A little child, just four years old, was injured to an extent that led to her death. No, she was not in a traffic accident, nor was she involved in an incident labelled as an accident. Truth is, she was put on a 50kg motorbike and made to ride it around and around a yard, crashing into objects, while her (drug addled) mother and boyfriend filmed the action.
The video is available via internet for all to see, where the mother’s boyfriend forces the tiny child repeatedly on to the motor bike. You can hear the adults laughing in the background.
An inquest into the child’s death is currently taking place.
Four-year-old Chloe died in January 2012 and her mother and mother’s former partner have been jailed for manslaughter.
Why were these cruel and totally irresponsible people doing this - apart from the fact that the mother – and most probably her boyfriend at the time – were ‘on drugs’?
It was not the first time little Chloe had suffered at her mother’s hands, but this was the last time she sustained injuries that were far, far worse than the neglect that the little girl had endured throughout her short life.
The blame is now being sheeted towards the authorities who had received more than 20 notifications about Chloe’s mistreatment over the years.
But, I also place some blame on the television show, ‘Funniest Home Videos’.
Remember, decades ago, when the Funniest Home Video show was a family favourite, showing genuinely funny and often quite sweet and cute snippets from real life activities that gave a joyful laugh to viewers?
When did that change? Who was responsible? Was it new attitudes by the people who trawl through the offered videos to choose ones they think would appeal to viewers? And, when did viewers’ tastes change from that of happily watching mostly cute animals and children doing funny things to the later obscene, cruel – and often staged – performances?
I remember a winning video that showed a little toddler, calling to her Daddy to come and see the snake (she pronounced it ‘nake’). The father followed the tiny child with his video camera rolling, only to find the little girl pointing to a small furry caterpillar on the path, “nake, nake!” That was worth a big smile and a warm laugh at the time – and a large prize.
But shortly after, it seemed that the videos began descending more into scenes of elderly people falling, some revealing a ‘wedgie’ with their knickers - and men crashing into and out of trees or buildings, while mates laughed. And children being hurt in 'accidents' - sometimes real, sometimes staged......and, worst and un-funniest of all were all the ‘grabs’ of males being hit in the genital area, whether by children’s cricket bats, piñata sticks or anything else, often including kids and animals.
So I stopped watching the show.
Then one year I decided to watch the advertised final program, just to check out the winning video to see if there had been something really funny and worthy of a big prize.
What a shock I received to see that the winning video was that of a very small boy of about 3 years of age, at the beach, filling the front of his swimming togs with wet sand and turning around to the guffaws of many adults. The vision was appalling; it was obscenely suggestive and yet the audience howled with laughter and cheered as the prize was announced.
It seems as if I’m getting sidetracked from the original subject of this blog, that of the plight of poor little Chloe, but it all boils down to my original comment concerning the ‘Funniest Home Video Show’ and its effect on people’s idea of what is funny.
I have no doubt that the television show was the reason that little Chloe was subjected to the appalling treatment that led to her death. Sure, she had been mistreated throughout her entire short life and the reasons for that are many; maybe the fact that her mother was only a teenager when she gave birth or perhaps it was mainly to do with drug taking. Who will ever know?
All we know is that Chloe died as a result of injuries sustained while being forced to ride a motorbike that weighed many times more than she did and I suspect the aim of this incredible cruelty was to win a big prize from the ‘Funniest Home Video Show’.
You can read about Chloe Valentine on the internet if you can bear to.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.