Friday, October 19, 2018

Please Give Generously to the NAACP



Every year I make a donation to an organization that does very important work. It’s the NAACP, which stands for the National Association of Assholes with Cerebral Palsy.

The NAACP has done a lot to advance public understanding of cripples. Membership in this organization is open to anyone who has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and is an asshole. The proud founder of the NAACP is a guy named Bill. But everybody calls him Hugh because he goes by his professional name, Hugh Jassole. He has cerebral palsy. He walks funny and talks funny and he’s spastic as all hell. But that has never stopped him from being an asshole. Just ask his college roommates. They’ll tell you that whenever they left their carryout food in the refrigerator, Hugh always ate it. After Hugh dropped out of college, he was fortunate enough to meet and marry the woman of his dreams. And then he dumped her for a 17-year-old cheerleader named Britney, whom he later dumped at the airport in Reno. After they picked up their luggage, Hugh told Britney he was going to the bathroom, but instead he caught a flight to the Bahamas.

You can read all this and more in Hugh’s bio, which is featured prominently on the NAACP website. The bio says Hugh begins every day with an affirmation. He calls a random poor sap working customer service, argues with them and demands to speak to their supervisor.

You may be asking yourself how I could possibly admire a guy like that. And the answer is, I don’t. He’s an asshole. And that’s why I think his work is so important. Most people don’t expect someone as crippled as Hugh to be such an asshole. They expect them to be passive and polite and deferential. But the NAACP is here to remind us all that cripples can be assholes, too, just like everybody else.

This is a hard message that a lot of people don’t want to hear, so the NAACP diligently works year-round to drive it home. At their annual convention, they all get together and act like assholes. NAACP members always bring their pet dogs just so they can walk them around the convention center parking lot and leave their shit lying around. This is an important NAACP ritual. Members who don’t have pet dogs are expected to rent one for the weekend. And speaking of parking lots, anybody with a wheelchair license plate on their vehicle who wants to park in a space reversed for vehicles with wheelchair license plates will be SOL because those spaces will be hogged up by NAACP members who don’t have wheelchair license plates on their vehicles. The same goes for bathrooms. NAACP members who aren’t wheelchair cripples make it a point to hog up all the wheelchair stalls.

At NAACP conventions, everyone must speak nothing but English. No languages from foreign countries! Also, NAACP members never tip. This is sacred rule number one. And, if at the end of the weekend the convention center staff say, “God, what a bunch of assholes,” then its mission accomplished!

So please give generously to the NAACP. You can do so by clicking the Donate button below. You can count on me to pass it on to them.



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Friday, October 12, 2018

A Jury of my Peers

If I go on trial, should I demand an all-crippled jury? I don’t know. Are all cripples my peers? I hope not. I’ve known some pretty shitty cripples.

I picture this jury of my peers deliberating my fate. It’s like Twelve Angry Men with an all-crippled cast.

But before I could have any crippled jurors at all, there would have to be some serious redesign of the jury box. I’ve never seen a jury box that could accommodate one wheelchair cripple, let alone 12. A jury box that could fit 12 wheelchair cripples would be so massive it would take up most of the courtroom. I suppose it should piss me off that no such jury box exists. Cripples should have equal opportunity to participate in the process of due process and all that. I suppose I should start or join a campaign demanding accessible jury boxes. But I haven’t done that because inaccessible jury boxes give me a great excuse for getting out of jury duty. It’s the same reason I’ve never started or joined a campaign demanding accessible churches.

But maybe I wouldn’t be so cavalier about inaccessible jury boxes if I was a defendant. I never thought about it from that angle. But what type of crippled juror would I want? Probably not someone who’s a lot less crippled than I am because a lot of times the slightly crippled go way out of their way to distance themselves from crippledom. So just to prove to themselves and everyone else that they are not of my tribe, they may well vote to give me the death penalty, even if it’s just a parking violation. And having a juror who’s way more crippled than I am may not be such a good idea either. They may say to themselves, “You think you got problems? Look how crippled I am. Quit whining!”

Would I want a crippled judge? Maybe not. That might be like having your dad as your basketball coach. It may seem like Easy Street, but he might ride your ass harder than anyone’s so no one will accuse him of being partial. I know I wouldn’t want that fascist governor of Texas as my judge, even if he is in a wheelchair. A fascist is a fascist is a fascist, crippled or not. What about Larry Flynt? I might take him as a judge, depending on what I was charged with. But I’d take my chances with Larry Flynt over that fascist governor of Texas any day.

See, it’s impossible for a cripple to find justice in America.




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Friday, October 5, 2018

Say the Pledge, Dammit!


There’s an 18-year-old in Texas who’s suing the school district in which she attended school because, she says, she was kicked out of high school for refusing to stand and recite the pledge of allegiance. Texas law requires students to say the pledge in class unless their parents opt them out.

When I was a kid at the segregated public school for cripplets in the 1960s, even we weren’t exempt from saying the pledge. We said it in class every day. I don’t know if it was required by law but we all said it anyway. I did it routinely and mindlessly because, to me, it was just a series of words I memorized and mumbled out because adults told me to, like my bedtime prayers.

Rendering the pledge of allegiance in class was a three-part ritual. We were supposed to stand, place our right hand on our heart and recite. I was exempted from step one for obvious reasons. I was happy to have this excuse, not because I was speaking out against U.S. imperialism or racial inequality or anything like that. Geez, I was only in grade school. It was just cool to have an excuse to get me out of doing stuff adults made all the other kids do, whatever it might be. But nobody let me off the hook for steps two and three. The lucky cripplets were the ones who were so crippled that they couldn’t stand or talk or move their arms. I was jealous of those kids. They didn’t have to do shit during the pledge and no adult could do shit about it.

But today, thanks to technology, a kid like that probably wouldn’t get off the hook for the pledge, especially in Texas. Because nowadays, a kid who couldn’t talk might have one of those Stephen Hawking talking boxes. And a kid like me might have one of those walking exoskeletons. And hell, in a state like Texas, where they’re so rabid about shit like the pledge, if I didn’t byo exoskeleton, they’d probably haul one into the classroom daily at pledge time and have a couple physical therapists strap me in it and crank me up into a standing position. And for the kid who can’t talk, they’d probably bring in a talking box with the pledge already programmed in. And they’d make the kid push the button with his/her nose or tongue or something.

No excuses, dammit!



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