I have to say it – I’m almost shocked. I almost can’t believe it. All the media space this garbage with Charlotte Dawson and the online trolls has gotten over the past week or so is just too much.
Let’s not beat around the bush here: what a load of old shit!
Charlotte Dawson. A New Zealand woman whose biggest claim to fame is being the plain-speaking (read: bitch) judge on Foxtel’s Australia’s Next Top Model, a program which even at its peak is watched by just 112,000 people.
One hundred and twelve thousand.
The poor thing had such a time of it with cyber-bullies and so-called online “trolls” a few days back that she actually did what they told her to do in all of their highly educated, eloquently expressed Twitter tweets – she caved in, gave up and apparently popped some pills. Just to prove she was serious, she apparently also tweeted that she had indeed caved in and given up and even posted a photo of a hand holding a bottle of pills. Top marks for the melodrama. Well played Charlotte Dawson.
Because it was well-played. One minute poor, downtrodden, abused and vilified Charlotte Dawson is being whisked off to Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital, presumably in response to some kind of so-called overdose; the next, she and her pumped stomach are up and off their death bed for an exclusive interview with 60 Minutes! How wonderfully unplanned. And all this media coverage too – how marvellously fortuitous. She’s so very lucky that she felt so much better – and so quickly too! – that she was able to record an interview with a program which, even on a bad night, attracts an audience ten times bigger than the program she’s most ‘well known’ for. Again, well played Charlotte Dawson.
Notwithstanding the fact that Charlotte Dawson sees fit to call it how she sees it as a judge on Australia’s Next Top Model – and in saying this I mean to suggest only that she would seem to have been instrumental in the development of whatever reputation she has – this ridiculous situation has done one thing and one thing only: it’s proven that both Charlotte Dawson and the majority of the Australian media are as brain-dead as the “online trolls” accused of Dawson’s “cyber-bullying” in the first place.
The fact that the situation received so much airtime and press space says more about the local media’s reliance on social media as a catalyst for news creation than it does of the situation itself, which was little more than a bunch of faceless online entities engaged in a bit of dummy spitting, bitch slapping and name calling. To be fair, it also says quite a lot about Charlotte Dawson, her own head space and her relationship with what used to be referred to as “the virtual world”. Frankly, it’s a relationship that she needs to reassess.
Because Charlotte Dawson, it seems, is as obsessed with the so-called Twitterverse as the rest of the mindless pond life who inhabit it and who subsequently use it to air their mostly pointless one line thoughts any number of times per day. By all accounts, she’s not shy of tweeting and re-tweeting controversial comments at all hours of the day and night. She’s apparently quite happy to tell others when to get a grip, but in a classic case of not practicing what one preaches, it seems Charlotte Dawson doesn’t know how to disassociate real life from Twitterlife.
Charlotte Dawson didn’t know who these people were. She probably didn’t know them at all. It’s likely she’d never met a single one of them in her life, nor had the remotest chance of ever doing so. And so they start posting comments like “please kill yourself”, “please put your head in an oven”, “please hang yourself”, all extremely well thought-out, eloquent comments I’m sure you’ll agree. All the product of some finely attuned, rational, educated adult minds, there’s no denying it.
Is it just me, or does anyone else just want to grab Charlotte Dawson by the shoulders and shake the crap out of her while screaming “IT’S ONLY TWITTER CHARLOTTE DAWSON, FOR FUCK’S SAKE, IT’S NOT REAL LIFE, GET THE FUCK OVER IT!”. Seriously – anyone? Or just me?
Coz it’s not real, is it? It can’t be. There’s no genuine, interpersonal relationship. There’s no direct line of sight between one user and another. Sometimes there isn’t even a real picture or a username based on life from which to associate an actual face with an actual name. It’s all just a bunch of words. Stupid, pointless, meaningless words constructed – usually it’s atrociously poorly constructed – by brainless morons who believe that telling complete strangers – celebrity or no, online or no – to kill themselves if OK.
Seriously – WTF? It’s not that I’m struggling to comprehend how this whole situation could’ve even happened. The world is full of stupid people and stupid people often have very big, stupid opinions about things that they get all loud and shouty about. A lot of the time this happens online. Would any of these people have been even slightly likely to see Charlotte Dawson in the flesh and say these nasty, hateful things to her? Absolutely not. We’re talking about a generation of people who hide behind the antisocial barrier created by the interweb and social media as a means of growing the backbone they could never develop in real life to make pointless, hurtful comments to people they’ll never meet, about things and issues which, by and large, don’t matter in the overall scheme of things. Then they log off and don’t think about it again. Several hundred similarly stupid people then do the same thing and before you know it, thousands of stupid people have all done the same thing. One tiny, probably insignificant moment in time for each of them to compose – again, mostly poorly – their hateful diatribe, post it and go away. It’s not as if they all got together and planned it, like some covert attack under cover of darkness. It was nothing more than ‘monkey see, monkey do’, like most of the claptrap on social media and interweb chat rooms, forums and message boards going right back to the beginnings of the interweb itself. Stupid is as stupid does, it’s always been the same. And this was stupid.
What I’m actually struggling to comprehend is how any of this has been taken seriously! An almost 50-year-old woman – a ‘celebrity’, if you will – who openly and frequently utilises social media to broadcast her own (sometimes ‘controversial’) thoughts is brought to her knees by a bunch of fellow users who essentially tell her, in a variety of colourful ways, to go to hell, then pops up a few days later to be interviewed about the whole sordid affair by a program that will provide her, when the interview airs, with by far the biggest single viewing audience she’s ever had. Anywhere. Ever.
Gimme a break! Yeah maybe I’m a tad cynical as a general rule, but I tried not to be with this. I tried to assess it from every angle, objectively. But it’s a case of recursive occlusion I’m afraid – whatever path I took just kept bringing me back to the same place: it’s all an over-dramatised, melodramatic sham!
Here’s a thought, Charlotte Dawson. Next time it’s all getting a bit too much, why not consider stopping your tweets, logging out of your account (or even deactivating it), repeating to yourself “this isn’t real, this isn’t real, this isn’t real” (or “there’s no place like home”, or “what is it you can’t face Maria?” or frankly anything that makes you feel better), go have a real conversation with a real person who you actually know and forget all about social media forever. Won’t make for nearly as interesting an interview and 60 Minutes likely won’t be interested, but surely you’ll feel better as a human being which I’m sure is all you genuinely want.
But well played Charlotte Dawson. Deftly executed. Bravo madam, bravo. Topping performance, what!? And what a jolly effective set-piece those pills turned out to be too.
Of course, nobody needs to know they were only Vitamin C tabs – don’t worry, you’re secret’s safe with me.