the best I can give you ... unless, of course, someone wants to put me on their payroll to deal with you people. :) 

Faith
Faith

@JawJar You really get off on this thing where you try to make yourself sound important, don't you? It's got nothing to do with the topic at hand, but you're just dying to build yourself up.


It's one of the older tricks in the book of internet trolling, and it's just... boring. Come to the table with actual discussion points, or go find a mirror to talk to. There's really no point in crowing about yourself, or in trying to paint me as a 15 year old, because as you yourself have said repeatedly - you can't confirm who people are offline.


This sort of nonsense is just a transparent way to get out of a discussion while trying to convince yourself you have the upper hand. No one actually falls for it, other than you, maybe.

JawJar
JawJar

@Faith It'll also be something more than "omg lol eta look at my thread of timestampped blog posts and gifs from my virtual Gf! That proves everything, lololol u r 2 dumb" that you're basing your theories off of. 


"You just don't care"? You're right. I don't. :) It's called having a life, sweetie. I tend to save this nonsense for my downtime when I need a mental break...sort of like reading a trashy paperback, but more exciting because I get to infuriate internet weirdos in real time. :) 

Faith
Faith

@JawJar Great, I hope Cooper does show up at her house. Because that, at long last, will be some sort of factual evidence beyond "I have a hunch!", which is all you've got going for you.


"And absolutely nothing will ever change the fact that she wrote an essay claiming to be poor when she isn't poor, all for the sake of collecting money."


And this is the root of why you're hard to take seriously. Predicated on absolutely nothing, you're asserting as "fact" that KM wrote a post (post, not essay) on poverty with the aim of raising money. The timeline (posting first, re-posting on Kinja, then much later opening a funding page) does not support your theory, but you just don't care.


It's hard to have a rational discussion with someone who can't tell the difference between facts and assumptions.

Faith
Faith

@JawJar Keep on trying, if you like - you're not rattling so much as rattling on.


Your entire premise requires that KM set out to scam people. Do you know how many people have gone viral from Kinja? A grand total of one. Trying to fundraise off of a Kinja post, a plan that requires mass popularity and promotion to the mainpage, is an approach almost certainly doomed to failure. You would need to get readership, then an editor promotion, then outside-of-Gawker interest. That has happened to no one else until KM.


The entire path of this going viral has been coincidence and luck. But naysayers basically insist this was a post written intentionally to go viral and fleece internet sympathizers. It's a determined insistence to identify an edge case and stick to it like glue, which in my line of business is a quick way to get you marginalized on a project. It shows a dangerous rigidity.


I don't think you understand how hard it is to make something "go viral", even for internet marketers who do this all day. 

JawJar
JawJar

@JawJar Hope she saves the $60K to pay the legal bill. :) 

JawJar
JawJar

@Faith Is "hahahah" not what the kids are saying today on the blog forums? What am I supposed to do? LOL and ROFTL? Sorry -- have a day job and I'm not blogs all day, I'm not up with the lingo. 


What's wrong with talking about boobs? You do realize we're commenting on an article written by a sex toy blogger? 


You took my breast implants analogy as a way to say that boobs aren't a prominent feature. Yes, they are, especially if you have them -- maybe you'll notice that men generally sneak a glance there every 30 seconds? I went on about boobs because 1) my boobs rule 2) you misunderstood my analogy.


Now go back to defending your little demigod scam artist on Gawker and quit bothering me. You're not going to change my mind, and nothing short of Anderson Cooper showing up at her house with a camera crew (unannounced) is going to convince me that this chick isn't poor. And absolutely nothing will ever change the fact that she wrote an essay claiming to be poor when she isn't poor, all for the sake of collecting money. 


See ya. 


JawJar
JawJar

@Ravenpaine And I mean that in the best of ways. I spent three years teaching college rhetoric and argument. I am truly glad you've managed to pick some things up in the scope of two weeks. You'll do great in Comp 101 some day. :)

JawJar
JawJar

@Ravenpaine "reason and facts"?? HAHAHA I love it -- coming from the one who two weeks ago had to be taught on a blog what a logical fallacy is because you had no idea how to argue except with emotional arguments. I love it. :) 

JawJar
JawJar

@Faith No, it doesn't prove anything other than the online persona she crafted has you convinced that she really didn't want to share the piece or take any money. Come on, you don't really believe she didn't know what she was doing? Don't be naive. 


I've said from the beginning and I'll say it again:


--She wasn't poor at the time she wrote an essay that claimed she was poor. She used the content of that essay to collect donations, and after she realized that, gee, that's not legal, she added in a long-ass disclaimer (after she got $55,000 dollars) saying that she wasn't actually poor. 


If she wanted people to come away with the idea that she wasn't poor, she should have put that disclaimer up at the top, in bold, in a sentence or less before she was main-paged, and at the very top of her GoFundMe. 


That's not cherry-picking. 


