Linda Tirado, aka Killer Martinis, Gets Over $50,000 After ‘Poverty Thoughts’ Essay


Linda Walther Tirado, or “KillerMartinis,” has received over $50,000 in donations after she wrote an essay about her thoughts regarding poverty.

The blog post, posted on her Gawker profile page, was titled “Why I Make Terrible Decisions, or, poverty thoughts.”

In it, Tirado discusses poverty and how it affects people, making herself the main example. 

UPDATE: Is Linda Tirado (KillerMartinis), Author of Viral ‘Poverty Thoughts’ Essay, Really Poor?

“Rest is a luxury for the rich,” she wrote. “I get up at 6AM, go to school (I have a full courseload, but I only have to go to two in-person classes) then work, then I get the kids, then I pick up my husband, then I have half an hour to change and go to Job 2. I get home from that at around 1230AM, then I have the rest of my classes and work to tend to. I’m in bed by 3. This isn’t every day, I have two days off a week from each of my obligations. I use that time to clean the house and soothe Mr. Martini and see the kids for longer than an hour and catch up on schoolwork.

“Those nights I’m in bed by midnight, but if I go to bed too early I won’t be able to stay up the other nights because I’ll [mess] my pattern up, and I drive an hour home from Job 2 so I can’t afford to be sleepy. I never get a day off from work unless I am fairly sick. It doesn’t leave you much room to think about what you are doing, only to attend to the next thing and the next. Planning isn’t in the mix.”

In her post she explores how when she was pregnant she was living on food stamps and in a weekly motel, with a minifridge and a microwave, and how the closest Planned Parenthood to her is several hours away.

She also explores fast food (“convenience food is just that. And we are not allowed many conveniences”); depression (“You have to understand that we know that we will never not feel tired. We will never feel hopeful. We will never get a vacation. Ever.”); and poor financial decisions (“I make a lot … None of them matter, in the long term. I will never not be poor, so what does it matter if I don’t pay a thing and a half this week instead of just one thing?”)

Tirado now says that her life has changed drastically as a result of her post going viral and her getting the tens of thousands of dollars in donations on gofundme. “I have more money to work with than I have ever had at a time in my adult life,” she said.

She has quit her second job to work on becoming healthy and seeing her kids more, and she has also received a book offer and is writing a book proposal. 

“I have decided to do the thing properly,” she wrote. “I am taking the month of December and following the orders of people who have offered advice: doctors, nutritionists, lawyers, financial advisors, trainers, beauticians. They will teach me what I need to know in order to make this transition into a new part of life without [messing] it up too hard, and I am taking advice from any and all corners.”

What will she do with the money? She said she’ll spend some doing research that she wouldn’t be able to do even with a book advance, “like staying in Louisville for two weeks to talk to people all over the income scale about stratification and what it’s meant for them.” She added that it is possible she will give money to people who she runs across that need it, including paying bills for some of her friends.

“I cannot find words to tell you how completely my life has turned around in the last week,” she said. “I am grateful for the opportunity. I will not waste it. Thank you, so much, for being a part of it, because I can do good things. And now I have the chance to. That means everything.”

Many people responding to the post on various websites, including her page and Twitter, have congratulated her for her success and encouraged her book writing.

“Although I don’t agree completely with everything you said in your essay, I am happy to see that you have received such a positive response,” said Tina Shang. “If you opened some eyes to what its like to live in poverty then you have achieved something great already. . I do hope that you will do good things in the future with your good fortune here. Keep the momentum going, and become a voice for the marginalized an impoverished.”

“I tried to read the piece aloud to my wife,” said Temy Beal. “About halfway through I broke down and sobbed. Rarely have I seen someone write so correctly about how it feels to be poor. I was born poor as dirt as my parents before me and theirs before them and I will die so as did they. It is the knowing that nothing will ever really change for me that is hardest when I think of it, and makes me grateful for the sweet release of oblivion, whenever that may come. I wish you success with your book. :)”

At the same time, some criticized Tirado for continuing to raise the fundraising goal on gofundme and accused her of tricking people into donating money. 

“I read your piece and quite enjoyed it, however it became tainted once I came to this page,” said Ashley Salyer. “Why do you keep increasing your goal amount? Have you even begun to write? I was poor growing up and in my early adult life, and now I am considered ‘middle class’ because I have busted my butt by couponing, searching for deals on every purchase I make, and keeping a very strict budget for my family. You have raised more than what my “middle class” family makes in a year, so why is it that you need more? I am a writer myself and I know that the amount of money you have raised already should buy you plenty of time to finish a book on this topic, and with all of the publicity you have received you should have no problem with publishing. You have been blessed already. Don’t be greedy.”

Category: US US News


  • Luxxe

    Just one issue: she has since confessed on her fundraiser page (after being called on some of her claims) to not being poor at all. Private school education; college; house provided by family.

