July 19, 2009

Stop it already!




One thing is guaranteed: whenever someone survives a physical ordeal out in the wilds against the odds, the immediate response from the unwashed masses - with gleeful support from the media who disseminate the belief - is that the person is a fraud, they staged it.

Truly, enough of this shit already.

Sometimes people do survive against the odds. It's not that friggin' unusual.

"Staging" an "ordeal" would take significant planning, and to the best of my memory I can't think of anyone who has been caught out having stayed in a luxury hotel, all the while pretending to be lost in the wilds of Australia. It's never ever happened. And yet the fraud accusation is trotted out every fooking time.

Jamie Neale, 19 year old British backpacker survived for 12 very cold days in the bushes, he stayed near a waterfall and ate a few leaves and berries during his lost time. He also cut up jumpers to use the arms as socks and generally did the best he could with what he had to keep warm.

Lesson one people: without water you die quickly; without food, not so fast. You can live without food for quite some time. Not fun, but not a death defying feat.

One paper even managed to find a former SAS officer, who was stupid enough and arrogant enough to want to be named, who asserts that Neale is full of it:

"Meanwhile, former SAS commander Andy McNab and ex-special forces officer Ken Hames said they were astounded the 19-year-old was still alive after enduring sub-zero temperatures and eating only native vegetation.

"This boy was supposed to be out in the freezing cold for two weeks dressed in jogging bottoms and thin top layers," Mr McNab told The Sun newspaper.

"I'd expect hypothermia to kill him in a few days. It doesn't seem to stack up. If he was trying to find his way out you'd expect him to have lots of scratches."

Mr Hames questioned how Neale knew which Australian bush berries had been safe for him to eat.

"About 40 per cent of berries in that region are edible, the rest will make you ill," he said.

"He's inexperienced enough to get lost in an area with signposts and footpaths, but he knows all about these berries. I find that really hard to accept."

Well suck it up buddy, he was lost and he lived, it's not a miracle, it's what happens!

The dichotomy of human existence: the most seemingly trivial things can result in death, yet humans also defy death, ad nausea, in the most objectively extreme circumstances.

Can we just stop screeching "fraud" every time someone is fortunate enough to live?

Why are we so begrudging and bitter about happy endings, 'ey?


  1. Hear, hear. I agree with you Caz.

    Add to the people who insist that it must have been a fraud those who insist that Joanne Lees was involved in the disappearance of Peter Falconio; that Lindy Chamberlain murdered her child; that Madeleine McCann, the child missing in Spain, was murdered by a family member.

    It's crap. Just because people don't "act" or "react" as they are expected to, or as Joe ordinary seems to think fits the "norm".

  2. Oh no, here comes my cynical streak again!

    Would it be because the media outlets that failed to secure exclusive rights to Jaimie's story instead change tack and run stories claiming fraud? The old "If we can't have him, we'll make sure we spoil it for everyone else" tactic.

    Sometimes the controversy of the media world is more interesting than the stories they report.

  3. Kae - and let's never forget, on the flip side of the loopy world of conspiracy lurvers, all the people who insist that a baggage handler walked through an airport with 4.2 kilos of weed stuffed up his sleeve, and no one noticed ...

    Danny, Danny - it's not that the media world is more interesting than the stories they report, it's that the media world too frequently believe they are not only the drivers and arbiters, but central players in the news (a big should out to political journalists everywhere!). They don't call it the fourth estate for nothing, alas.