Saturday, 18 January 2014


MARK EVANIER, one-time assistant to the legendary JACK
KIRBY, recently embedded a video (on his mostly excellent blog) which
has turned out to be quite controversial. No fault of Mr Evanier it has to
be said, but a disabled person who calls himself BAD CRIPPLE has taken
against it. The video is an ad by a company called PURPLE FEATHER,
and Bad Cripple (I don't even like typing the name, so let's call him by the
other one he uses, WILLIAM PEACE) claims that it shows disabled
people (in this case, a blind man, or perhaps an actor playing blind)
in a negative light. Watch the video and see what you think.

(Incidentally, it was shot at the back steps of the shop which was
once BORDERSbehind The Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow,
for those of you who may be interested in such things.)

I left a comment on the man's site (as did numerous others), politely
stating that he was perhaps over-reacting, and asking him if he would've
had a problem if the beggar hadn't been blind, but merely homeless, and
the woman had changed his sign to 'It's a beautiful day, but it'll be a cold
night on the street'. (You'll understand what I'm alluding to if you watch the
ad.) Mr Peace then changed tack, and said that he was offended by anyone
having to beg, "disabled or not". I politely pointed out that this was a dif-
ferent argument, as his original stated objection had been to the depiction
of disabled people (in his view) in a stereotypical, negative way, not
people ("disabled or not") who had (or chose) to beg.

I also observed that perhaps the man was begging not because he
was blind, but for some other reason(s), and that maybe his blindness
was unconnected to his current situation. Sure, his sign said "I'm blind - 
please help", but this could merely be due to matters of expediency. After
all, "I'm an alcoholic junkie- please help"  (or whatever) is hardly likely to
produce the desired result. Mr Peace decided  not to respond to my points
(which he's perfectly entitled to do - it's his blog after all), but he deleted
my second comment, which, I feel, demonstrates his inability to deal
with what I feel were pertinent points contained therein.

However, it raises an interesting question. Whenever disaster strikes
anywhere on the planet, should aid agencies and charities refrain from
showing us the effects it has on people's lives for fear of portraying them in
a disadvantaged way, in need of assistance from the global community? And
the same goes in the case of disabled people. Surely the best way to solicit
help - when it is needed - is to show (within reason) the ugly realities that 
people in such situations have to deal with.

While it's true that the ad is designed to draw attentiom to the
company that produced it rather than the plight of disadvantaged or
disabled people, it is surely treating them in exactly the same manner as it
treats the able-bodied (as players in a story) - which is surely the aim of
every disabled person everywhere? That is, to be treated exactly the
same as everybody else. So, what's Mr Peace's problem?

(It's interesting, 'though, that it's not the beggar who wears the
shades, but the 'insightful' woman who rewrites his sign. Was it intended
as some kind of irony perhaps? At least they avoided the stereotype of
non-sighted people always wearing dark glasses.) 

Do you think the ad is a good or a bad thing? Take a look,
and then say what you think in the comments section.


DeadSpiderEye said...

I find "Cripple" to be apt as a label for this person and I have more respect for beggars than I'll ever have for him. It's interesting/ironic how he blithely maligns anyone in the position of needing to beg, while posturing over his faux sensibilities.

He's essentially a hypocrite, there's no sincerity at all in his grievances, it's a just an attempt a bullying. He trying rouse the pack of mindless PC dogs to turn on some innocent through his histrionics.

Kid said...

To me, he comes across as a 'small, angry man' with a chip on his shoulder, DSE. A rebel desperately seeking a cause - even where none exists.

One minute it's one thing that offends him, then, when he's pinned down, it's another. I just felt that he's intellectually dishonest, especially when he deletes comments rather than answer them.

So, did you like the video?

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

I have to say I am at a total loss as to what the actual issue is here does Mr Peace think it is exploiting the disabled (ie making a promotional video featuring a blind man albeit this man was probably an actor blind or otherwise) or that the disabled are forced to beg to make a living. I am 100% on board that worldwide the disabled are not treated well but he seems to be "tilting at windmills" here and this is not the way to go about getting people on board and possibly ignoring the wider issue of why worldwide is begging on the increase for all disabled and able bodies (although in Glasgow's case I reckon most is down to gangs and drugs) Anyway I note Mr Peace has deleted one of your replies (your doing well this weather on that front Kid lol) - On the video actually I thought it was positive (however, as I am not disabled I genuinely bow to those who are that think it is patronising) How cool from a comic viewpoint would it have been considering the issue of begging here if his first name was Charlie (Peace) no, just me then ??? McScotty

Kid said...

Actually, as someone pointed out on Mr Peace's site, McScotty, most advertising tends to patronise its audience to some degree, disabled and able-bodied alike. To me, it seems that Mr Peace resents anything that shows any disabled people being dependent on able-bodied people, even 'though it's actually the case in a lot of situations.

Not to be funny, but it's able-bodied people who build ramps for those in wheelchairs, and many a disabled person is looked after by able-bodied friends, relatives or paid carers - there's no shame or embarrassment in it, at least not to those who help.

One of my friends has a pal in a wheelchair who's paralysed from the chest down. He takes him into the country sometimes, and has to physically carry his pal over fences and barriers, as well as the wheelchair - something the guy couldn't do for himself. In that sense, he's dependent on an able-bodied person, and 'though I'm sure he'd much rather be in a position to do all these things (and more) for himself, he doesn't harbour any resentment against those who help him.

I think that's the problem Mr Peace has - he resents the very idea that disabled people sometimes need help for things that they can't do themselves, and sees it as making them 'inferior' in some way. That's what he's railing against, I think, but his mistake is that he's basing his attitude on a misperception to begin with. Disabled people aren't inferior - just disabled in some way, to a greater or lesser degree.

(Actually, the Charlie Peace angle had occurred to me too.)

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