    • kitty

      “I had private music lessons from the age of four. I was an award-winning singer, piano, and flute player by seven. I owned twenty-three instruments when I was twelve. I toured Europe as a featured soprano the summer after I graduated high school.

      http://killermartinis.wordpress.com/

      It’s important that she is facilitating a discussion about poverty. I just think she would have SO much more credibility if she wasn’t profiting from multiple GoFundMe accounts with tens of thousands of dollars. The donation comments included people who were already very hard up (who most likely hadn’t toured Europe) giving her money and that doesn’t sit right, with me at least.

      • Luxxe

        Multiple gofundme accounts? Really?

      • tetsuwanatom

        What makes you think that the WordPress page you linked is Linda Tirado’s blog?

        • Guest

          The unique user name combined with the specific details (mental health condition descriptions, grandparents taking over for bio parents, relocating from the midwest to Utah, then converting to the LDS religion) and timeline strongly, STRONGLY suggests that this is the same Linda Tirado.

          Maybe someone should ask her on Twitter to confirm?

  • Ct_girl

    She is a fraud! Probably never poor, her linkened profile says she has been a freelance writer for three years, and had worked successfully for many years before that. Also her teeth look perfectly fine on her twitter page. I am calling BS

    • http://hipcider.com/ tdhurst

      Yeah, a lot of times “freelance writer” means “I do whatever I can to survive and some of it is writing that other people pay me to do for a few hundred bucks.”

    • belle

      People are already figuring it out. Her facebook pics from two years ago (where she’s definitely not poor) are already all over Gawker. Can you post her LinkedIn?

      I’m thinking this will all be wrapped up by next week. They’ll expose her lie and she’ll have to give the money back.

  • OhYeahBaby

    She blames her teeth for that. Apparently she was hit by a drunk driver when she was 19 and took the insurance settlement and used it for things other than fixing her teeth.

  • djsmps

    Another essay by her from Reddit (http://www.reddit.com/r/TalesFromRetail/comments/13uw60/physics_too_hard/):

    Physics: Too Hard (self.TalesFromRetail)

    submitted 12 months ago* by killermartinis

    I manage a fast food restaurant. Business is unpredictable in the afternoons, so my rule is to cook fried product to order – when an order for chicken comes up, my cooks tell the cashier how long the cook time is, and the cashier explains to the customer that we’re making their food fresh and how long it’ll be. Most people either thank us or change their order if they’re in such a rush that they can’t spare three minutes.

    I got called to the counter a couple days ago because a student (it’s a college town) was throwing a temper tantrum about chicken strips. A throwing-things-and-stomping-her-feet tantrum. I explained that if we kept fried food around at all times we’d either be sending out really shitty food or would quickly go bankrupt from waste. At this point she’d been raging for longer than she would have waited to begin with, all the while telling me that I didn’t understand my job and screaming that she’d have me fired. My crew loves these customers because I generally lose my temper eventually (ten minutes into a complaint, I get evil) and this one showed promise. She kept on for a while, and I started looking at the textbooks she’d put on the counter. All math and physics. I pulled out my phone, called her physics professor, explained the situation, and put him on speaker so that he could explain the science of why it takes time to heat something from frozen to 165F. Then I offered to call an English professor who could explain the words “leave” and “unwelcome.” She left fairly quickly after that.

    Lesson: Everyone knows everyone else in a small town, and the laws of physics don’t change just because it’d suit you better.

    EDIT TO CLARIFY: didn’t expect the amount of response! I am not a science person, but dated the science prof and know most of the people who teach in the department. It’s not a huge school.

    • belle

      “I pulled out my phone, called her physics professor, explained the situation, and put him on speaker so that he could explain the science of why it takes time to heat something from frozen to 165F.” Suuuuuuuuure she did. Good God.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mary.halversonwagner herefornow

        The highly creative wiles of “Kitchen folk” are often foolishly underestimated.

        • Belle

          Elaborate stories at every turn are often spawned by an overactve imagination / liar

          • http://www.facebook.com/mary.halversonwagner herefornow

            You can be sure that there are far worse stories that many will now feel encouraged to tell, with no need whatsoever for exaggeration.

            Dickens would have a field day if he were here to portray the draconian greed of business owners who hoard the fruits of the labor generated by the struggling, underpaid poor.

            Hardship often fosters formidable talent. Hopefully writers of Tirado’s depth are raising their pens across the land.

  • Luxxe

    Killermartinis has also in the last two days discussed using fake IDs to counter people questioning her MO. “DUDE.
    I am going to have to think up another burner name! Do you know how
    long it took me to think of this one? Jesus, my face and hometown are on
    my ranty jokey true account! I am keeping this one until it settles,
    because the places i was worried about have picked it up and nothing has
    come of it. But man, I need a burner so I can say things that you don’t
    say with your public face.” She seems to have started blocking even mild critics on her page.

