Roman Charity by Jean-Baptiste Greuze (mostly), c. 1767, with apologies
Two days ago, when Neatorama author named Alex was looking for an interesting story to post on the blog, he went to the Internet to research news articles. That's where he stumbled across a New Idea magazine article about how a woman helped her father fight colon cancer by giving him breastmilk.
Alex titled his post "Daughter Helps Dad Fight Cancer ... By Breastfeeding Him!" - a sensationalistic and misleading title that led Neatorama readers to believe that the woman in question had actually let her father suckle on her breast (like Pero in the Roman Charity, as pointed out by fellow reader TwoDragons) - rather than giving him breastmilk that she had pumped earlier in the day.
The reaction to the post was immediate. One commenter known as BlessedBlogger remarked:
First, I want to say that the title is misleading and obviously meant to shock us. I’m not very happy about that as even the implication of incestuous behavior turns my stomach. She isn’t breastfeeding him, she’s donating breast milk to him.
A flurry of other readers posted comments concurring with BlessedBlogger. PJ wrote "the title is grossed out. why’d neatorama wanna have a decent story titled like a cheap eveninger?" A quick search on the Internet revealed that "eveninger" is defined as "a newspaper that is released in the evening unlike a morning newspaper" (Source: Dictionary of Indian English), which immediately added gravitas to PJ's opinion because, well, a person with a moniker of "PJ" would surely know a thing or two about a cheap eveninger.
But not everyone was offended. Kalel, with his trademark wit remarked:
Keeping abreast of the latest medical breakthroughs is of express interest, but perhaps they could have arranged a sort of tit-for-tat exchange with another mother.
Not to be outdone, Garys added:
This article “sucks”! I really should do a better job in regards to keeping “abreast” of the latest medical findings. Guess there is no fault in a little “tit” for tat amongst relatives.
Perhaps Garys didn't get the memo about "unnecessary " quotation marks but we digress.
Support to the beleagured author was scant, but the one was loud and proud. Neatorama reader Byrd Brain let the author know how his super title writing skill was appreciated:
So, if you were to write an article about me putting rash cream on my baby son’s tender parts, Alex, you could come up with a headline like “Father Fondles Son’s Genitals”! You are just SUPER at this headline thing! A great day for accuracy in news reporting!
That was good, but Alex, who has years of experience writing sensationalistic title would surely have written "Father Helps Baby Fight Diaper Rash ... By Fondling His Genitals with Cream!"
Throughout all these firestorm of comments, Alex remains silent - and the fact did not go unnoticed by Anon, who bemoaned "Although I guess no matter how much I pour my heart out here, Alex doesn’t give a shit." When privately approached, the besieged author could only mutter, "That's udderly not true. Of course I care. Sensationalistic titles are very hard to think of ..."