Now, I really have other shit to do today ... but the temptation to keep rattling you is just so irresistible.... :) 

Ravenpaine
Ravenpaine

The great thing about your kind of internet behavior is that it is completely effective. All you have to do is repeat yourself with the digital equivalent of 'nu-huh' and it makes the person with all the actual information and ability to reason do all of the work for you.

Of course, it also doesn't work in the end because at the end of the thread the voice that people can read and follow is the one with all of the reason and facts.

You will just come across as a negative fool that cannot interact with other humans.

Faith
Faith

@JawJar The blog backlog proves chronology and trajectory. They don't provide veracity, you're right, just context. The problem with your position is that you're cherry-picking those same blog backlogs for "proof" that KM is a lying liar who lies, but then simultaneously want to discredit the blogs entirely. Which will it be? Because if you throw out all the Gawker timestamped stuff, you've got nothing. There's been no independent research disproving Tirado's position, no actual journalistic investigation, just a lot of "I found a contradiction!" gloating and selective reading.


If you're not going to look into the easily-accessible raw material (but you'll happily regurgitate segments of that material that fit your theory), then I have no idea why you'd want to continue a discussion about this. It's not like I'm asking you to go down to the county courthouse and dig up tax returns.

Faith
Faith

@JawJar I don't like seeing people screw up a story. People are screwing up this story. Pretty damn simple.

Faith
Faith

@JawJar Oh, brilliant - now you're reverting to full "it's a conspiracy!" mode. Fantastic.


Here's the Internet Archive grab from Nov 24th - the earliest record they have: http://web.archive.org/web/20131124052449/http://www.gofundme.com/59yrak


HuffPo published her piece on the 22nd. So as you can see, the page not only had all the information right there, it also had an update.


"On her payroll." Good god, woman - don't cheapen yourself with that kind of silliness.

JawJar
JawJar

And if you're not on her payroll, you should be, because the colossal waste of time involved in defending her is just astounding.

JawJar
JawJar

Maybe we're "dim" because people who aren't 15 don't have time to sit around and read backlogs of blogs? Your blogs do not prove the veracity of her story. They do nothing more than prove that she do use the Internet for a long time and has friends online she's never met.

What's she gonna crowd fund next? An attorney to fight the legal battle she'll be wrapped up in soon? You idiots would probably pay for it, too.

Faith
Faith

@JawJar No, the "I'm not poor" addendum didn't come after 55k. READ THE DAMN GAWKER THREAD. She was saying she wasn't destitute in there from the start. THERE ARE TIMESTAMPS.


Why are people still so dim about how the internet works?!

JawJar
JawJar

You're a scammer, too. "Fools didn't read the donation page"? Who in their right mind is going to give her money and then come back later to read her 10-page update stating "oh, by the way, the poor thing isn't true"?

I'm sure you're on her payroll, just by the sheer lunacy of your arguments. Donators who have asked for their money returned have been dealt with by people she's paying (minimum wage! Ha!) to do refunds and reply to emails. I'm sure you're on the boards as on her cronies in charge of damage control.

Faith
Faith

@JawJar Neither, shockingly. Then again I'm also not a person who writes "hahahahah" and keeps circling back to talk about my "boobs", so... yeah.


You do realize that laying down a general, unsupported critique and then a backhanded insult isn't the same as proving your point, right? Feel free to quit the field, but you're not exactly covering yourself in glory here.

JawJar
JawJar

Yah, the "I'm not poor" addendum came after she secured $55K. Pass the popcorn. I'm >>dying<< to see how this one plays out. :) :) :)

Faith
Faith

@JawJar She won't go to jail for it - fools didn't read the donation page before clicking the link. That's their idiocy, not hers.

JawJar
JawJar

Here's an even better rule to live by: don't misrepresent yourself in order to collect money; seeking donations under false pretenses is legal and people go to jail for it. :)

JawJar
JawJar

Hahahah you can't even stick to one argument; you bounce around from one to the other. God, given your keen debating skills, you're either a high schooler or a boomer.

Faith
Faith

@JawJar When you give away money, you give it away. IT IS NO LONGER YOURS. So if you're not comfortable giving it, don't. Pretty easy rule to live by.

JawJar
JawJar

@Faith Yes, stop smoking, seriously. "A policy pursued by hospitals, airlines and other companies in the U.S. allows employers to not hire a worker because he or she smokes.


Some employers say smoking interferes with tasks. For others, the policy is an easy way to avoid higher health care costs. Some employers say they hope their policy will help curb smoking. The nation is divided over the idea. Twenty-nine states prohibit employers from avoiding smokers, 21 don't." Utah is one of the states in which employers aren't prohibited from hiring smokers, and I'm sure the blue hair and cigarettes go over really well in straight-laced Mormon-land. 


I've got better things to do with my day off than argue the ins and outs of cosmetic dental surgery and the awesomeness of my boobs (keep your husband away -- just sayin') with you.


