Friday, August 31, 2012

Facebook Bullying: The New Normal?

Pin It ***Warning! Some links contained in this post contain graphic images that will undoubtedly be considered offensive to anyone with an ounce of common decency. I refuse to show the actual pictures (except for one) because it turns my stomach to have to look at them.***

At what point did it become acceptable to plaster the Internet with memes about disabled children? Did I miss something here? I love a good meme as much as the next girl. They can be hilarious and for the most part harmless. They poke fun at public figures, slacktivist causes and other pop culture icons. I'm especially fond of the Gene Meme. You've all seen it. A picture of Gene Wilder looking on condescendingly while pretending interest in everything from Kony 2012 to Northface Jacket wearing suburbanites. Funny shit, it really is.

It stops being funny when the memes turn to ridiculing a 5 year old girls disability.


Adalia Rose is a child with a disease called Progeria. It is a genetic disorder that mimics the effects of aging, causing hair loss (alopecia), thickened skin (scleroderma) and often results in a failure to thrive. It causes her to have an almost alien like appearance: Large head, small features and she is also bald, cause you know, she didn't have enough going on. She might have small features but she has a huge heart.

She told her mother she wanted to be a star. Her mother, like the good woman she is, set about to do whatever she could to make her baby girls dream come true. She hit the Internet running and within a short period of time she was able to drum up a huge following of supporters for this spunky little girl. She has her own website, her own YouTube channel and over 4 million likes on Facebook. Not bad for someone who hasn't even been alive long enough to remember what life was like before Facebook.

Adalia Rose

It's what any one of us would have done right? You have a kid, you do whatever it takes to make them happy. Especially when that kid has the odds stacked so hard against her. Unfortunately, for every story of inspiration on the Internet, there is some bottom feeder looking for their fifteen minutes.

Enter Bree.

Bree (I will only use her first name as she is a minor) created a page called Adalia Rose Memes (link contains seriously offensive...everything. Definitely NSFW). She thought it might be a nice idea to take pictures of Adalia and post them with funny captions. Whats funnier than calling a five year old a whore? Calling her an alien? Really funny, at least I'm assuming she found them funny. Personally I thought they were pretty ignorant and hateful myself but hey, I'm no "comedian" as Bree refers to herself. I'm just a mom.

A mom with a lot of friends.

As most of you know I am a social media enthusiast, everyone knows it. I have been involved with the same core group of moms for three years. I haven't met any of them face to face but I have been there, in our groups/message boards/chat rooms, for the births of their children, through divorces and marriages and sadly through the loss of loved ones. We are tight. We fight with each other like sisters but when the chips are down we band together. It's a beautiful thing.

Do you really want to mess with someone who has over 200 sisters?

One of the mommas brought it to our attention that this Adalia Rose Memes page existed. Immediately we all went over and a few of us had words with the followers. No big deal. The problem was they weren't even a little bit abashed by the fact that they had been caught out doing this awful thing. They were PROUD of it. They truly believe that Adalia's mother is exploiting her so in protest they have created this page. That's their story and they're sticking to it. It's not OK to create a support page for your sick child but it is apparently perfectly acceptable to steal their pictures, slap vulgar captions on them and poke fun at their disability. The logic is astounding.

Wanna hear something even more astounding? I know you do.

Facebook, in it's wisdom, thinks it is perfectly acceptable too!

Sure, post a picture of your child breastfeeding and they drop the hammer faster than an auctioneer at Barrett Jackson but bullying a five year old? That's just good fun. These photos have been reported by all of our group members, on the basis that it violates Facebooks policies against hate speech. According to Zuckerberg's minions there is no hate speech. None of the photos have been removed and the page is still open for business. Never mind that this is being perpetrated against a disabled child, never mind that some of these memes are racist in nature. It's the Internet. Suck it up. Freedom of speech. Yay first amendment.

Freedom of speech? How about common decency?

