Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Piss On Pity, Piss On Pity, Piss On Pity

Q: When is "compassion" a bad thing?

A: When it's blatantly condescending, hostile, ugly, narrow-minded and a total hypocritical LIE.

Labor Day is coming up. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Yep, it's time for the annual MDA telethon, hosted by none other than the perennial asshole named Jerry Lewis.

What, you think he's not an asshole? Please. The man has pointed, in person, to friends of mine who are power chair users and have MD, and said in effect, "These people are faking it. I bought them those chairs." No, Jerry, they aren't faking it and you didn't buy them their frigging chairs. They aren't dead either. Jerry has also labeled a colleague of mine, in the presence of 500 people, a "human mattress." Yes, Jerry Lewis displays saintliness in earthly form and I am the reincarnation of Thomas Jefferson (oh wait, Jack Kevorkian thinks HE'S the reincarnation of Thomas Jefferson).

The fact that Jerry Lewis has for years begged and cried crocodile tears to raise $$$$$ for the MDA is unbelievable. Year after year, a good segment of the American public throws money at the MDA under this jerk's hosting. They ignore the jerk and think their money's going to a good cause. Frankly, people, that's not really true. Would you go to a church headed by a minister who takes advantage of small children? Oh wait, that sounds a LOT like the MDA!

That's really Jerry's number one crime: exploiting and psychologically raping little kids, in the name of C*O*M*P*A*S*S*I*O*N (I'm trying to convey "compassion" before the footlights). What do I mean, he exploits little kids? Don't you just wanna throw money at those poor cute little crippled squirts who just wanna cure? What do I mean, he's a psychological rapist? It has gone down on record that kids with MD, when they watch the Telethon, think that they're gonna die! Hell, everybody dies, but I wouldn't want the messenger of the afterlife to be a fake, mean has-been named Jerry Lewis. I think it's even creepier that the same messenger could take the form of a small child.

The MDA organization itself has some serious problems, and I'm not really referring to finances or anything Enron-esque. I'm talking about the way they deal with the opposition (meaning Jerry's Orphans and friends). Jerry's Orphans has been around since 1990 and since that time, MDA staff haven't done a very good job of learning how to deal with activists (and I'm not gonna pop any secrets here, but if you think about it for ten minutes you could come up with a logical solution for dealing with activists who want you to change things for the better).

Remember when Hurricane Katrina hit? The MDA Telethon aired right in the aftermath. Jerry's Orphans wanted to stick to their guns and protest the segment of the telethon airing from Chicago. To make a long story short, we zipped into the hotel at about 11 pm at night and made our way upstairs *almost* to they were filming. They were ready for us...and they blocked us off with some tables...we're pushing at them and chanting, they're pushing at us with tables. And then, they whip out some secret weapons to sit on the tables and make sure we don't get through....high school boys. Yes. Teenagers, who don't know who the hell we are and are a little freaked out by the crips. I guess the MDA doesn't know when to stop using children, cuz that kind of practice ain't youth-friendly.

The top MDA staff absolutely refused to even negotiate with us halfway. We were there for *hours* while staff treated us like children and refused to make any moves that effectively would add up to solid change. Some folks might say, "Well, but you were scaring them; what do you expect?" The truth is this is a fight that's gone on for YEARS...and the MDA is still using pity to rake in dough. The activists have already tried the nice stuff, and nobody listened.

We're fighting pity not just because it's a feeling that makes us feel all squirmy and naked and grossed out. We're fighting pity because it hurts people. It takes away their dignity. It damages kids. It exploits people for others' gain. Pity is something that's indefinable in a way. Can't put it in a jar. But pity is a known tactic that is used by social organizations like the MDA and social personalities like Jerry Lewis. Pity is real. Pity hurts.

Jerry Lewis, as so many have said for so long, needs to go. He lies, he lies, he lies. And the MDA needs to show more respect for people with disabilities, end the practice of the telethon (come on folks, you can be CREATIVE fundraisers!), and focus on making sure we have real lives just as we are, not the lives that might happen if we are cured.

*Oh, and just for critical thinkers out there: maybe you think I'm blatantly condescending, hostile, ugly, narrow-minded. That's up to you. But I do not lie.