This is the story of Catherine Clennan, a very special, gifted and talented individual (according to her), who wants you to fund her dream.
GoFundMe started out as a pretty interesting and even helpful idea. Cancer victims, families who had lost their homes in a fire, sick children, and other people in actual need of help could go there, explain their situation, and the general public could choose to help them directly. Money went straight to the people asking for it, instead of to bloated charities with huge marketing and advertising budgets or corrupt administrations (Wounded Warrior Fund, I’m looking at you.)
Like everything else, however, the mere mention of GoFundMe was ruined by…you guessed it, the general public. This guy wanted you to buy him a treadmill because running in the wintertime was just too cold. This woman wants you to fund her decision to stay in NYC for a while after visiting there and deciding not to go home. This girl wants you to fund her little sister’s ‘gap year’ between high school and college. She wants to travel and have some fun before going to college, but doesn’t really have the money, so naturally let’s ask everyone else if they’ll pay for it. That’s not counting the girl who won free tickets to a Phish show (her 52nd time seeing them, mind you) and wants you to pay for her to get there. And then there’s Catherine Clennan.
Clennan is in dire need, not like those other frivolous people. She “lives in Laramie, Wyoming. in a property owned by my family. They pay everything for me,” which sounds like a pretty sweet deal, especially considering she’s 27 years old. That’s not her cup of tea, however, because she’s special.
“Good,” you might be thinking. She’s finally awakened to the knowledge that still sucking on the parental teat at the age of 27 is pathetic, right? Well, not really.
I feel that as long as I live by their definition I am ‘taken care of’, but this definition is leading me to deaths door – it forces me to live a lie – to turn my back to who I really am; a free spirit, an artist, a woman, a lesbian, a civil rights activist, a woman who goes against the grain, a woman who knows that not everything is as it seems.
Death’s door, people. You see, Ms. Clennan has decided that she needs to go live in California, where she can “live as much as [sic] my life in the spiritual dimension as possble [sic].” What exactly does this mean? Is she asking for money to engage in community service? Giving to the poor? Building a school for underprivileged children? Funding a two-year study of religion with the goal of being a missionary? No. She just wants a nice house and car in California.
I need $2,000,000 dollars to purchase my dream home in California. I need the money to help me walk out of the lie that I am living, but more importantly I need the money to live my dream – which is to live as much as my life in the spiritual dimension as possble.
The money will go towards the purchase of a new home, new transportation, and the various fees and taxes that accumulate with a move across the country.
These funds will help me live the life that I feel I am meant to live, the life I want to live – the life defined not by other people – but by me. These funds will help me break free from the tyranny of what other people think is ‘right’. The ‘right’ job, the ‘right’ education, the ‘right’ way to earn a living…
You see, Ms. Clennan recently made a few other life choices. She dropped out of college, announced that she’s “actually gay and not straight,” and “abandoned the ship of what is right” in an effort to do things her own way.
She also mentions that this whole “living in the spiritual dimension” means that she wants “to bring down the formless into the physical reality of form by any means of communication I feel work well – from visual arts to writing compositions.” No mention of interpretive dance, but I bet that’s in there too.
She wants your help to “live the life I want,” and “free” herself from what society says is the “right way” to make a living–like, you know, working for it and paying bills and whatnot. If you help her she will be very “greatful.”
The second best part of this madness is that in an effort to answer some of the questions put to her—most of which start and end with something along the lines of “wtf?” she announces that she is a very “gifted and talented individual,” whose IQ is “within 2% of the national average.” Seriously. But don’t worry, she doesn’t put much stock in that number, she says. Good thing, because I’d hate to see what happens if someone actually were to explain to her what it means to be within 2% of the national average IQ, which is about 98. In order for her to be “highly gifted and talented,” she’d need another 32 points or so (although the definition of gifted and talented has changed since 1972). I am, however, glad she told us all how brilliant she is, because if we had to judge merely on her written communication skills, basic grasp of the English language, and general common sense, we might get the wrong impression.
The best part of her saga is simply this: People are donating to her, just so they can tell her how insane and worthless her philosophy is. In fact, before marking her campaign as “complete,” she had raised $77, most of which came in $5 minimum donations from people who made a point to say something like “I donated just to call you a dumbass.” Imagine that—she made $77 literally by virtue of her ignorance.
Clennan’s campaign is now over–by marking it “complete,” she did not even have to admit failure for this goal. There’s a small part of me that is desperately hoping this is one big prank, that it’s a brilliant piece of satire meant to poke fun at the social justice warriors among us and their entitled arrogance combined with lack of anything resembling a work ethic. Alas, I think it’s quite real, and the underlying narcissism inherent in this type of behavior is something that seems to run rampant in our society, at a level that proves the US, as a nation, is pretty much doomed. This is the generation who will run things, people. To those who raised kids like this, I’d like to offer you a free throat punch.
People like Catherine Clennan are why I don’t believe liberty principles will ever be palatable to the masses. In order to truly be free, one must first take responsibility for themselves, for their actions and their own survival. As long as people like Clennan see their liberty as something that someone else should pay for, the concept of freedom will simply mean “no responsibilities”—and that’s not liberty at all.
Update: Snopes has some additional info…apparently she also wants to be a public figure. Well, I’m glad I could help her achieve that in some small way.