Not offensive or racist at all *eyeroll*

A friend of the family broadcast an appeal to the haters on YouTube, to no avail. There were hate pages and ugly memes about Bree, which ironically were taken down faster than whores drawers. While we got a kick out of the poetic (karmic?) justice, slacktivism isn't really our style. Why flame someone on a website when you can go national? We are currently in talks with NBC, CBS and other news affiliates. They were repulsed by the fact that Facebook has let this go unchecked for as long as it has. We couldn't get through to the creator of the page or appeal to her nonexistent sense of decency so we are appealing to you faithful reader. One thing about us Internet moms, we don't take this kind of thing lying down. Don't let them get away with this, for Adalias sake. Protest this.

Sign this petition.

Report this page.

Contact your local news.

More importantly, teach your children that this is wrong. Where the hell are this girls parents? Do they think this is acceptable behavior?

Do you?

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

No Cure For The Summertime Blues

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I have always believed that summer is a time for relaxation. A time to relax your stringent rules and schedules and go with the flow. Wear floaty bohemian skirts and pile your hair on top of your head in a messy bun. Barbecue things wrapped in tinfoil. Splash carelessly in the surf with your flip flops in your hand. Embrace your inner hippy.

Then I had children.

I freaking hate summer.

"Why no, I don't have kids...How can you tell?"

Did you know that this is the first chance I have had to write in my blog since the end of July? I used to have a faithful following, now they have probably all forgotten me. I cant blame them. Who wants to re-read old blog posts. I wish I could return to those halcyon days when I actually had a spare hour once in a while to write. Now I'm lucky if I have time to have a shower.

Summertime is a never ending flow of visitors and visiting. We have spent a grand total of five minutes at home this month. Every weekend there is another round of relatives to visit, barbeques and trips to the park/beach/fair. A day at the beach requires planning, packing and all the tactical skills of a military manoeuvre. There are no spur of the moment trips when you have two toddlers. By the time you get the kids dressed and sun screened, the diaper bags packed, snacks made and car seats loaded half the day has passed. We are constantly rushing here and there and sometimes, when the stars are aligned just right, we are lucky enough to get the kids home before bedtime. Routines go out the window and are replaced with tantrums thrown by kids who are overtired and overstimulated. Packing the kids into the car after a day at the beach? Be prepared to have people in the parking lot look at you like you're the worst parent ever. It's a reasonable assumption when they see you wrestling your screaming child into a carseat, especially when darling daughter is screaming "No mommy, please, NOOOO" and you are standing there, red in the face with a vein on your forehead about to pop.

Quick, grab her before she gets away again.

I sometimes envy my single friends...the ones without kids that is. They are out there, making the most of the great weather. They are being spontaneous. There they are, sitting on the beach and BAM! A friend with a boat motors up near them:
"Hey, wanna go for a cruise up the lake?"
" Sure, why not. I don't have any plans."

Here's how that conversation goes when you have two toddlers:
"Hey, wanna go for a cruise up the lake?"
"Sure, let me find Mr. Zinga. I'm sure he'll watch the kids for a little bit. Crap, he's all the way out on the dock. I guess I could take the kids. Do you have any life jackets? Oh right, you don't have kids, why would you have kids life jackets. Tell you what, why don't you come back in half an hour, I might be able to get Mr. Zinga's attention and then I might be able to get him to watch the kids and..."
Friend with boat moves on to next group of friends.
"Hey, wanna go for a cruise up the lake?"

Number 67543 on the list of things they don't tell you about being a parent: Your single friends will suddenly abandon you faster than you can say "Someone needs a diaper change."

Hey, where did everybody go?

There are a lot of things that I hate about summer. The hustle and bustle, the stress and the heat. The tourists, the traffic and the overcrowded beaches. Long line ups at the market and longer line ups at the ice cream stand. The fact that I can never wear a two piece bathing suit again.

First world problems I know.

There are a lot of good things about summer too. I'm not a total hater. I like to garden, I like to barbeque and I am not averse to spending time suntanning in the backyard while my oldest daughter runs through the sprinkler. My family loves the summer and because I love them I put on a brave face and pretend to be enjoying myself. Doesn't stop me from eagerly awaiting the changing leaves of Autumn. I tolerate the heat and humidity, for three very good reasons.

CeeCee Zinga (Left), Parker Zinga (Bottom Right) and Mr. Zinga (Top) 

My crusty faced, sun loving babies and my wonderful (thankfully NOT crusty faced) husband.

All Stock Photos: Free Digital Photos
Bottom Photo : Mr. Zinga Pin It