    • OhYeahBaby

      Where did she say that?

      • Luxxe

        On Jezebel’s Groupthink pages.

    • TheWynne

      …she was getting trolls on Gawker. The essay wasn’t meant to be a big viral thing, it was something she posted to Groupthink just to get it out. And then the account that she was using for stress relief, the one that she never meant to be serious, got inundated with responses. She just wanted to comment anonymously again. Way to take something out of context.

      • Luxxe

        That’s fair enough! But she is certainly censoring comments that query her story in several forums and contexts. Or maybe it’s her new agents/PR people. She’s a commodity and a cashcow now. I’d love to see a follow-up article on her real experiences of life as a complex and difficult character who didn’t suit her middle-class milieu. She’s an amazing writer. But unless she can break free from the clickbait entrepreneurs, she’ll continue to have her wings clipped.

  • Mimosa22

    I recognized many similarities between what Linda Tirado describes her life to be, and the details of many of the families with whom I worked over the years while directing a housing program in a nonprofit organization that helped homeless families. I donated to her campaign, but I think I would have felt better about it if she had closed the campaign and worked on the writing when she reached her initial goal. Several people with impressive credentials and connections who have donated have offered, in their comments, to help her in a variety of ways. These are extraordinary opportunities that most aspiring writers, regardless of their backgrounds will never have. If she has the talent that she seems to have and works hard at the writing, success will likely come soon, and could provide an ongoing resource for working on the second dream of doing something bigger to help others in similar situations. I sincerely hope that she does not just keep increasing the goal until the bubble bursts, but I can understand the temptation.

  • niner_four_whiskey

    Just google her. She’s scamming everyone. I found her Googleplus scrapbook in about 5 minutes. She doesn’t look the slightest bit “poor”. In fact, she seems quite comfortably middle class. Everything in her article is one excuse after another of why it isn’t her fault she’s so pitiful. Arggh.

    • Luxxe

      Culturally more upper than lower middle class to boot. Montessori for the kids! I think she has now censored her earlier words about gratefully taking advice from nutritionists (when the pov charade was still in play) – like, Montessori kids would have to be the most Whole Foods fed and cultured kids on the planet! Lots of family money.

    • OhYeahBaby

      No she certainly does not seem poor. Hell she has a nicer kitchen table than I do!

      • Kitty Kat

        I don’t even have a kitchen table. Where’s my $62k in donations?

        • Belle

          I don’t have one either. Or a car. She has both in her pictures, and a couple of TVs (I don’t have one of those either) an electric guitar, and a guitar hero guitar

  • loungecat

    While I appreciate the general points made in her ‘essay’ about the cycle of poverty in America, she comes across as a fraud.
    Questions:
    1. Why does she write like a Brit? Certain word choices, sentence constructions…(I’m a dual national and had to learn British English when living in UK.) Someone called her pretentious for using ‘whilst’; she countered with “I read”. Only British books? I doubt many Americans start using the word ‘whilst’ because they read (unless deeply pretentious) whereas it’s commonly used in Britain. Same applies to a number of other phrases used more in Britain than the US.
    2. Who is her agent? She claims to need money so she can spend time writing a book proposal for her new agent. If she truly has an agent, there’s no problem with naming names.
    3. Her ‘pay me money’ page is supposedly all about funding her time to write a book proposal. Most new writers would be delighted with $50k to write. But now her target is $100k and if that’s reached she’ll raise it to $150k. For what? Oh, some kind of fund to help others…

    nice idea, but all very vague. Transparency?
    4. The ‘tax lawyer’ she has approached… when will there be an update on the fund (or whatever it is) she is supposedly setting up? Again, why not name the tax lawyer / company?
    5. Has a journalist met this woman in the flesh or interviewed her?
    6. JT LeRoy anyone?
    All those kind people out there should give their donations to a trusted organisation that will truly help the impoverished… or to a homeless person on the street.

    • Joseph Kasak

      “350 a fortnight” definitely a Brit.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mary.halversonwagner herefornow

        Since many are now paid every two weeks instead of weekly, “fortnight” has become a widely used term among the American working class.
        Our entire language is made up of a combination of almost every other in the world, but with a heavy dose of Olde English in particular.

    • belle

      JT LeRoy
      James Frey
      Go Ask Alice
      Kaycee Nicole Anthony
      Tony Johnson

      Why do you think no one but Examiner, Gawker, and HuffPo (which screws up stories on a regular basis — little boy “manhandled and harassed in Wal-Mart for wearing a headband,” anyone?) have covered this? Because the news agencies that have the resources to verify her story either have’t been able to confirm it or have been turned away by her. These other sites send an email or talk on Skype and call it good.

