There’s one thing that the Down Syndrome people have over cripples like me. At least everybody’s not running around trying to cure them. For that I am envious.
I don’t know if it’s Hollywood or what but there’s this popular image of cripples like me taking a magic pill or undergoing some operation and then we rise up out of our wheelchairs and dance a joyous jig. And we all live happily ever after. Blind people get that shit a lot, too, probably because of all those movies and television shows where there’s a blind person who had some eye operation and they're covered in bandages and for the big dramatic climax the doctor unravels the bandages and blind person shouts out, “I can see!!!” And they dance a joyous jig and live happily ever after.
But I’ve never seen a movie or television show where somebody with Down Syndrome has an operation or takes a magic pill and then they don’t look or act like they have Down Syndrome anymore and they dance a joyous jig and live happily ever after. I guess Hollywood considers Down Syndrome people to be hopeless in that regard and that’s why I envy them.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean to suggest that uncrippled society at large accepts and embraces Down Syndrome people exactly as they are. The way uncrippled society has dealt with the Down Syndrome dilemma has been to try to prevent Down Syndrome people from happening in the first place. I’m sure that as we speak there are researchers in labs feverishly trying to figure out how to keep everybody from acquiring that extra chromosome that will make them into a Down Syndrome person in hope that there will never be another Down Syndrome person ever again. And Down Syndrome people are aborted by the boatload, too. A doctor sees them coming in a prenatal test and advises the mom to terminate them so as not to subject them to a life of endless misery.
But when Down Syndrome people show up anyway, uncrippled society usually just lets them be. Nobody expects them to dedicate their lives to not being crippled anymore. Lucky dogs.
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