Homicidal Ukrainian Dwarves, Weird Academic Studies and More: Are We Doomed?

Welcome to Are We Doomed? a weekly column in which I will take the latest news and try to determine if it’s all downhill from here.

This week, we’ve dealt with homicidal Ukrainian babywomen with dwarfism, a really weird “academic” study, and the stupidity of cancel culture. On the plus side, we’ve also seen people helping others in unexpected ways. 

Homicidal Ukrainian Babywoman Dwarf

I never thought that was a heading I would use, but it’s 2019, so I’m pretty sure we’re living in a simulation anyway, and I’m just rolling with it at this point. 

Here’s the basic story. The Barnetts, an American family adopted a 6 year-old Ukrainian orphan with dwarfism in 2010. Natalia, said orphan, started acting strangely (like allegedly telling her new mom she was trying to murder her) and showed physical signs of being older than she said she was, so they took her to a doctor and, in 2012, it was legally declared that she was actually born in 1989. That’s right, their 6 year-old was actually (allegedly!) in her 20s. 

After acts of violence, Natalia was placed into a mental institution where she confessed to faking her age. So, in 2013, when the Barnetts son was given an opportunity to study in Canada, they got Natalia her own apartment, paid for a month, and went to Canada without her. 

Now, they’re being charged with abandoning a dependent…and another family has adopted the supposed child. 

So, are we doomed? Unclear. We have to wait and see if she’s actually an adult and/or murderer. However, the options here are that a woman pretended to be a child to be adopted by an American family, and then tried to murder them OR an American family adopted a child, thought or pretended to think she was a grown woman, and left her on her own to move to Canada. Both options kind of spell doom. 

Is Tom Brady Everything That’s Wrong With Everything?

I don’t care much about football, to be honest (I’m a hockey girl), but I know who Tom Brady is. I’m from Michigan, so I don’t hate him like some do although, for the aforementioned lack of football love, I don’t stan him, either. The question is, does anybody have Tom Brady derangement syndrome like University of Rhode Island kinesiology professor Kyle Kusz? 

In a book entitled “The Palgrave Handbook of Masculinity and Sport” he wrote a chapter called Making American White Men Great Again: Tom Brady, Donald Trump, and the Allure of White Male Omnipotence in Post-Obama America. Seriously.

Here’s an excerpt (emphasis mine):

I illuminate how Brady’s white masculinity is often coded as unapologetic about his socio-economic privileges, omnipotent in his manliness, and as a master of his body and athletic craft. In short, Brady embodies a living fantasy of white male omnipotence that serves symbolically as an imagined solution to white male anxiety for those who feel that the United States is in the midst of a culture war against white men and traditional American culture and values.

What?

So, are we doomed? Yep. While this was soundly mocked among some online, this still exists. Moreover, it was written by a college professor. Academia is broken, and that’s not a good sign. 

The Des Moines Register Takes a Stand Against Charitable Giving

Finally, cancel culture reared its ugly head this week in one of the dumbest ways I’ve seen. In terms of doomedness, the story of Carson King might have given you whiplash this week. 

First, King was a symbol that everything was going to be ok. Attending an Iowa football game, he held a sign saying that his Busch beer supply was getting low and listed his Venmo handle for anyone who might want to help. Amused viewers sent him more money than he expected, so he pledged to donate it to a local children’s hospital.

As this went viral, Anheuser- Busch and Venmo both got on board with donations and matching pledges of their own. Thus far, we are completely doom-free. People are fun enough to send King money, he decided to give the money to help sick kids, and the corporations mentioned on the sign got on board.

Then, the doom started. The Des Moines Register decided to do a piece on him and, in making sure he wasn’t a scam artist, took a look through his old Tweets. Apparently, he quoted the show Tosh.0 when he was 16 years old and those tweets included some racially charged language. I’ll be honest- it included the N-word. For some reason, the “journalist” Aaron Calvin  took this to the editorial staff, and they discussed whether or not to put this in the article. Why? I have no idea. It’s not at all relevant to the story. We’re totally doomed.

At this point, Calvin talked to King about these tweets and he, in turn, did the only smart thing- he got ahead of it. He spoke to the press expressing regret for the tweets that he made years ago (again, as a 16 year-old). Anheuser-Busch said they would keep their commitment to match donations through the end of the month, but cancelled all other promotions they had planned. We’re not doomed, because King took responsibility for what he tweeted, but we’re totally doomed that Calvin didn’t just tell him privately that he’d found these tweets, assure him this was not relevant to the story, and give him the opportunity to delete them quietly. We are also doomed because the beer giant didn’t stand up for King.

Then, things started getting looking up. The internet was outraged that this young man who had by this point raised more than a million dollars for the hospital had been dragged through the mud for…nothing. Then, it was discovered that that Calvin himself had tweeted even worse things. Ridiculous.

DMR ended up firing Calvin, but didn’t take any responsibility editorially. Calvin wasn’t fully to blame. Do they understand that people won’t even trust them to write a puff piece anymore? I’m not convinced. They took cancel culture too far.

Now, Iowa’s governor Kim Reynolds has named Saturday, September 29 “Carson King Day”. With $2 million in raised and counting, it’s no wonder.

So, are we doomed? There’s a lot in this story that spells doom. They dug up dirt on a guy who raised money for charity; a guy who could have taken the initial thousands of dollars in beer money and enjoyed himself. Still I think this is a story of not being doomed. King decided to help others with the money, the internet (for once) used their power for good, and King was recognized by the governor. If news outlets take notice and change their ways, even just a little bit, the impending doom will have been worth it. 

Policeman Helps Kid Learn to Tie a Tie

A Utah teenager was running late for his homecoming dance because he didn’t know how to tie a tie, and his single mom couldn’t help. Headed to a friend’s house, they rolled through a stop sign and were pulled over. After explaining the issue to the policeman, he helped the young man and showed him how to tie his tie.

 So, are we doomed? Nope. People are still good. 

In the final analysis:

This was a wild week, and a lot of reason to think doom was around the corner. Still, we saw a lot of people helping others and standing up for strangers. I don’t think we’re doomed quite yet…but be careful out there. It’s kind of iffy some days.