Sunday, 19 January 2014

BUDDY, CAN YOU SPARE A DIME? (UPDATED)...



For the background to this post, click here.

******

Over on William Peace's blog, someone has left a snide
comment, saying "Kid Robson is a troll.  Ignore."  Think about
that for a moment.  Surely the definition of a 'troll' is someone (usually
anonymous) who leaves childish, inane remarks that aren't pertinent to
the matter under discussion, for the purpose of insulting another person
or sowing discord?  I wonder if the commenter is aware of the irony of
his actions, but I doubt it.  It seems that some people think the internet
was invented solely for those in perfect agreement on everything to
communicate with one another, and therefore object to any
form of lively discussion on the part of others.  

 Mr. Peace says that, due to the response my remarks
have generated, the thread has now deteriorated and he will
delete all future comments from everyone.  He could simply delete
those he regards as "empty rhetoric", but it appears to be mainly the
comments for which he has no answer and wishes to evade that are
the true targets of his ire.  I was unaware when I initially replied to the
post that it was three years old, but a number of folks disagree with Mr.
Peace's viewpoint in no uncertain terms - a few are quite insulting, in
fact.  My comment, on the other hand, is perfectly polite and (more
importantly) pertinent - it's only' fault' being that it disagrees with
Mr. Peace'e fundamentally flawed view that anything he regards
 as showing disabled people in what he sees as a negative
light serves only to reinforce a stereotype of them.

But Mr. Peace is, I believe, mistaken - it doesn't!  Let us
now, for the purpose of discussion, consider his proposition that
the blind beggar comes across as a bit of thicko in the ad.  So what?
Disability is no respecter of persons, afflicting people from every walk
of life regardless of age, gender, status or intellect.  Is Mr. Peace saying
that there are no physically disabled people who are far from the sharp-
est tool in the box?  When I watch the video, I do not come away from it
thinking that all (or even any) blind beggars are 'useless' and 'thick' (and
I sincerely doubt that any fair-minded, rational person without an axe
to grind does either), only that, for the purpose of the ad, a beggar of
 average intelligence was required.  (I did wonder why the woman
was wearing sunglasses on a dull, rainy day 'though.)

Another thing - it wasn't just the beggar who failed to see the
potential benefit in rewording his sign; the other passers-by were
equally as unimaginative - as was everybody who watched the ad.  It
can't be claimed that the man was portrayed as being stupid without
levelling the exact same charge at everyone else (bar one), as well as
the entire viewing audience.  However, if an able-bodied person were
to suggest that it made 'people' look stupid, you'd think that he'd
had too much vinegar on his chips and was over-reacting.

Consider this:  Ads usually portray situations in a way best-
suited to serve whatever idea or product the advertiser is trying to
promote.  Shortcuts are usually taken, hence the woman not seeking
permission to change the beggar's sign, nor him asking what she's doing
as she writes it.  Or, indeed, asking consent to touch the woman's shoes,
as a fellow 'activist' complains on the site that Mr. Peace links to in sup-
port of his views.  (Saying that other people think the same as him
is hardly the clincher he seems to think it is.)

A lot of disabled people are largely self-sufficient in their day-
to-day lives, but, equally, many aren't, relying on family, friends
and paid carers for assistance in order to make their lives easier or,
in some cases, even bearable.  (Depends on the disability, obviously.)
Mr. Peace's problem seems to stem from his resentment of the notion
that not all disabled people are as capable as their more able-bodied
counterparts.  Well, Mr. Peace, it's a sad fact that not all of them
are.  The clue is in the name - 'disabled'.

Yet another case of political correctness gone mad, I'm
bound to say.  Should disabled people only ever be portrayed as
intellectual giants whose physical disabilities are mere minor incon-
veniences, and who are far better and more capable human beings
than those who haven't been 'blessed' with some form of physical
impairment?  (In just the same way that homosexual couples who
adopt, always seem to be shown as loving, caring parents to a
degree that hetrerosexual parents can only dream of.)

That way lies madness.  If disabled activists are genuine
in their claim that all they want is to be treated in the same way
as the able-bodied, then they should be prepared to put up with
advertisers treating them in the same manner as they do everyone
else - as people to be exploited.  That's true equality.  Welcome
to the real world, Mr. Peace!