  • Luxxe

    kristinbarrick I was initially puzzled by why she would take the risk of asking for money (begging) online, when she is so clearly going to be VERY financially successful and fifty grand is going to be chicken feed (mind you, I don’t think fifty grand is a lot of money in her family context). The timing you’ve outlined clarifies it a little. In context, she looks way less strategic, and more out of her depth. HOWEVER. She is a seasoned campaign manager – that requires smarts, nous, strategy, planning etc. Her household had three incomes: her hubby’s income; her own well-paid contract as a campaigner; and her job managing some sort of restaurant (not quite “night cook”). In the Huffpo interview she stated – less than 24 hours ago – that her paycheck is “$350 a fortnight”. She didn’t mention that that is one of her TWO paychecks, and vastly the smaller of the two paychecks. I expect the consultancy paycheck would be in the region of $25 an hour at the very least. That sort of ongoing dishonesty is going to get her into trouble. I’m sensitive about the issue because 8 or so years ago I paid a lot of money for James Frey’s supposed autobiography about his experiences as a drug addict. Marketed as truth and fact. Later it emerged that it was fiction. If Linda Tirado is a brilliant fiction writer and/or polemicist about OTHER people’s issues, that is what she needs to be identifying herself as. It’s all very well to refer to the “overwhelming” situation. That would have washed until about a week ago. Until she kept bumping up the gofundme target, and a bunch of anguished poor people started posting that hey, they are poorer than she is, and they just gave her ten bucks. There can’t really be anything more classless than calling America on its classism, while exploiting poor people herself …

    • loungecat

      A very clear and measured analysis. Last sentence sums up my own reservations perfectly. People felt quite rightly betrayed for buying the ‘autobiographical novels’ of James Frey and JT LeRoy (Laura Albert in disguise), which were fictions that made the authors (and publishers) money from people empathising with a lie. This is more overt.

  • Mimosa22

    This has been a difficult thread to follow. Interesting, but
    difficult. I donated a very small amount, as did many other people,
    based on her story which included details that I recognized as common
    among people with lower incomes. For many years, I’ve been rather obsessed, myself, with
    trying to find ways of relieving poverty, especially for families with
    children, and at first as she kept raising the campaign goal, I thought
    it was not only okay, but commendable, given her bigger goal. Then I
    began to think that the more times she ups the ante, the more criticism
    she would expose herself to, and the more possibilities for something to
    go wrong. When poverty is involved, it always seems that the skeptics
    and cynics will eventually insinuate themselves into the picture.

    So, I was rather relieved to hear that she was closing the campaign, at that
    point totaling more than $60,000. Between the money donated and the
    offers for assistance by publishers and others, she should be just fine.
    I now look forward to reading more about what she does, and what this phenomenon may mean for others in the very large and crowded boat holding the poor.

  • OhYeahBaby
    • Luxxe

      Wow. New car, polished parquetry, musical instruments, art materials, hardcopy newspaper, mix of antique and shabby chic furniture … so not poor! Good find, ohyeahbaby. Quelle scameuse scabreuse!

  • Kitty Kat

    Have you looked into her updates at all? She admits she was making a lot of things up. She is far from poor. (And, with $62k in free money, will now have more money than most of us will ever see in our lives. We just don’t whine to the Internet about it.)

    • http://hipcider.com/ tdhurst

      You’ll never see $62k in your life? Seriously?

      • thenonsequitur

        Why is that so surprising to you? A lot of people make just barely enough to make ends meet (or less than that). And even many of those that manage to keep savings will not reach $62k. If that doesn’t seem like such a large amount to you, it just means you have never actually been financially living day to day.

        Ten years ago, I never thought I’d see that much. But I lucked out with being interested in something that turned out to be a marketable skill, lucked out with a wonderful social support network, and landed a lucky job, all of which brought me up to the middle class, where it is much easier to launch yourself higher from. I feel so financially successful right now, but $62k is still far away in my radar. But that fact that it’s in my radar at all is very fortunate. If I ever $62k at some point, I know how much luck will have played a part in it, and I know that many people will not have that same luck.

        • http://www.facebook.com/mary.halversonwagner herefornow

          Your last line in particular shows a clear understanding of how shaky the ability to climb out of poverty is. It should not be so dependent on luck. It should be the result of the sort of hard work many are currently shamefully underpaid for.

      • belle

        Sure, Kitty Kat will see 62 grand in her life. Just probably not in a tax-free lump sum.

        • thenonsequitur

          Good point, belle. I realize now the source of the confusion, and both parties are right. Just depends on whether you consider the situation from the perspective of “have $62k+ in bank account right now” vs. “will make $62k+ over the course of lifetime”.

        • TheBean

          Why is it tax free?

          • belle

            Aren’t donations tax free?

    • Luxxe

      Kitt Kat One of her correspondents (calling themselves wouldliketoknow) is referring to a real estate deal in 2004 that (the correspondent says) netted Linda $100,000. Or maybe they were confusing it with her insurance payout. I wonder though whether that has any truth to it – why would someone raise it with her on Jezebel if not?

