i read this article on the integrated ethnic segregation occurring in bosnia. please read if you're interested in the area or not, it is informative and to me is indicative of the history repeating itself in the area.
I've known Ruby since she was in middle school in Hammond, Indiana. While we lost contact after she moved to the Colorado area, the wonderful world of Facebook allowed us to get back into contact. When she approached me about being a guest on her blog, I was floored. I have always had the utmost respect for her and after reading her weblog, I knew this was an opportunity I had to leap at.
Before I dive into the latest edition of "The Ramblings of the Deranged" (which is something I call all my writings), I feel that it's pertinent to give a little background information about myself. I am twenty eight years old and living in New Orleans, Louisiana. I finished high school at a prestigious all boys' Catholic School where I was the first physically disabled student to graduate from there in their 127 year history. I have a strong background in football equipment maintenance and repair. I attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for sports' management and worked with the Ragin' Cajun football team during the 2003 season as the first physically disabled equipment manager. I am an avid writer and aspiring stand-up comedian.
As I have stated twice in this already short entry, I am physically disabled. I have a disease called spina bifida occluta It's a degenerative condition of the spine that has severe neurological, orthopedic, and urological problems associated with it. Sad fact of the matter is, I have been told several times in my life that I don't have much time. I do my best to pack in as much awesomeness into the time, and that's how I live.
I always tell people I have one major rule. “Don’t ever call me a cripple”. Simple enough right?
Wrong. First off, to explain why I have this rule, you must know what the word means to me. But even before I can do that, one must know the literal definition of the word cripple. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the term as the following:
a sometimes offensive : a lame or partially disabled person or animal b : one that is disabled or deficient in a specified manner <a social cripple>
Something flawed or imperfect.
This word comes from the Middle English cripel, which in turn is from the Old English crypel. This is akin to the Old English wordcrēopan, which means to creep. This word first made it’s way into the English vernacular just before the 12th century.
Today this word carries a heavy connotation-especially for the disabled. People traditionally hear the word and think of those disabled that do nothing for themselves and wallow in their own self pity. The “cripple” is mean and vindictive and blames the world for their disability. They’re content with being miserable. They view their condition as a curse that defines them. They hate themselves and those around them because they feel they’re trapped.
That’s why I hate the word. I have worked hard to deal with my disability to the best of my abilities and move beyond them. Sure, I probably don’t deal with them as best as someone else with the disability would, but there is no panacea when it comes to the day-to-day physical and psychological trials and tribulations of debilitating diseases.
I used to think that I wasn’t that. I thought I was already well adjusted for someone with spina bifida occulta. I am honestly now thinking that I am wrong. I am very angry with the world. The truth is, I hate everyone who isn’t disabled.
If you all only knew. If you only knew what it was like to watch as your life slip away from you, both literally and figuratively, in a way that you cannot stop because of things that have nothing to do with choices you have made or actions you have taken. It makes me mad. Mad with a bitter rage that could fuel the sun.
I pity myself all the time. I watch a football game and realise my body can’t do what those men are doing on the field but my mind tells me it can. That’s the gods' greatest trick-make someone crave something more than anything, get them to learn every possible thing about it they can, allow them to get close enough to take it, but keep it just out of reach, forever. Live like that and try not to feel sorry for yourself.
Writing this, I think about more than just this. We each have things we’re completely angry about. We all have things in or about our lives we absolutely hate. It’s true of all of us. If you say differently about yourself, you’re not very well adjusted at all-or you’re Jesus Christ. We all pity ourselves.
That said, we’re all cripples. Each and every one of us are. There’s nothing special about any of us.
I will still hate the word and it’s connotation. I still won’t tolerate it when people call me a cripple, but now that I know that each one of us are cripples, it won’t sting as much.
Or maybe I am just talking out my rear. Either way, it’s been said.
Comedy is very important to me. It's become how I deal with the trials and tribulations of my life. I firmly believe that we all have things that make us uncomfortable, sad, afraid, lonely, and less than human. If we take those things and steadily laugh at them, they no longer have the power to hurt us.
So I get billed as a comedian, which isn’t true. I am more of a song and dance man. If you could see me or have actually seen my act, you’d know why that joke is funny.
I am actually sad. I was watching television the other night and learned that video killed the radio star. This is made especially sad because a DJ could have saved her life. To be fair, I don’t know why I am sad about it. You see, she didn’t dance, and if you don’t dance; you’re no friend of mine.
Speaking of friends, my friends and I live in our house—in the middle of our street. One of my friends walked five hundred miles. Then he walked five hundred more to be the man to cum on Eileen. He knows that girls just want to have fun.
You know what girls don’t want? They don’t want to be disabled.
Now I know that no one wants to be disabled, really. I mean, why would someone? There aren’t many perks…
Actually my friend, there are. We can cut in line at Disney World for rides that we cannot go on and enjoy. We get the bigger stall in the public bathrooms that someone is either always using or has left a mess. We get that blue parking space that costs the rest of you jerks four hundred bucks to use. We can call each other “cripple”, much like black people can call each other the “n-bomb”. Get used to it.
