Friday, January 12, 2018

MD + CP = CD

There was this U.S. Supreme Court case in 1927 called Buck versus Bell. It challenged a Virginia law that required the involuntary sterilization of certain cripples so they wouldn’t produce more grotesque versions of their twisted selves.

The esteemed Justices decided 8-1 that not only was it okay to sterilize cripples, it was a jolly good idea. Writing for the majority, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. wrote, “We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind…Three generations of imbeciles are enough."

Nowadays it’s pretty much impossible to find a cripple, or anybody else for that matter, who doesn’t think this ruling is Grade A bullshit. But I’m not so sure anymore. I look around me and I see so much of human society going to shit that I can’t help but wonder if it’s the result of horny cripples inbreeding.

Because among the many subspecies of cripples are the muscular dystrophies (MDs) and the cerebral palsies. (CPs) If you have muscular dystrophy, your muscles gradually atrophy. If you have cerebral palsy, a certain part of your brain is fucked up and that might make you walk and/or talk funny, if you can walk and/or talk at all.

So maybe after many decades of MDs and CPs fucking each other and mixing their polluted humors they have created a monstrous hybrid condition called cerebral dystrophy (CD)—which would be a gradual atrophying of the brain. The effects of CD could be devastating. For instance, if an arrogant rich fuck runs for president and tells all the broke-ass unemployed people that he is their best friend and savior, someone with CD might actually believe it and vote for him. And when that rich fuck becomes president and gets together with other rich fucks to steal all the money for themselves and their rich fuck pals, someone with CD might actually be surprised that happened.

This is the most logical explanation I can come up with for what has been going on.

I fear that I may have unwittingly contributed to this demise. I have muscular dystrophy and the odds are good that at some drunken cripple orgy somewhere along the line I fucked somebody with cerebral palsy. If so, I sincerely, profusely and profoundly apologize to everyone. If I only knew then what I know now.





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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A Real Kick in the Balls



It’s a real kick in the balls when you feel like you’re being penalized for being different. (You don’t have to have balls to feel it.) Needless to say, cripples feel this way all the time. And I bet amputees are the subspecies of cripple that feel it most often. If a person with one leg goes to buy shoes, they are forced to buy a second shoe they will never need. The same goes for one-armed people buying gloves.

I mean what the fuck, eh? Shouldn’t amputees get shoe and or glove discounts? Or how about a tax break? Blind people get tax breaks just for being blind so why not?

As far as I know, the glorious free market has not responded to this injustice with a chain of specialty boutiques that sell shoes and gloves by the each. Historically, when the glorious free market doesn't give a shit about the piddly little troubles of certain groups of people, those people often take matters into their own hands. So probably some enterprising amputees have formed shopping clubs where, for instance, a guy missing his left arm goes shopping with a guy missing his right arm and they go halvsies on a pair of gloves.

At least people missing one leg get a chance to feel superior when they buy socks. Since you can wear a sock on either foot, a pair of socks lasts them twice as long. I bet the smuggest amputees of all are the ones who are missing all four limbs. They don’t have to be bothered with shopping for gloves or shoes at all. They can spend their time, money and energy on more important pursuits. They scoff at us sad little losers with the proper allotment of limbs who are slaves to our hands and feet. I bet quadruple amputees are insufferable to be around. That’s why they have no friends, except each other.

There’s a guy rolling around my neighborhood in a raggedy wheelchair and I call him the asymmetrical beggar. I call him that because he’s missing an arm and a leg on opposite sides and he panhandles. His life must really suck. Even if he joined the amputee shopping club, he’d have to hook up with someone missing a leg on one side to split a pair of shoes and then someone else missing an arm on the other side for gloves. Or he'd have to find an amputee who's his asymmetrical mirror image. What a pain in the ass!

One day the window of the 7-11 downstairs was boarded up. The guy with the patchy beard who panhandles outside 7-11 told me the asymmetrical beggar smashed the window in a fit of anger. “He dranks that gin and it makes him crazy,” the guy with the patchy beard said. “And he crazy anyway.”