Sadly, in this instance, Mr. Peace comes across as just another
guy with a giant chip on his shoulder who wants to bully the rest
of society into seeing and doing things his way.  Perish forbid that
any able-bodied person should ever be portrayed as being smarter
than a disabled one, or shown assisting or bestowing an act of
assistance on anyone less fortunate.  That would never do.

******

Agree, disagree, couldn't care less?  Or would you prefer a
punch-up at the back of the pub?  Feel free to have your say in
   the comments section - or not, as the case may be.

******

As someone seems to be exploiting this topic to 'settle old
scores' over in the comments section of Mr. Peace's post on this
subject, let me just make it clear that I hold no personal animosity
towards him.  It is only on this one matter that I feel he is not only
mistaken, but damages his own credibility in his response to an ad
which I (and many others, some of whom are disabled themselves)
feel he has over-reacted to.  Also, in 'shifting the goalposts' for his
reason for objecting to the ad and removing my follow-up com-
ment pointing this out, I feel that he has been less than honest.

As, I'm saddened to say, he has also been in saying that he
would publish no further comments from anyone on the matter
and then allowing a number of 'anonymous' attacks on me by one
or two people without the guts to identify themselves (or reply to
my post) who have sought to exploit the occasion for reasons of
their own.  It's strange that none of the more vociferous replies to
Mr. Peace's post have attracted the same kind of hostile attention
as my own far more mild and moderate one.  Strange indeed.

Says it all really.

12 comments:

DeadSpiderEye said...

I think I've probably made my thoughts on the issues of the projection of ideals through media such as television, film and comics known before. I'm pretty uncompromising, I find it to be morally corrupt, I know you probably find that contentious, which is ok because almost everybody does, so I'm used to disagreement over the issue. I think here though, is an illustration that supports my view, because my view is that an author's responsibility is to create a moral focus for a narrative that reflects reality. That's essentially why that film with the beggar works, it resonates strongly because we recognise the reality of it. That's actually what makes it offensive, the reality of it. The subject matter is almost irrelevant because truth always offends someone, it's just that in this case the individual of concern has been emboldened by the belief they can rouse an army under a banner. This time the call to muster is under the flag disabled rights and political correctness but the motive is always the same, persecute those who don't conform to your ideal.

mlp said...

In response to DeadSpiderEye:
I'm not sure I understand you correctly. "The projection of ideals through media" is corrupt, in and of itself, or is it that the ideals that have been projected are ones you find offensive?
Is your argument against art as a means to express idealism in general? I'm sure I must be misunderstanding this.
While I agree that political correctness and the fear of offending somebody are not always good things, and often have gotten way out of hand, don't cry foul if something you write or say offends someone and they take issue. They have a right to bitch just like you do. If you don't wanna get hit, don't get in the ring. Debate, sometimes harsh is part of the free exchange of ideas.
That people might write or talk about the poor, weak or unfortunate doesn't necessarily mean they are celebrating being a victim, or romanticizing it.
But, perhaps I misunderstood your point. If so, I apologize.
But I still think Ayn Rand was fulla shit.

Kid said...

Interesting points there, gentlemen. Anyone else?

moonmando said...

I think Mr Pearse is just a wee neb with a big chip on his shoulder.Life is'nt fair, whether you are able or disabled, so get over it.And as for his rhetoric, it seems to me like he is peashooter,full of machine gun talk,until someone gets the better of him, then its teddy in the corner time, or its my ball and I get to choose which game we play.
So there, pf#×#tt...hmph!

Kid said...

It's a shame he's crippled, Moony, but he seems to have another disability in that he takes severe offence at the drop of a hat over daft ads that most people would smile at and then forget.

mlp said...

Jiminy Christmas, what the hell did Moonmando just say?
You guys are English (hey, no offense, that's where my mother's people came from) but sometimes you guys are incomprehensible. You guys invented the language, made three quarters of the world learn it, sometimes at gunpoint, but you've taken liberties with it. It's no longer understandable!Sometimes I feel like I'm back in the army talking to a German hillbilly from Bavaria.

Kid said...

