Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Lowest of the Low: Scamming your way to Hannah Montana Tickets

A while back, I posted on the Hannah Montana ticket mania, in which tickets for the Miley Cyrus (a.k.a., Hannah Montana) concerts were sold out immediately, and going on eBay for thousands of dollars - which seemed a bit excess a spend to make your tweener happy, even though by all accounts Miley Cyrus is a decent, wholesome role model for girls. The latest spurious little flap about Internet pictures aside, she's not a skank, her show doesn't portray all adults as fools, etc.

Then there's the story about the Texas mom - perhaps some kissing cousin to the Texas cheerleader mom a few years back who tried to off her daughter's rival - who entered a contest to win tickets for her 6 year old daughter, by writing an essay in the kid's name that started, "My daddy died this year in Iraq."

Which would have been quite touching if the kid's daddy actually had been killed in Iraq...

The fraud was uncovered, and the prize was rescinded, but what's really wild is not just that someone would stoop so low - it's that she doesn't believe she did anything wrong.

Here's a bit of what happened (taken from an article in The NY Post, which I never thought I'd be sourcing, but the story's just too good...)

"We did the essay and that's what we did to win," [Priscilla] Ceballos boldly told Dallas TV station KDFW Friday.

"We did whatever we could do to win. But when [the competition organizer] asked me if this essay is true, I said, 'No, this essay is not true.' "

The mom also complained the contest sponsor never stated the essay had to be nonfiction.

Well, Priscilla, not to get into too nuanced a point here, but an essay is nonfiction. Perhaps you were absent from school the day this was explained, having jetted off to a concert somewhere the night before...

I heard Ms. Ceballos on the news the other evening, and she said something along the lines of 'we write essays like this all the time; they're just made up stories...' Here she is quote in The Post.

"It never did say it had to be true, but [the organizers] said, 'That's what we expected.' " Ceballos said.

That the contest was sponsored by Club Libby Lu just adds another wonderfully wholesome fillip to the story.

For those not familiar with Club Libby Lu, it's a store where tweener girls can get all tarted and skanked up - hair do's, make up, belly shirts, and everything you'd want to see on your eight year old. They apparently gave Ms. Cabellos and her daughter the prize - a trip to the January 9th Hannah concert in Albany, NY - at an event in one of their outlets.

At the event, the mother told company officials the girl's daddy, Jonathan Menjivar, was killed April 17 in a roadside bombing in Iraq.

Here's the essay that won the judge's heart:

"My daddy died this year in Iraq. I am going to give my mommy the Angel pendant that daddy put on mommy when she was having me. I had it in my jewelry box since that day. I love my mommy."

But Defense Department records revealed one US soldier died that day, and it wasn't Menjivar.

Whatever other values it upholds, Club Libby Lu wasn't having any problems figuring out that the prize-winning essay should be, well, true.

"Club Libby Lu greatly values honestly and integrity. In order to uphold these values, we have decided to withdraw the award initially given to the Ceballos family."

Given my belief that they contribute mightily to the coarsening of our culture and the wildly inappropriate sexualization of our little girls, I'm not about to say "good for Libby Lu" here - or award them an Angel pendant.

What's so appropriate to begin with about flying a kid from Garland Texas to Albany NY on a school night in the middle of January to see a concert, even if her daddy had died in Iraq?

With every day that goes by, I become crankier and crankier about the business that has become our culture.


Mary said...

Yep, I'm with you re the cranky.

I read somewhere that some parents were actually considering skipping a house payment so they could buy tickets. *Sigh*

John Whiteside said...

Meanwhile, at my local UPS store, someone was returning some giganto Hannah Montana playset yesterday. Whee!