I think the asymmetrical beggar just snapped. He was probably fed up with being kicked in the balls.




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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Green Bus Nightmares


Every now and then I have a green bus nightmare. I’m sitting at a bus stop on the streets of Chicago and a Chicago Transit Authority bus goes by. It’s painted two-tone green like CTA buses were up until the mid-1980s, when all buses had three huge steps right inside the door. So it was fuck you cripples if we wanted to ride.

It’s not that way anymore. Enough cripples raised hell back in the 1970s and 80s and now the front entrances of all CTA buses are flat and if a cripple wants a ride the bus the driver flips a switch and a ramp comes out and the cripple rolls right in. Simple as hell. These days, CTA buses are painted red, white and blue and they have the crippled stick figure access symbols on them.

But in my green bus nightmare, the approaching bus is one of the old inaccessible ones and it blows right past me. And I’m swearing! “Goddammit those fuucking green buses were supposed to be off the streets 25 years ago!" Sonuvabiiiiitch!"

And then I wake up swearing and I realize it was all just a terrible bad dream.

Now I'm no Freud but I think I know what these nightmares mean. The green buses represent my deep fear of social and political regression. I guess some part of my cynical subconscious still thinks that someday some big shot way up in the hierarchies might say, "You know what, fuck those cripples. Who the hell do they think they are? Let's put three huge, pointless steps back on all the buses, like back in the days when America was great. And while we're at it, let's fill in all those ramped curbs and turn them back into curbs!"

I hope my cynical subconscious is full of shit. But hey, with the kind of nasty-ass big shots we have in the hierarchies these days, you never know.

But in my most recent green bus nightmare, the green bus approached and I was swearing. "Sonuvabiiiii--" But then bus turned the corner and surprise! The other side was painted red, white and blue and it was adorned with crippled stick figure access symbols.

I'm still not sure what to make of that one. Maybe even that deep corner of my cynical subconscious is becoming convinced that cripple access is here to stay. Or maybe it was expressing its growing anxiety that the green bus mentality is making a comeback.





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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

A Very Special After-School Edition of Smart Ass Cripple, Featuring Eva Braun

In this very special after-school edition of Smart Ass Cripple, we’ll explore the topic of diversity and inclusion. What does genuine diversity and inclusion look like? How do we as a modern society achieve it?

To begin our exploration, allow me to recall an actual conversation I had years ago with a female friend. My friend told me about what she called the “slutty phase” of her life. She was young and her self-esteem was rock bottom so she slept around a helluva lot.

Let me pause here and give my friend an alias so I don’t have to keep referring to her merely as my friend. I shall call her Eva Braun, since Eva Braun is the poster child for women with low self-esteem.

Anyway, Eva Braun told me during her slutty phase she sampled a wide range of men. She said she fucked a guy who weighed over 300 pounds just to see what it would be like.

So I said to Eva Braun, “Did you ever fuck a cripple?” She looked at me quizzically, as if I brought up a scenario she’d never considered. She shook her head and said no. “Well,” I said, “if it’s any consolation to you, you weren’t officially a slut if you didn’t fuck a cripple.”

The next time I saw Eva Braun, she told me she’d been thinking a lot about my cripple-fucking comment. She said at times it made her feel somewhat absolved to be measured by a new standard according to which she was never a slut. It was sort of like regaining her virginity. On the other hand, she sometimes felt kind of defensive, as if I was being dismissive of her sluttiness.

I told Eva Braun that it was neither my intent nor my desire to impose upon her an immutable definition of what constitutes a slut. I was just using sluttiness as a metaphor to make a larger point about how society views diversity and inclusion. Often cripples are left out. How often do you see genuine cripples on TV? That’s just one example. Even a progressive, enlightened woman like her was falling into that trap. I told Eva Braun that to me, a slut is someone who has slept around with a truly diverse and inclusive spectrum of humans. If that spectrum doesn’t include cripples, then to me it is not representative of the full range of humanity and therefore I cannot in good conscience consider that person to be a slut. Nothing personal.