Ah, your incomprehension lies in your typical American error, Mlp - we're not English, we're Scottish. Britain does not consist solely of England, nor are the two actually synonymous. That's like calling New Yorkers Texans.

But, to answer your question, essentially, Moony said that the gentleman referred to is "a cheeky little upstart who unduly concerns himself in the business of others, and who sulks when people disagree with him or he doesn't get things his own way."

Colin Jones said...

I'm not surprised any disabled person is sensitive these days, New Labour started to demonize disabled people with all that crap about "hard working families" and the Tories and the media followed and now a nasty minority feels it's OK to label the disabled as scroungers and use them as scapegoats.As for gay couples- surely they have to try much harder as adoptive parents just to look half as good? I love your blog and read it every day but I've never left a comment till now( I mostly agree with you usually).

mlp said...

I'm more than a bit embarrassed to have confused two Scotsmen with Englishmen. I my defense, it's hard to tell over the internet, but I understand the distinction. I would hate to be confused with a Texan.

DeadSpiderEye said...

mlp

Woah, calling a Scottish person English, I think you got off lightly there. Fortunately I'm a winner of the Lottery Mr. Rhodes spoke of, so such considerations don't apply in my case.

Ayn Rand? I'm not really big on philosophy so my understanding of her views are limited to things like her appearance on Donahue and certain references to her work in relation to Steve Ditko. The other thing I should clarify is the distinction between taking offence and declaring something to be immoral. We can take offence at the smell of sewage but if you get a job cleaning drains, you'll probably modify those sensibilities as you would if you found bad language intolerable and got a place on a Rugby team. You see offence is product of our sensibilities, sometimes we offend easily, other times, when we've been desensitised, things that possibly should incur our umbrage are ignored.

When I declare something to be immoral, I'm saying a it's manifestation of intrinsic evil not that I'm offended, in fact I'm rarely offended beyond a few eclectic sensibilities that you probably wouldn't sympathise with. And yes I am stating that it's the projection of ideals in conflict with reality. rather than the specifics of such that I find to be immoral.

moonmando said...

Hoots mon and jimmy ma kilt, did Mlp jist call us English.Aaaaarrgh! I'm cut tae the bone and richtly aggrieved. Lol
Mlp,you would find Scotland a beautiful place and its people honest and welcoming, but you are right, for I'm a native of these shores and I also can hardly make head nor tale of our blatherings, even at the best of times!
Peace and goodwill from Caledonia. :)

Kid said...

Colin, you're allowed to disagree on this blog, and you won't get called a 'troll' for it either. The person over at Mr Peace's blog who called me one has left the same remark on other sites I've commented on (exact same words), which means he tends to follow me around trying to colour people's opinion of me. Doesn't have the spuds to do it on my blog because then he'd confirm his identity. As there are only two people who regularly refer to me in that way, I've a fairly good idea who it is.

Mr Peace lives in America, so I doubt his situation is entirely comparable with British disabled people. However, he wasn't talking about them being demonised, he was talking about them being patronised and stereotyped in quite a different way than the British government is trying to do. Therefore, it's not quite the same thing as your comment suggests.

As for gay people being parents, it's not that they're trying harder to be good parents, it's more a case of certain sections of the media and special interest groups doing an all-out assualt in trying to portray them in that light.

Feel free to comment whenever you like, whether you agree with me or not. It all adds up to a lively and interesting discussion for everyone.

******

DSE, I'm still trying to work out exactly what you said in your first comment - I'll respond when my brain clears. Meanwhile I'll hold the coats while you and Mlp slug it out. Careful, 'though - he's a Yankee and is therefore probably armed.

******

Moony, 'honest and welcoming' - everybody but me, because, as some loser is so fond of telling everybody, I'm a bitter, frustrated, aggressive troll who's jealous of everybody and their granny. Hoots, mon!

******

Perhaps I should point out for the hard-of-thinking that Moony was indulging in a bit of hyberole in the way he expressed himself in his earlier comment, merely for comic effect. Moony used to be a nurse and is still actively involved in assisting disabled and disadvantaged people on an everyday basis. It is only Mr Peace's attitude in this matter that Moony disagrees with; like me, he has no personal animosity towards Mr Peace himself.

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