Monday, July 27, 2015

The Cripple Nobility Spectrum

All cripples are noble. Society deems it to be so, so it is so.

This means that if you are or become crippled, along with it comes an automatic assumption of exalted moral character. This nobility cannot be renounced. It’s part of the package, whether we like it or not. But it can be squandered. And not all cripples are equally noble. Some are nobler than others. And the nobler we are, the more charity society is willing to bestow upon us.

For the status of noblest of the noble, it’s pretty much a tie between crippled war vets and Down syndromes types. War vets are noble because they became crippled in such a selfless and heroic manner. Down syndrome types are noble because they’re just so gosh darn innocent. Nobody can speak ill of crippled war vets and Down syndrome types without sounding like a real asshole.

In the middle of the nobility spectrum are physical cripples like me who we’re born this way or acquired our crippledness via disease or unfortunate accident. The noble trait we share with the war vets and Down syndrome types is that we are crippled through no fault of own. But we lose nobility points when pitted against war vets because crippledness just came our way. We didn’t do anything heroic to bring it on. And we can’t compete with the Down syndrome types because whereas yes, technically, we too are innocent, we aren’t gosh darn innocent.

On the next rung down are those who became crippled because they did something stupid or reckless, like somebody who is a quad because they tried to win a bet by skateboarding standing on their head. These cripples are not innocent. They brought crippledness on themselves by taunting it. Also in this category are gangbangers who get shot in a drug deal gone bad and become crippled. No hero point there.

And the least noble of all are the psychologically crippled like schizophrenics. No points for innocence here either. I don’t know why this is. There seems to be this idea that it’s a matter of will, like if you try hard enough and take more personal responsibility you won’t be schizophrenic anymore. Thus, these are the least noble and therefore least sympathetic cripples of all. There are certain times when hordes of cheery volunteers with slotted cans invade the streets of Chicago soliciting funds for this village for Down syndrome types. But I’ve never been approached by a cheery volunteer with a slotted can soliciting funds for schizophrenics.

Nevertheless, we live in a compassionate society where every cripple automatically receives at least some benefit of the doubt and some degree of nobility. We squander it by acting uppity. And the less nobility we have the easier it is to squander. All schizophrenics have to do is say boo and that’s it, no more sympathy for you guys! On the other hand, if the Down syndrome types wanted to squander their vast reserves of nobility, it would pretty much require a million of them marching on Washington and taking a shit in unison on the White House lawn. The same is true for war vets. If that ever happened, then it would finally be socially acceptable to speak ill of them without sounding like a real asshole. And no more cheery volunteers with slotted cans.

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