I told Eva Braun that if she wanted to remove all doubt and relieve her conflict, all she had to do was fuck a cripple. I assured her that, knowing cripples like I do, she would have little trouble finding a taker. Eva Braun said thanks but no thanks. If she was to fuck a cripple, which she wasn’t opposed to in theory, it would have to be for a better reason than that.

I hope this very special after-school edition of Smart Ass Cripple on the topic of diversity and inclusion has given you food for thought.


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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Confronting my Prejudice



I recently learned something very valuable about myself and I’m not proud of it.

I came to realize I have a deeply ingrained prejudice against a certain group of people. I assumed that all these people were evil beyond redemption. I spent significant energy avoiding them and warning others to avoid these sinister creatures, too. I fantasized about them all disappearing from the face of the earth.

I’m referring to social workers. It’s a cripple thing. I imagine a lot of cripples have the same prejudice. It’s not our fault. When social workers enter our lives, it usually ain’t good. Social workers make us run through mazes and do backflips just to get a simple thing and then they tell us no in the end. Social workers from the state vocational rehab agency tell us that the agency won’t pay for our education unless we major in something that will make us realistically employable, like social work. Social workers work at the Social Security office. Social workers check us into nursing homes.

There were a lot of social workers at the state–operated boarding school for cripples where I was an inmate as a teenager, which I affectionately refer to as the Sam Houston Institute of Technology (SHIT). The place was lousy with social workers I tell ya!

Well okay, there was one social worker at SHIT who was cool. Real cool. His name was Frank. If I wanted to spend my sessions with Frank just shooting the shit about baseball or babes or whatever, that was fine with him. He even let me smoke cigarettes in his office, which was cool because inmates weren't allowed to smoke. If anyone knocked on the door he pretended like it was his cigarette. Frank had all-male group “rap” sessions, which everybody signed up for because they were basically poker games where a bunch of inmates gave each other shit. It’s a good thing nobody knocked on the door or Frank would have had to pretend he was smoking five cigarettes. I don’t think Frank even smoked.

But I rationalized Frank’s behavior away as an aberration. He was the exception to the rule. He was “one of the good ones.” This is how people have maintained their prejudices for thousands of years when threatened by evidence to the contrary right before their eyes.

And sometimes the social workers who have put me through their evil social worker rituals have been other cripples. They’re the most depraved ones of all—bitter little weakling apologists!

But over the last few years, two of my friends obtained MSWs. (One of them was studying for her state certification exam and I wanted to ask her what was in the section about how to most effectively torture cripples. But I’m sure she wouldn’t tell me. That’s gotta be a trade secret.) I kept associating with these friends anyway. They’re both smart, empathetic women who went into social work because they wanted to make other people’s lives more comfortable. And that’s what they’re doing. One helps homeless people find and maintain housing and the other runs a group therapy session at a hospital in a poor neighborhood.

So okay, maybe it’s not just Frank after all. I guess I’ll have to admit to myself that it’s possible to be a decent human and a social worker at the same time.

Letting go of prejudices is very hard to do because they’re so damn comforting. Maybe I should talk to someone about this ugly prejudice of mine. But it won’t be a social worker. I won’t go that far.



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Sunday, December 3, 2017

Normalizing Feeding Tubes




A lot of the heavy duty stuff that comes with being an old cripple kind of scares me some, but not a lot. Like for instance, being on a ventilator. I can’t deny that I think being on a ventilator would be a real drag, mostly for the pain in the ass of it all. Being hooked up to this blinking, beeping thing all day? Having somebody constantly follow you around in case you need them to stick a tube down your throat via your trach to suction out mucous? It seems like that would add a lot to the daily routine.