  • belle

    Yes, it does. There are several pictures of her on her Facebook page looking very well-groomed. She had perfect teeth in her interview two days ago with HuffPo.
    All of these things and the fact that she admitted (after $50 grand in donations came in) that she’s not poor now, wasn’t poor when she wrote the essay, and wasn’t born poor.

    • herefornow

      Linda Tirado owns a trailer and her teeth are not perfect. Why would you assume being financially strapped would necessarily cause her to be poorly groomed and uninterested in decorating her kid’s rooms?

      • belle

        We’re not assuming that she’s poorly groomed: she says she is in her bogus essay, claiming that her skin is awful and that her unsightly teeth prevent her from being promoted (all of which have been proven to be untrue).

        She’s the one who claimed she’s too poor to buy more than junk food for her family, but two months ago she was asking for decorating tips for her kids’ rooms. People who can’t afford food don’t spend their money asking for tips on how to elaborately decorate their kids’ rooms, especially if they have just 6 hours between jobs — as she claimed she did.

        And she doesn’t live in a trailer. She was set up with a home by her grandparents.

        I’m happy to do this all day…argue with me, and I’ll point you to proof that she lied.

        • herefornow

          Linda Tirado says in her essay she was given a trailer. The home pictured on her facebook page looks like a clean, well maintained trailer. She smiles with her mouth closed and speaks as though she’s got dental issues. Why would you begrudge her dreams of decorating her child’s room? Do you really think only well off people do that? You never read her piece that originally gained her national attention.

          • belle

            Yes, I did read her stereo-type laden piece about her white girl fantasies of what life must be like for poor people.

            Stop ignoring facts. Go to her Huff Po interview from two days after the piece was published and watch it. Her teeth are PERFECT.

            Go look up her university photo from when she was in her early 20s — teeth perfect AGAIN. There was no drunk driver, she isn’t poor, and you were all lied to.

            Those of you ignoring blatant truths should ask yourselves why you need to believe someone who is shown to be a total liar.

          • herefornow

            I’m not finding any closeups of her teeth. The ones I’ve seen look like she needs work done. Where’s the proof that there was no car accident?

          • Belle

            Like hell her teeth look like they need work done.

            Scroll through the comments here and find the link to her college photo on the SUU webpage where she’s a 21 year-old with a perfect smile.

            The evidence is everywhere that she’s a liar, so where’s the proof that the drunk driving addicent DID happen?

          • http://www.facebook.com/mary.halversonwagner herefornow

            Checked out the link. The head shot doesn’t fully reveal her teeth and besides, photos used for that type of purpose are often touched up.
            Whatever the case, the woman can write, and whether her story is entirely her own or a compilation of others doesn’t matter in the long run, as she’s opened the hearts and minds of many who needed a wake up call.
            Hopefully, an abundance of similar stories will follow.

          • Belle
    • herefornow

      While many of you fret and fuss over Tirado’s clearly explained, fluctuating standard of living, far more wretched stories than hers are emerging, now that the floodgates have been opened by her bravely revealing testimonials and video of her showing her serious dental issues.

  • belle

    k, so it sounds like Linda Tirado is the source of your information. Why don’t you look at the links that contradict everything she says?
    Her teeth are perfect.
    She isn’t poor and wasn’t at the time she wrote the essay.
    She eats great and healthy food (the pics are on Gawker in the comments section) under her article
    There is a photo of her on the South Utah University webpage from 2004: she was a sophomore. She was 21 or 22 in that picture and her teeth are, again, perfect. No one knocked her teeth out. That’s another lie.

  • Luxxe

    Very true. She did say last week (don’t have the link, sorry) that the bill for her teeth NOW would be $4,000 outside of the current insurance (interestingly, she DOES have medical insurance through work, and apparently this old damage would be covered). I do wonder why her family – who could afford private school fees – haven’t paid for her teeth. Her parents/grandparents own property and could easily do a redraw on their mortgage, and killermartinis could have paid them back over ten years. If not having nice teeth has been the reason she believes she has been underemployed, with nice teeth she would have been able to stump up (pardon the pun) ten smackeroonis a week. Without resorting to gofundme. She clearly spends much more than that on alcohol and cigarettes already!

  • belle

    Bogus. It matters a whole lot when people lie for financial gain.

    • Superman

      Exactly. If she lied, she’s not doing anything for the poor! And her “book” will not be genuine experiences, but what other people told her.

    • Tina Shang

      I didn’t say it was right or it doesn’t matter if she lied and is a scammer. My point is that there is nothing I personally can do about it except hope she does right by the people who supported her and become a voice for poverty.

      • belle

        She has done nothing but further stereotypes about the poor, all based on her middle-class girl’s fantasy of what poverty must be like. She is a disgusting human being.

      • belle

        Yeah, that’ll happen.

