Every once in a while someone will ask the question that no one wants to hear but everyone expects to hear a tear-jerking answer to. An able-bodied person steps up, taps a poor cripple on the shoulder and says “wouldn’t you want a cure…if it were available?” The cripple drops his shoulders, a tear slips from the corner of his eye and he stumbles a bit as he says “yes, yes more than anything.” A touching Seal number is heard overhead as everyone hugs and the world is reminded how terrible it is to be disabled. Life truly does end when ability does.
OH NO WAIT. That’s on tv. In real life the cripple turns around and bites the head off the sap who tried to turn him into a pity party. OH NO WAIT that’s in my head.
In real life people with disabilities have really complex and complicated relationships to the ‘desire for a cure.’ That question is generally incredibly invasive to begin with, so whether or not someone wants to answer it is purely up to them; whether they want to answer it honestly is even more private. Bear your soul to someone just curious about your life without any stake or interest in the rest of your life? Yeah….not so much. And the answer to that question is as varied as the disabilities it can represent. It’s not an easy question, there’s no easy answer. It has to do with choice and self-determination and maybe a little ignorance on how accommodations can make life w/a disability awesome.
Artie on the Fox tv show Glee can tell us a thing or two about cures. Last night’s episode “Dream On” included a bit where he admitted he wanted a cure. Whereas earlier in the series he wheelchair danced like a pro, now he says he can never dance because his legs will never work. In fact his flash-mob dance scene is only possible because he’s daydreaming. Ms. Pillsbury helps him understand life because ‘surely there will be a cure’ someday. Thanks, Ms.P! Instead of steering him in the direction of a life worth living, she’s given him false hope that his miserable excuse for a life may someday be corrected.
I combed through the early morning blogosphere looking for some commentary that would back me up. I was hoping some mainstream media noticed that the whole Artie disability line is full of fail. All I found was praise for how Tina supported him and how Neil Patrick Harris was amazing. I’ll admit a love for NPH, but this disability fail is simply not okay. Tina should have kicked him in the head and told him to stop being an ass; bringing crutches he’s never used to try standing which he hasn’t done since his accident? Fail move. Him falling and blaming her for it? Jerk fail move. Disability does not give you a right to be an abusive asshole. I don’t care how embarrassed you are. And Ms. Pillsbury offering support via miracle-cure rumination is just…..disgusting and regressive.
Cool. Now I gotta go stab myself in the eye with some sharp pointy knives…..if I can find my eye. It’s real hard to do anything in life when you’re blind. I will probably miss and stab the wall. It’s ok, someday there will be a cure and my prosthesis will live!!!! Then Artie can dance and I can stab myself more effectively. It’s a win-win, brought to you by well meaning able-bodied people, everywhere.