Thursday, January 19, 2017

Mocking The Afflicted

First things first, obviously you have to sing the title to yourself to the tune of Elvis Costello’s Watching The Detectives. This has nothing whatsoever to do with what follows, it’s just that I’ve not been able to shake it since the title came to me and I’m saving you the trouble of thinking that you vaguely remember a song called Mocking The Afflicted but can’t recall the artist. It wasn’t, you can’t.

Back to the matter in hand. I’m a fairly ‘right on’ PC type but recently found myself questioning what is considered acceptable and whether I’d just crossed a line into bigoted, UKIP territory. Anyone who has had the good/misfortune of meeting me or happening upon my very occasional blog posts will know that I have MS and am registered blind. I am bona fide disabled, a proper spazmo. However, during a conversation with a friend I began to wonder where the boundaries lay following his apparent horror at the description I gave my current state.

December was shit, fucking shit - that’s a medical term. First couple of days were brilliant, I was smashing it at the gym and then within forty eight hours I couldn’t do a thing for myself. The details are tedious to all but those closest to me and me especially. Anyway, back to the conversation with said mate, I’ll call him Gaz, because his name is Gaz. Gaz knew I wasn’t doing too well and asked how I was. I told him that I was walking like someone with cerebral palsy. Whilst making light of it, I was being honest and we both laughed about it - he is a bastard. This started me thinking whether it was ok for disabled people to mock other disabled people. Having arrived at a title and recovered from the obvious comedic and literary brilliance of it I thought maybe I should delve a little deeper.

Now, contrary to wild speculation, I am in fact caucasian and as such wouldn’t consider using the N word. Snoop can do it; I’d be a horrible racist if I gave it a try. Can Snoop use to N word amongst those with every different hue of brown though? This rather led me to wonder whether as a disabled person I can only legitimately mock someone with the exact same disability as me or is every one of them fair game. I should add that even prior to disablement, gentle, general mocking (not of the disabled or any other minority groups) has always been my stock in trade, the target of which was more often than not, myself.

Being a relatively new spazmo I don’t know the rules, is there some sort of sliding scale that determines mockability. Can I go for anyone who looks to be doing better than me rather than preying on the weak? Looks tend to mean little though, I look ace and have come to realise that others who look ace may similarly be hiding flaws. Where does this leave me? I’m at a post office trying to choose the quickest queue and we all know there’s no changing once you realise you’re in the wrong one. Right kids?

I’m hoping that I can mock the disabled with complete profligacy and impunity in much the same way as, I hope, Snoop uses the N word with his kith and kin. The reaches of my blog tends not to be that great (I'm not multi platinum), this is good in that I’ll not be trolled by those less able or aresholes look for offence but I’ll be no closer to determining where the lines are and which I’m safely able to cross. I’ll just have to muddle through and feign offence and indignation should anyone chastise me.

Tim McB