Monday, February 02, 2009

BBC Ouch Column: Disability Bitch vs Presidents

see here. Here is an excerpt:

Um. Blimey. I was unaware until reading all this that using a mobility aid signified so many disastrous things. There was I thinking that a wheelchair was nothing more than a useful means of getting around when one's body fails to co-operate with one's life. Apparently I've been wrong all this time, and in fact it signifies total economic meltdown and failure. I stand corrected and have since been looking at all my Abnormal friends in a new light. I'm certainly not going to trust them with my handbag or lend them any money.

To be honest, I'm glad the commentators spelt out what the wheelchair symbolises. If they hadn't done so, I would've imagined Cheney's injury represented other things more commonly associated with disabled people. Perhaps that America was incontinent, useless, committing benefit fraud and leeching off the state. Good luck, President Obama.

see also Injured Cheney spurs negative response. Here is an excerpt:

Is it just me, or is anyone else still troubled by the world's reaction to Dick Cheney in a wheelchair?

The former U.S. vice-president has long been a metaphor for everything wrong with the administration of George W. Bush.

But when Cheney appeared in a wheelchair at this month's inauguration of Bush's successor, President Barack Obama, it was the chair that commentators seized on as a symbol of failure, corruption and distaste.

I'll leave to your imagination the reason that Cheney, like disgraced financier Conrad Black, felt he had to personally deal with boxes being moved out of his soon-to-be-vacated quarters.

The upshot, it seems, was a back injury that impeded his ability to walk.

But there was no mistaking the immediate public connection between the mobility device and malfeasance. The evil wheelchair, it seems, was the perfect manifestation of the inner man.

Commentator Chris Matthews, who hosts a weekly political panel show on NBC, called it "a metaphor for the low esteem with which (Cheney) is held in this country."