Here's the deal: have you ever MET her in real life? Have any of you? Than you have no idea if her elaborate, complicated explanations are true, or if she's just some woman who lost her teeth, experienced dramatic weight loss, and rambles 24-7 on the net because of meth--a much more likely explanation, which would easily fill a lot of the missing gaps in this story and explain all of the lies quite easily. My point? You don't know her, none of you have ever met her, and her online persona from the years of her being your blogging BFF are meaningless. 


The irony? I agree that teeth are important. I'd even kick a few bucks someone's way if they needed implants, absolutely. But she beat me to it: first she crowd funded her bills, then she crowd funded her dental work through another user; by the time she got her essay main-paged, she knew what she was doing (and pretended like she didn't) and had her GoFundMe up, not for her teeth, but to "write a book." Right then. Sure thing.


She lied and lied and lied some more.  


That money will be gone in 3 months. 

Faith
Faith

@JawJar A bridge involves shaving down the two teeth to either side of the missing tooth - not advised if you have infection or weak teeth to start with, which she (and I) do have. Dentures need to be re-fabricated once every five years, and that's not including appointments to adjust the fit. According to my dentist (and taking into account that I'm insured) an implant for me will cost twice the amount that a denture would, but will have far fewer issues and little upkeep.


From the way you're talking about dental stuff, I don't think you've ever had a denture or even a temporary, have you? They don't necessarily stay in your mouth. You can't chew some foods, you can't drink some liquids, and it changes the way you talk and move your mouth. Hardly worthy of your breast implant analogy, and the fact that you think they're analogous just makes me certain you've never had a tooth fall out mid-lunch.


"Stop smoking". Seriously? It's not like she's smoking at her desk. Man, you are all over the map.

JawJar
JawJar

The most expensive option is dental implants. Get a bridge. Get dentures. There are other, more affordable options, but she wants the most expensive thing, which she can't afford.

Implants aren't some life-saving dental surgery; that is, it's not like having your wisdom teeth removed, where not removing the teeth can cause their growth to slice off the nerves in your face.

She just wants to be pretty, and she can't afford it. Exactly the same as the breast implants analogy. Which, by the way, was just an analogy; my boobs rule.

Here's a hint: that legal secretary job she'd be so good at? Stop smoking and ditch the blue hair.

Faith
Faith

@JawJar I wasn't aware your job consisted of long spells of exposing your breasts. Because that's what we're talking about - it's a prominent feature and, in all of her interviews, gives her an odd lisp and makes her hold her lips strangely. Also, dentures suck. I'm not sure if you've ever had one, but they are constantly on your mind as you worry if they're loose, if they're noticeable, if they're about to fall out as you speak, etc.


Where exactly are you getting that she described a want as a need? And she had "get dental surgery" on her GFM page from the start, so are you angry on behalf of people who didn't read that? Or are you angry that she spent money on her teeth at all? Seriously, tell me: what's your deal here? Why are you so pissed off she's going to fix her teeth?


So much of this seems to be ginned-up outrage that a poor person might spend the money on something other than food, heat and gas. It's really controlling and bizarre.

Faith
Faith

@JawJar Funny, that's exactly what I think of you - that you're using any excuse you can reach for to dislike her. She wants implants? Well, she doesn't need them. She can't get a front-room job? It's the hair and the smoking, not the teeth! After all, YOU have older male bosses with bad teeth, and god knows there's no kind of sex discrimination when it comes to appearance! Your mom got implants, and so that apparently completely discounts the fact that I am in the midst of getting an implant RIGHT NOW and have been told by the dentist that it's preferable to dentures for all kinds of reasons. Nope, you've decided that it's cosmetic, and that's that. On top of that you just blithely say "get a cheaper monthly rate" - what planet are you on, where you can just waltz in and say "ignore my horrible credit, I want you to finance my teeth! And give me a good rate."


And again - AGAIN - why does it matter that she wants to fix her teeth? You don't like it, then don't donate! You're acting like your tax dollars went to a welfare queen.

JawJar
JawJar

Look, I'm not stupid, k? My mom has 100% dental coverage after years of working in government and only one of her implants was covered. It's the most expensive solution, and it's largely cosmetic. LW wants the expensive one, she doesn't *need* it. Her dentures look perfect, which is exactly why people accused her of having lied about teeth issues. Again, not being able to afford implants does not mean poverty and it does not mean not having access to dental care.

She doesn't have the $ to pay $200/month for financing? Get a cheaper monthly rate. Find a dentist with a sliding scale policy. Realize that no one cares about your teeth--it's actually the blue hair, lack of degree, and the cigarette smoking that offends employers and keeps her from being promoted, not the teeth.

Three of my high-power corporate bosses (they're high power, I'm not) have the WORST teeth I've ever seen in my life; and these are client-facing guys who make a ton of money. Bad teeth. No hair dyed the shade of a primary color, no smoking, and a few degrees between them.

Stop using her sob story as an excuse for her lies, it makes you just as out of touch with reality as she and her blogger friends are.

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