      • SicSemperTyrannis

        How does someone who lied about being in poverty to scam people for money become a voice for poverty?

  • Superman

    Being poor is frustrating. That’s the one word I would describe it. Those cuss words flow more freely from an otherwise good Christian person. Just reading part of what she wrote, a big problem that she has is negativity. She is cursing herself whenever she says bad things about herself and her situations. Death and life are in the power of the tongue. The best thing she could do is accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Then, start using your faith. It is impossible to please God without faith. Jesus said, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” (Mark 11: 22-23) Poor Christian people, speak to your mountain. Instead on dwelling on the situation/mountain (i.e. poverty), say aloud, “I am rich”. Claim aloud the things that you want. It gets even better when you have Bible scriptures to back-up your claims. The Lord wants his children to come boldly before him. For more info on financial prosperity, watch some Kenneth Hagin sermons on YouTube.

  • Superman

    Translation: Keep donating to that charity that only pays out 5% of the donations to support the advertised cause. Kim Kardashian, anyone?

  • Belle

    No, it started to go viral and she set up a GoFundMe for ten grand, then raised it to 55k, then raised it to $100,000. Racketeer. Scammer.

    There won’t be a book. When the agent (if there is really an agent) figures out she’s lying, bye-bye book deal.

  • Luxxe

    kristinbarrick are you aware that Linda Tirado actually owns her house? A post was located on GT where she is asking about decorating the kids’ bedroom, and states that she owns her house. I am starting to think she is actually a scammer.

  • tetsuwanatom

    Where is the proof that Linda Eaton and Linda Tirado are the same person?

    • belle

      Good GOD this isn’t that hard!! Go to the South Utah University current students directory, here https://my.suu.edu/directory/public and search for Linda.

      Right click on Save Link As and you’ll get https://my.suu.edu/walt5385. Google “https://my.suu.edu/walt5385″ in quotes and the only link that comes up is the student democrats news article by Linda Walther.

      It’s her, except she was fat (look at the eyes and eyebrows — EXACTLY THE SAME). Perfect teeth at 21 or 22 years old.

  • Max Power
  • Ted Lewandowski

    From a blog by Linda
    Tirado… Linda Tirado quote
    on her childhood
    years…”I started
    kindergarten a year early. I
    went to an exclusive private
    school where we didn’t have
    grade levels. They grouped us
    by age and we had workbooks in
    different subjects depending
    on our ability level. When my
    parents transferred me to a
    closer school with normal
    grades, they put me in fourth
    grade. I was seven. They
    wanted to put me into fifth
    grade, but my parents thought
    it would be too difficult for
    me socially. I had private
    music lessons from the age of
    four. I was an award-winning
    singer, piano, and flute
    player by seven. I owned
    twenty-three instruments when
    I was twelve. I toured Europe
    as a featured soprano the
    summer after I graduated high
    school.”

    • herefornow

      Many of today’s poor didn’t start out that way.

  • herefornow

    So many are critical of Tirado after merely skimming over her article. Some accuse her of being a fraud because she’s not completely void of teeth, shelter and vocabulary. Her teeth are cracked, she lives in a trailer and she’s well versed on a subject she’s personally familiar with. She might not fit everyone’s preconceived image of financial desperation, but that says more about the invisibility of the poor than any fraudulence on her part.

    Her main concern right now should be withstanding the onslaught of professional control freaks who will try to tinker with her style and twist her words to suit their agenda.

    • SicSemperTyrannis

      When you say tinker with her style and twist her words to suit their agenda, do you mean people asking her to stopping making up lies about her life?

      • http://www.facebook.com/mary.halversonwagner herefornow

        No, because her powerfully accurate message goes beyond the stunted perceptions of those who refuse to understand how writers often combine their experiences with that of others to drive home a point.

        • SicSemperTyrannis

          By drive home a point, do you mean scam people out of at least 62K based on a lie?

          I don’t recall anywhere in her first post noting that this wasn’t really her story, and I most certainly don’t think she spelled that out when she asked for money to fix her fictional problems.

  • herefornow

    Linda Tirado’s essay was an unvarnished and long overdue view of poverty as it exists today.

    • thr33phas3

      Except that it wasn’t – it was more a collection of stereotyped anecdotes about the poor, rather than things that she necessarily experienced herself. See the houstonpress and other links above for more about this. :/

      • http://www.facebook.com/mary.halversonwagner herefornow

        The stories ring true whatever their source.

        • SicSemperTyrannis

          Fake but accurate?

          • http://www.facebook.com/mary.halversonwagner herefornow

            Painfully true and accurately described.

          • SicSemperTyrannis

            I must have missed the true part, because there is none in her work.

          • herefornow

            What part in particular did you have a problem absorbing?

          • SicSemperTyrannis

            I have a problem that you people think her story is some uplifting commentary when it’s actually a complete and utter fabrication. If I want to hear what it’s like to be poor, I’ll hold out until I hear from an actually poor person.

