I’m very disappointed. Smart Ass Cripple has been in business for two months now and we haven’t gotten any hate mail yet. Hate mail is very important. I believe it was Confucius who said, “One can best judge the character of a man by the quantity and quality of his hate mail.”
Hate mail is an essential self-evaluation tool for me. It reassures me that I’m pissing off the right people. So if I don’t get some hate mail soon I might have to take drastic action. I might have to write something about Jerry Lewis.
Nothing whips up a tornado of hate mail more than when I write something suggesting that Jerry is less than a deity. About two years ago I wrote an opinion piece for the Progressive Media Project criticizing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences for presenting Lewis with its Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. I said the telethon insults disabled kids and adults by perpetuating the destructive 1950s charity mentality.
Here’s one reader reply:
“Your comments (in my mind) seem to originate from someone who is bitter, cynical and just plain angry with the world. Yes, you have a serious disability but don't poison the world with your venom and hate.”
A mother of two adopted disabled kids sent this heart-felt reply:
“Get your head out of your butt …! Drop the hate and get a life that matters..!!”
But my most gratifying hate mail came from Lewis himself. It wasn’t exactly mail but it was hateful nonetheless. In a 1993 interview with Vanity Fair magazine, Lewis broke into a rant about cripples who speak out against him:
"This one kid in Chicago would have passed through this life and never had the opportunity to be acknowledged by anybody, but he found out that by being a dissident he gets picked up in a limo by a television station."
Hey, that’s little old me!
And he added:
"It just kills me to think about these people getting publicity. These people are leeches. They all glommed on to being Jerry-bashers. What did they have before that? They're disabled people who are so bitter at the bad hand they've been dealt that they have to take down somebody who's doing good. There's 19 of them, but these people can hurt what I have built for 45 years. There's a million and a half people who depend on what I do! I've raised one billion three hundred million dollars.
"These 19 people don't want me to do that. They want me to stop now? Fuck them.”
Now that’s classic hate mail. I’ll probably never reach that pinnacle again, but I keep trying.
But I’m trying to lay off Jerry because I’m afraid of terrorism. The French love him and they have nuclear weapons. If Jerry goes down, they may decide to take the rest of the world down with him.
So please don’t make me do it. For the sake of my sense of self-worth I must get some hate mail soon. You can help. Please send the link for Smart Ass Cripple to anyone I might piss off. This especially includes (but is not limited to) racists, gimpophobes, homophobes, republicans, religious freaks, fascists, patriots, the French and Yankee fans.
If you love me, you’ll help me get some hate mail.