Someone (Annie) just left the following comment about the Balloon Boy hoax:
Couple of things: Mom and dad met at acting class; clearly they didn't learn how to act. And I live in Colorado, and at some point I think the stupid balloon actually went over my house, and they should most definitely pay our state back! How unfair for my taxes to be spent on this crap!! Also, I would like an apology. I was a MESS all day as I watched the ENTIRE thing unfold on tv. I hate them.
(Hope you don't mind me using your comment here, Annie, it reminded me of something that has been nagging at my brain lately.)
I was also worried sick about Balloon Boy. I have a 6-year-old--I was nearly out of my mind with anxiety about how that boy's mother must be feeling, and what that poor little boy's (most likely) last moments would or will be like.
Then to find out we had all been duped? That national media eclipsed presidential speeches to cover a hoax so these asshats could hopefully get a reality show? That those parents instructed all of their kids to lie to authorities, media, neighbors and friends? Fuck them. I don't have any more eloquent way of putting it.
That same week, some mommy blogger (and I won't link to her--her site is monetized and we should not give money to melodramatic attention whores) insisted that airport security had taken her baby out of her sight--tweeted it, asked people to retweet it, cackled over how she was going to sell the story to publishers...and then TSA released video proving that her child had been next to her all along. The video was doctored, she claimed.
Okay, so...you're so important that a government agency is going to edit security footage to conspire against you to protect their reputation on Twitter? It seemed doubtful.
In response, TSA released unedited footage from ALL 9 CAMERAS, with all 9 time-stamped and showing her baby right next to her. So she went "on vacation" and came back admitting nothing but pointing fingers and screaming, "you're mean" at people who had believed and repeated her story and were now understandably angry at her outright lies and her audacity to continue it so.
So, people are crazy and you don't need a license to have kids. Also, new media gives crazy people a world stage and we give them a willing audience. But unfortunately, all this nonsense (and these are just 2 recent examples, there's child-related craziness all over the place) erodes our human desire to help the vulnerable. It rightfully turns us all into skeptics for next time. It makes us less likely to get involved in someone else's plight, and that's really sad.
The pedophile-scare-craze is also contributing to the erosion of caring (and I have the same fears every other parent does, it is a terrifying thought). When I was in elementary school, our church pastor and his wife would regularly have groups of girls spend the night at their home. There was nothing weird about it at all, just a loving, childless couple who enjoyed entertaining kids in their home. Can you even imagine allowing that in this day and age though? It would seem highly unnecessary at best, sinister at worst.
I recently read about a guy who spotted a clearly lost and crying child in the mall, but since it was a little girl and he was an adult male by himself, he didn't feel like it was appropriate to approach her, just in case someone thought he was trying to take her. He kept an eye on her from afar until a woman passed and then asked her to go help the little girl. So, we're creating an environment where a grown male can't even approach a lost and terrified little girl without being scared of being accused of something untoward. There's something not right about that.
It means our kids are missing out on the joy of being surrounded by people who care, or at the very least are concerned for their immediate welfare. That makes me sad for them. A lot of us had childhoods enriched by other adults--teachers, neighbors, coaches, etc. I read an account from someone who had befriended the school janitor when she was a child. Her father was molesting her and one morning the janitor asked how she was and she blurted out the terror she was living. He took her to the guidance counselor, who called the police, who ended her ordeal. This day in age, janitors wouldn't/shouldn't befriend random little girls.
I guess there's no real answer or solution. It just sucks that so many adults are too stupid to trust, and it's making normal adults fearful and skeptical of others.
It sucks that they (the crazies) are hurting our kids one way or another.