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Posts Tagged ‘cripple

“Tropic Thunder” and the War Over Words

with one comment

by Treadmarkz

I have not seen the new Ben Stiller/Jack Black comedy “Tropic Thunder” but friends have been urging me to comment on the whole hub-bub the movie is creating over the word “retard”. Though I haven’t seen it, and though I am not a “retard”, I am in fact a “cripple”, I feel that the same basic principle applies to my situation. I feel that the people behind most of the “protests” of this movie are “non-disabled” people who are just full of righteous indignation. It looks good to protest things like this.
Further, I think people take things like the use of the word “retard” in a movie way too seriously. It is not directed at a single person is it? Well it is, actually but a movie character, and from what I understand, what is being attacked in this movie is actors who try to play “mentally handicapped” characters as if they really understood what it is like to be “mentally handicapped.”

Sure, movies like this may affect the way people see “mentally disadvantaged” people, or whatever the “correct” term is these days. But if you are worried about it, then make it your goal to show people who you really are before they get the chance to make that judgment on you. That is everybody’s mission in life, so its not just disabled people or any other minority who have an extra burden. It is everybody’s goal, one way or another, to put their best face forward. Damn a movie. Let’s make sure we are remembering that we don’t live in “Movieland”. We are people with individual personalities that do not fit into the mold of a stereotype. So, unless you actually do fit these stereotypes they shouldn’t bother you.

And lastly, I’ve said it before, but if we can’t say “retard” and we can’t say “cripple” then we can’t say “four-eyes”. This is a slippery slope, this issue of words we can’t use. Near-sightedness and far-sightedness is, in fact a disability so if we can’t make jokes about the mentally and physically disabled then there are a whole long list of other people we can’t make fun of. Think about it so I don’t have to present the list.

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I Am Lame

with 3 comments

by Treadmarkz

Lame is another word that was perfectly acceptable a while back in reference to the physically handicapped. If your legs didn’t work, you were lame. This one is not as good as another word that I blogged about, “Cripple“, because the word “lame” is so universally abused at present time to refer to anything that is impotent, uncool, out of style. Music from a bygone generation is lame. A movie that does not provide the action, explosions and excitement that the preview promised is lame. And, many subcultures that you will find within the hallowed halls of many high schools…the nerds, the trekkies…etc…all lame.

Why? Because their substance foregoes aesthetics?

Maybe, but remember, it used to be that the kids that messed around with computers during the summer while all the cool people were out being cool, were lame. Now they are cutting edge. What once was lame is now the upper crust.
That is the way I see things for the disabled community. Years ago, long before my time, disabled people were cast aside without a second look. But we are the 21st Century Lame, and the world is ours. All we have to do is stake our claim in it.

Written by treadmarkz

March 7, 2008 at 5:46 AM