          • herefornow

            It’s likely Dickens also had to put up with this type of criticism, but he thankfully continued to accurately portray the struggling masses as he saw them, and his work is as relevant today as it was at the time it was originally written.

          • SicSemperTyrannis

            So we’re comparing that putz to Charles Dickens now?

            For the love of God.

          • herefornow

            Yes. In her own way, Tirado is also rattling the comfortable delusions the wealthy have of the poor, and those obsessing about details of this present day writer’s life are being compared to the dandies who once foolishly scoffed at Dickens for many of the same reasons.

          • thr33phas3

            Wait, let me clarify here. Was Dickens claiming to be one of the struggling masses, at any point? And did he ever claim that what he was producing was other than fiction?

          • herefornow

            Yes to both your questions.
            Dicken’s early years exposed him to poverty and inspired him to write about the struggles of the poor. Like most wildly talented but wisely protective writers, his fictional characters and story lines were based on actual people and events.
            Getting the public to grasp a timely message is far more important than dithering over “who did what to whom and when.”

            Dickens, unlike Tirado, had the luxury of writing in a slower paced time when focused, retentive reading was more commonplace.

          • djsmps

            Somehow, I don’t think we’ll be seeing leather bound first editions of her work. BTW, do you know which elite universities are teaching her work?

          • herefornow

            For better or worse, leather bound works of any sort are not as impressive as they once were, and sadly, the more elite a university is, the more stale and slow to the punch they can be.
            Underground fliers, unfettered expression and street smarts like Tirado’s are far more useful survival tools than a sheep skin, especially in this era of angry enlightenment we’ve entered.

          • SicSemperTyrannis

            Tirado’s garbage being compared to one of the great writers in history is so laughable that that you are either Linda the liar herself or a spoof trying to make lefties look bad.

            I’ve read some pretty pathetic commentary about this fiasco but you have won the prize for most ridiculous, hands down.

          • thr33phas3

            The main one was the bit about “impaling” roaches with toothpicks. Anyone who’s ever seen an actual roach knows that it’s almost impossible to hit them with anything, much less “impale” them at short range. Ms. Tirado is pretty clearly not in that group.

  • herefornow

    Well said, Shelly Hazzard.

  • Ted Lewandowski

    From Linda Tirado’s blog – November 24, 2013

    “I have been privileged while poor, because I am fucked up and spent
    decades in therapy, because I have been given access to these words, I
    am well-suited to this.”

    …”because I am the sort of person who reads Woodward and Stiglitz and
    also the sort of person who has lived with three prostitutes who were
    great because they always paid the rent on time.”

    “When people say that I am perhaps not legitimate, it is maybe sort
    of true if you mean that when I was at the low points I did not have
    time for blogs and since I do now I am not at the bottom. That is a true
    thing.”

    “Be very clear about this, please: I am quitting one of my day jobs.
    The one that is an hour’s drive through snow in the mountains. And I
    have actually nailed a bigger contract with my second job, which pays
    better hourly anyway.”

    “I will pay a bill or two to the people who have loved me that are
    struggling. I might take a thousand just to do things like get a really
    comfy blanket that fits the bed perfectly.”

  • DorothyP
  • Mirta Ana Schultz

    http://blogs.houstonpress.com/artattack/2013/11/that_viral_poverty_thoughts_es.php
    he real Linda owns a home, thanks to some pretty generous parents. Her
    LinkedIn profile states she’s been a freelance writer and political
    consultant since 2010, and has worked in politics since 2004, a claim
    backed by 27 decent connections.

    She’s married to a Marine, has met President Obama while interning
    for a politician (who obviously wasn’t disgusted by those rotten teeth),
    and has plenty of time to visit Las Vegas on vacation. And blog about her privileged life on WordPress.

    She speaks both German and Dutch, and
    has a well-rounded political blog that ended in 2011. It’s also a blog
    where she quite plainly references being paid to win races.”

  • OhYeahBaby

    Nope she went to school right after high school for two years and then dropped out to work on political campaigns. Read her blog entries, she says this herself. Then she went Back to school recently. She doesn’t live in a trailer, it’s a very nice house. Check out her google+ pictures to verify for yourself. Or her Pinterest pictures. She’s currently designing a forest/astronomy themed room for her daughter. Yeah that sounds super poor to me. Oh and she owns her car.