A lot of people are so scared about being on a ventilator that they say they’d rather be dead. Come on, really? Dead? Once you make a decision like that there’s no taking it back. You can’t try it for 30 days and return it free if you’re not completely satisfied, paying only shipping and handling. Maybe people wouldn’t be so freaked out about being on a ventilator if somebody did something to normalize the experience. The way that we normalize something in the U.S. is to make a TV show about it. There ought to be a show about a crime-solving dude who’s on a ventilator. He’s crippled as all hell but he’s a crime solving genius so whenever the police have a stumper of a crime that really busts their balls they turn to him and he solves it every time. He has a nurse who follows him around and suctions him every now and then and she’s also his wise-cracking sidekick. A show like that would convince a lot of people that being on a ventilator is not just okay, it can even be cool.

I also can’t deny that the prospect of having to eat through a feeding tube scares me some. Maybe I’d feel better if there was something on TV to normalize that. I’m thinking maybe one of those gluttony competitions, like where a guy eats 50 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Except this one would be strictly for people with feeding tubes. Hook them up to their cans of food and whoever consumes the most cans the fastest wins two hundred grand. It can be sponsored by whatever companies manufacture the gruel people who use feeding tubes eat. It may not be the most fast-paced competition anybody ever saw, but I know some people will watch it. It can’t be any more boring than watching golf.



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Monday, November 27, 2017

A Rollerblading Crusader for Justice



By day, he is a cheerful greeter in a big box chain store. But by night he is a crusading superhero.

As superheroes go, he’s very low-key and unassuming. Nobody in town knows his real name or his true identity, but his superhero pseudonym is “Jim.”

Like all superheroes, “Jim” uses his unique superpower to fight the forces of evil. But this superhero has a specialty. The only evil he combats is the evil of discrimination. Even more specifically, he only combats discrimination against cripples.

Superheroes these days need to have niches, just like lawyers. They need to tap into unserved markets. “Jim” noticed that whereas there are a bunch of laws protecting cripples from being fucked over, no one enforces these laws. Thus, he developed his own brand of vigilante justice.

For “Jim,” this justice quest is personal because he, too, is crippled. Since childhood, he’s walked with a limp. And everybody knows that when nature leaves cripples lacking in one area, it always compensates them for it in other ways—- like how all blind people have acute hearing and all deaf people have super sensitive tastebuds. Well since nature cursed “Jim” with a limp, it blessed him with the ability to turn people into muskrats.

Yessir, you better not piss “Jim” off or he’ll turn you into a muskrat with three blinks of his left eye. And the way to piss him off is to fuck with his people.

Because “Jim” is a modern superhero, he has an app. That’s how cripples in distress send him an SOS. They contact him via his app. When “Jim” first set up shop as a superhero, he got a lot of messages from cripples who were pissed that someone was illegally parked in a cripple parking space. So “Jim” donned his superhero outfit, raced to the scene of the crime and turned the driver of the car hogging up the cripple space into a muskrat. (“Jim”’s superhero costume, by the way, is pretty much just a burlap burqa. It’s designed to disguise his true identity while still being comfortable and functional. In order to conceal the fact that he has a limp, whenever “Jim” is on duty as a superhero, he rolls around on rollerblades).

“Jim” doesn’t get parking SOS calls anymore. Ever since word got around town that a rollerblading guy wearing a burlap burqua was turning people illegally parked in cripple spots into muskrats, nobody illegally parks in cripple spots anymore.

Now “Jim” concentrates on righting more egregious wrongs. Consequently, while he is a great hero to cripples, most everyone else in town sees him as an outlaw. When he turned the liquor store owner who refused to put a ramp on his establishment into a muskrat, he stirred the wrath of the local Chamber of Commerce. And because he turned a landlord who refused to rent to cripples into a muskrat, all the landlords hate him, too.

With all these powerful, politically-connected forced aligned against him, the town council unanimously passed an ordinance making it a capital offense to turn someone into a muskrat. So “Jim” is a wanted man. There's a big price on his head. So he operates in the shadows, turning dirty no-good discriminators into muskrats and disappearing into the night, one step ahead of the law.

Wouldn’t that make a great superhero movie?



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