Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Drooling Barbies

In 2017, the Mattel Toy Company committed a heinous act of cripple genocide.

Twenty years earlier, the company started making a Barbie doll friend that used a wheelchair. They gave her the cornball name of Share a Smile Becky, but at least it was something.

But then some kids started complaining that Becky’s wheelchair was too wide to fit through the doorways of Barbie’s fucking Dreamhouse. And Becky’s long hair often got tangled in her wheels.

So how did Mattel ultimately respond? They stopped manufacturing Becky. Just like that—poof—she was gone! So long! Adios!

Whatever executive made that decision must’ve derived a certain sadistic pleasure from it because it didn’t have to be that way. Mattel could’ve started making Becky as upright and bipedal as all the other Barbies and pronounced her cured. But no, they had to go and kill her off. They had to make an example out of her. It delivered a harsh message to all the ungrateful spoiled brats about what happens when you complain too much.

Okay I guess it wasn’t technically genocide because Mattel allowed all the Becky dolls already in circulation to continue to exist. They didn’t send their stormtroopers door-to-door ransacking little girls’ bedrooms, confiscating their Becky dolls and hurling them into a bonfire. They were content to let Becky dolls become extinct by attrition.

But now Mattel says that in the fall they will roll out not just one but two new crippled dolls. One is in a wheelchair and one has a removable prosthetic leg. Mattel says it’s their way of reflecting the full spectrum of human diversity.

So I suppose they think that makes up for everything, huh? We’re all just supposed to forgive and forget what they did to our crippled sister Becky.

But I say hell no! Don’t let them off the hook. Now is the time to bitch louder than ever!

If Mattel wants to represent the full spectrum of human diversity, they can’t just plop a doll in a wheelchair or give one half a leg and say they’ve got cripples covered. There’s a full spectrum of human diversity among cripples too.

Mattel ought to be making an extensive line of crippled dolls. What about a blind Barbie? A deaf Barbie? A Barbie with hemophilia?

A dwarf Barbie? A Barbie with a trach in her throat? A Barbie with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder who’s constantly washing her hands? An autistic Barbie? How about a Barbie that drools? I know the technology exists to make that doll. When I was a kid there was a doll that cried real tears. All you had to do to make tears was remove the hatch on the back of the baby’s skull and fill the chamber with water. The same principal can be applied here, except you fill the chamber with spit.



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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

A Self-Care Coma


Some people are big advocates for making video games more accessible for cripples. I’m afraid they will succeed.

I know it’s a sour grapes thing. It’s true that it’s hard or impossible to push all those video game buttons and flip all those switches if you don’t have much hand strength or dexterity or if you don’t have hands at all. But so what. That’s good. Video games are a colossal waste of time. You fritter away half your adult life striving to reach the 57th level of Intergalactic Dragon Quest and when you do what have you gotten out of it, besides carpal tunnel?

Or at least that’s what I tell myself. But I think the real reason I’m glad video games are inaccessible is because if they were accessible I’d be tempted to play. And once I get started I might not ever stop. I’ll get addicted fast. I know how damn competitive I am. After emerging from a stupor after a weeklong binge, I’ll hate myself and vow to seek help. Then I’ll go do it again.

I feel the same way about hammocks. Maybe one of my brawnier pit crew members could lift me into a hammock. But those things sink down so low that it would take the Army Corps of Engineers to lift me back out. So I’m glad hammocks are inaccessible because those things look so goddam comfy that if I ever laid in one I might never get up.

I avoid video games for the same reason I passed up many opportunities to take acid in college. I was deathly afraid I’d enjoy it too much. And once I start really enjoying myself, look out! There could be no turning back.

That’s why I never take long vacations. A few days of r&r is all I dare. I‘m also afraid of massages because self-care terrifies me. I have to partake of it in small, precisely measured doses or I could easily slip into a self-care coma and never snap out of it. I could become catatonic. The older I become, the more the risk of that happening increases.

I’m also fortunate that I can’t get myself out of bed in the morning without assistance. One of my pit crew members must physically evict from my bed. If things were otherwise, I don’t think I would ever get myself up. Bed is too damn warm and cozy.

It’s probably also good that I don’t have a lot of money. If nothing else, that would get me out of bed sooner or later. Only rich people can afford to stay in bed every day.



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