  • loungecat

    It’s very clear from all the information pieced together from Linda Tirado’s own internet writings that she had a privileged upbringing — private school, music and singing lessons, and psychological therapy “since long before I can remember”. Of course even people with privileged upbringings can end up poor through no fault of their own and the tightrope between comfortable and poverty in America is worth writing an essay about. However, pretending to be poor when recent photographs show otherwise (nice car, house, holiday pics on Facebook page) undermines the credibility of her essay. So does claiming she has teeth so unsightly she is relegated to her workplace kitchen like Cinderella when her teeth looking perfectly fine in Huffpost video interview. Her autobiographical essays are weak on fact and her revisionist HuffPost bio raises further questions. She is now a “completely average American with two kids and two jobs” — so not poor any longer? (Oh silly me, there is that ‘fund me’ money…) “She has seen her work taught in elite universities that wouldn’t let her in the door off the street.” Huh? If her ‘amazing essay’ was published just a few weeks ago, how can this claim make any sense? And why did these unnamed universities refuse to “let her in the door off the street”? She is currently working with an agent on a book proposal. Given that Tirado has secured a charity advance through ‘fund me’ on a book she hasn’t even begun, presenting some concrete facts to her fans (who are financing her writing time) would be appropriate. For example, who is her new agent? What kind of book is she going to write? Where is a good investigative journalist when you need one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mary.halversonwagner herefornow

    Her teeth were cracked, not knocked out.

    • OhYeahBaby

      This is true. And in her new video she says she was given a 9,000 check and never went to the Dentist with it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mary.halversonwagner herefornow

    Why would you begrudge her those paltry things?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mary.halversonwagner herefornow

    That’s right, Justa. Some need to read her essay more carefully. She may have taken a bit of creative license to get her points across, but her aim is true and shouldn’t be needlessly nitpicked by those made uncomfortable by her accurate portrayal of America’s disenfranchised.

    Working more than one job always indicates financial struggles.
    Being given a trailer when your other option is homelessness is better than a poke in the eye, but hardly a sign of affluence.

    Insurance settlements are generally written in a purposely foggy manner. Given her circumstances it’s not surprising that she misunderstood the extent of what the settlement covered.

  • Ted Lewandowski

    “Another high profile hoax involved an essay about poverty by Linda Walther Tirado.

    Tirado wrote about her personal experience with poverty and has made $65,000 in donations. Her story is a lie.”

    “People are generally too eager to accept stories they want to believe. In the age of 24/7 news coverage and instant information we should be doing a better job of educating people not to jump to conclusions. Hoaxes will continue to happen if compulsive liars continue to see big
    pay days and the subsequent loss of curiosity from the media when the lies are exposed.”

    http://dailyplunge.com/2013/11/30/lying-continues-to-be-profitable/

    http://blogs.houstonpress.com/artattack/2013/11/that_viral_poverty_thoughts_es.php

  • SicSemperTyrannis

    Did you ask her yet why she made the whole thing up?

  • Ted Lewandowski
  • Ted Lewandowski

    HuffPo’s Tragic Poverty Story ‘Tragically Fictional’

    http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/huffpos-tragic-poverty-story-tragically-fictional

  • herefornow

    It seems the well off don’t like having members of the struggling masses speaking up instead of suffering in silence.

    • thr33phas3

      That’s certainly the case here – Ms. Tirado hid or deleted all the comments on her gofundme, including all those that pointed out that her piece wasn’t really based on her own experiences. Sounds like the well-off don’t like angry struggling masses pointing out their fraud, all right!

      • herefornow

        It isn’t necessary to eat from a garbage can to write accurate descriptions of the poor. There are various levels of fluctuating poverty. What obviously irks the leisurely rich is that the disenfranchised are finally speaking up.

  • thr33phas3

    What makes her testimony about life untrue is that it “recounts” things that did not actually happen to her – that are meant only to call back to a stereotype of a poor person’s life. She is still not being forthcoming about this. She should return the money she received from the gofundme campaign.

  • SRR126

    I think this is great – we have a new tax on the stupid.
    In addition to investing in lottery tickets and donating money to crowd-sourcing – the STUPID can now give their money to middle class essay writers playing the poverty card – well done America
    Higher taxes on the stupid for everyone!

    • herefornow

      People are finally beginning to open up about what they’ve been going through, and it’s vastly more pertinent than the “reality” shows many swallow without question.

  • Babylonandon

    Why should “survival be a given”? How much stupid crap is a person allowed to do with their lives and expect other people to pony up and support them? How many people can we allow to be lifetime parasites and still hope to have an economy? Eventually too many people WILL decide to stop working to support other people and join their ranks.

    How far will you go to make everyone save someone else?

    Will you have the government a poor person or family to some other family to support directly – no … you won’t do that because then people would realize that big chunks of their lives are taken as a form of slavery to pay the taxes to keep these people from facing the consequences of being stupid.

    I am horribly insensitive and a hater? In my own stupid period of life, I spent about 7 years living with alcoholics, drug addicts, and their families. I got a real good inside look at the sort of logic that they use to justify their failure to be responsible for themselves and their kids and how that breeds generations of failures.

    When you enable people to survive their stupidity year after year, you not only doom the ones who might pull out of it if they were forced to, you burden everyone else with those who never will and their spawn.

    Darwin would smack you into the next century for what you are doing to our species.


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