Friday, May 1, 2015

Something More Than Meat

One thing I know for sure is that I could never eat my Chihuahuas. No way. I love them too much. We have a lot of fun together. They are my buds. I can’t imagine a post-apocalyptic scenario so grim that I would even consider eating my Chihuahuas. If things ever got that bad I’d probably solve the dilemma by letting them eat me.

I’m telling you all this because I’m trying to make a point about republicans. But before I can do that, I have to make a point about pigs. The only time I ever met a real live pig was when I took a vacation at this cripple-accessible cabin in Canada. There was a pet pig running around the grounds and it was cute as hell, dammit. It happily bounced up to me and greeted me with a flurry of grunts. And ever since then I’ve had a hard time bringing myself to eat pork. Oh sure, I always knew wonderful stuff like bacon was derived from pigs but pigs were an abstract concept because I’d never met one. I never knew they had personalities. When a creature has a personality, it becomes something more than meat. I still eat bacon because the scent of bacon frying releases a chemical in the brain that works like an anesthetic, temporarily numbing the center of the brain that registers guilt. But the anesthetic wears off quickly and the bacon high is ruined. The bacon high is never as long or intense for me as it was before I met that damn cute little pig!

Now when it comes to eating shrimp I don’t have the same conflict and it’s probably because shrimp don’t have personalities that I can detect. Maybe I’d think differently if I was another shrimp. But in my present incarnation, I’ve never had a meaningful, spiritually-bonding interaction with a live shrimp, except when I did hallucinogens back in college.

All this explains a curious political phenomenon. There are actually a few republicans who sometimes give a crap about cripples. Like for instance it was a republican president who signed the Americans with Disabilities Act. Even today, now and then republicans get behind bills and policies that make life better for cripples. And when you search for what might have triggered these bouts of temporary sanity, you almost always find that the reality of crippledness invaded the life of this particular republican, either directly or via the life of someone close to them.

And so it becomes like me and my Chihuahuas or that pig. The republican agenda calls for devouring cripples, and just about everything and everybody else, for fun and profit. But the agenda becomes harder to follow when you know or when you become an actual cripple with an actual personality. Cripples become something more than meat.

These republicans more often than not still succumb to the agenda by going along with stuff like cutting the crap out of Social Security or Medicaid. That’s because the scent of money has the same effect on the brain as the scent of frying bacon.

But every now and then some individuals are able to rise above. They can’t help it.

(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Contributing to the tip jar, purchasing books and subscribing through Amazon Kindle keeps us going. Please help if you can.)


  1. If you're interested in this topic, the latest episode of This American Life covers the topic of changing your mind. It describes how a group called "the canvassers" used the same experience you describe with pigs and crippled people, to change people's minds about gay marriage and abortion.

    Great post, btw. It's the first time I've read a post on this blog, and it's great!