I get applause when I walk down the street. Just the other day I was walking down Frenchman Street in New Orleans and was showered with praise by this really nice black lady. “You go sweetheart!” “Yeah! Look at you going wit yo’ bad self!” I got the best self-esteem boost one could possibly get. You see people expect you to just walk down the street. Me? Crap, I get a standing ovation like I am Jeff Dunham playing to an audience full of Down's Syndrome kids from rural Mississippi while they’re trying to eat the invisible shoulder cookie. I swear getting applauded for doing stuff that I am supposed to do is like having a government job.
Now some of you don’t want to laugh at this concept or even at the disabled. Screw you; the disabled are funny as hell. You try to imagine Michael J. Fox playing “Jenga” or Stephen Hawking singing Rio by Duran Duran. Now yes, Fox playing “Jenga” would leave the playing area looking like Haiti.
Now I have offended you. I know it. You probably liked me more when I was tastelessly stringing together poppy songs from the 80s. Eat it. I will not be politically correct. Politically correct language has ruined the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. We cannot say that they’re fat anymore; now they’re “geometrically challenged”. They’re not “faggots”, they’re “male fellatio enthusiasts”. He’s not a “janitor”, he’s a “floor technician”.
I am not disabled, I am “alternatively engineered”. Seriously folks. Now I am badly built and designed bridge, much like the Huey P. Long Bridge of the New Orleans area, that was built by the lowest common denominator, also much like the Huey P. bridge. Seriously, the term “alternatively engineered” brings up memories of bad episodes of The Six Million Dollar Man, excuse the redundancy. The new show opener could be “we can build him slower, less efficiently, and with missing parts”. I swear because of my over sensitive politically liberal brethren, I now feel like my parent’s bought me from a Swedish “build a baby” company.
Honestly, don’t be politically correct. PC language is more dangerous than a Florida voting booth (there’s a callback to 2001 for you).
I thank you for taking the time to read my guest entry in Mrs. Matheny's blog. If you wish to contact me you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, contact me at Facebook by searching "J. Alfred Potter", looking up "roguestoryteller" on YouTube, or following me on Twitter at @Rogue_Bard.
please adopt me so you can later surrender me to a shelter who gives me a 'good death'
i had an epiphany the other day. as i was going through thousands of pages of doggies who need homes (i want another housemate!), i was feeling a deep dark sadness in my heart for all of the unfortunate circumstances these furry beings are in. in an all-of-the-sudden matter, my heart stopped aching. i finally realized it was the personification of the animals that gave me the deepest of sorrows. you see, i am a pescetarian. some years i am more serious about it than others, but for the most part i abstain from eating the flesh of land animals because George Orwell and Peter Singer made rather compelling arguments about the realities of animal farms. i have long believed that all beings are equal and it is unfortunate most first world societies overconsume flesh. but, i could act on my feelings and control my diet, aiding in the cessation of guilt i felt for the mass slaughtering of animals. a similar guilt has been plaguing me, and that is that so many domesticated animals are being wasted because "i am moving and our new lease agreement says explicitly 'no dogs/cats." first of all, let me say fuck you to all people who make choices and do not include that sweet little pitbull they bought from a breeder. fuck you on so many levels, assholes. i know the circumstances actually exist, and i would feed my children over my dog any day, but not in the vast numbers that you see in kill-shelters. shelters are not designed for you to give up your chocolate lab because it eats your couches- fucking train the mutt! my rescued kitties have the adorable habit of peeing on my brand spanking new carpet! kittie-lady is currently sleeping on my bed, because i am a good person who understands the responsibility i took on when i rescued her (also i am a sucker). she's gonna have to kill herself to be gone out of my life.
i have gone off subject. back to it.
i had a realization that i have bought into anthropomorphism in pets! don't get me wrong, i realize it is sort of a human tendency to understand our surroundings while wearing our human lenses! but my heart doesn't have to be broken for every dog or cat that gets left behind. i am not sad about the deer i caught a glimpse of in the distance, yesterday. i will say though that some new legislation should be written. i have a couple ideas for laws that could effectively decrease the over population of domesticated animals. a short list:
-official state issued breeder's licenses
-mandatory chipping, with breeder info (i'm talking SS#)
-fines for breeder when dog is found in wild, or surrendered to a shelter
-surrendering fees for owner, unless appropriate paperwork is filed ensuring lack of funds
-perhaps animal ownership licensing (inexpensive, but a step forward in educating)
-mandatory sterilizations, enforced, regulated
(wow, i am actually thinking about how to let the government intervene! i guess i am not a libertarian and i am approaching 30!)
i am going to do my part and adopt a pooch. i am also never going to buy a dog from any sort of breeder (they are generally hideous people!). i want to donate my time and funds to educating people on the realities of pet ownership.