Friday, April 29, 2022

Good Reparations, Bad Reparations

 Take, for example, those parking spaces that are reserved just for cripples. I suppose that could be an example of cripple reparations

I mean, the definition of reparations is, "The making of amends for wrong or injury done."  And those parking spaces are a good symbol of how the uncrippled majority makes amends to us for being crippled.

I also get my city vehicle sticker for free and a property tax discount because I’m crippled. Those could also be looked upon as the uncrippled majority’s way  of making amends for wrong or injury done to me.

And the uncrippled majority doesn’t seem to have a problem with doing that, which is a much different reaction than a lot of people have to paying slavery reparations. They get all defensive about that idea.

One difference, I suppose, is that when the uncrippled majority gives cripples a parking space they aren’t admitting any wrongdoing. They think they’re making amends on behalf of God. It’s a lot easier to say you’re sorry about something you don’t think is your fault. Like if someone says they have cancer, you say, “I’m sorry,” even though you didn’t give them cancer. Now if they file a lawsuit accusing you of giving them cancer because you polluted their water or something, then it’s not so easy to say you’re sorry.

And that’s another thing. Cripples never got together and demanded stuff like parking spaces. Or at least that’s what the uncrippled majority thinks. Thus, when the uncrippled majority grants these things to us, it can feel good about itself. But if we demanded these parking spaces and such, then the uncrippled majority would give them to us out of a sense of guilt rather than compassion, which takes all the fun out of it for them

So maybe those demanding slavery reparations ought to try a different approach. Instead of finger pointing, which  makes the descendants of slaveowners feel like their self-esteem is being attacked, maybe they ought to try a more humble approach, like, “We know it’s not your fault, but if you could see fit to making amends for the injury or wrong done to us, we’d really appreciate it.”

The descendants of slaveowners will be a lot more receptive to the disarming charm of that message. Of course, all the descendants of slaves will get out of it will probably be some fancy parking spaces reserved just for them, but hey, it’s a start!

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Sunday, April 17, 2022

Stonewall for Cripples


As far as I know, there isn't a cripple equivalent of Stonewall. 

And that's a damn shame. But I'm still holding out hope that someday it'll happen. 

In 1969, in just about every state, it was illegal to be gay, or at least to admit it publicly. So there were underground gay bars. 

That summer, New York City police raided Stonewall, which was one of those bars. It wasn't the first such raid but this time, instead of dispersing, a lot of people got pissed off and resisted and fought back. And that freed the gay rights movement from the tyranny of operating within the constraints of politeness and civil discourse.

Cripples could sure use a galvanizing moment like that, where somebody finally says they're tired of being fucked with and they're not gonna take it anymore and that frees a whole bunch more of us to do the same. 

But the battleground probably won't be a bar, because I don't think there are any underground cripple bars, or any above ground cripple bars either. About the only establishments that specifically cater to cripples are nursing homes. And those places are like fly paper for cripples. Once they go in they get stuck there until they die.

So maybe what'll happen will be that during some quiet nursing home mealtime some cripple will knock their tray off of the table and there'll be a loud clatter and crash and that cripple will shout out, "I'm sick of this slop!" And that cripple will storm out of the nursing home and other revved up cripples will follow and pretty soon there'll be a big cripple protest outside of the nursing home. And the warden of the nursing home will call the police. And the riot squad will show up. But it won't be like  Stonewall, where  the cops tried to strong-arm, bully and drag the gay people out of the place. In this case, the riot squad will try to strong-arm, bully and drag the cripples back into the nursing home. But the cripples will fight back by pelting the riot cops with the slop the nursing home feeds them.

And then cripples in nursing homes all over world will join in the fun. It'll be an enormous, global  food fight! Won't that be cool?

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Sunday, April 10, 2022

The Social Security Hustle



Nowadays I’m doing the Social Security Hustle, which is  a dance that a lot of cripples do.

I started doing it last summer, right around the time I started officially collecting Social Security. And as pretty much every cripple who collects Social Security knows, just because you have a steady check coming in every month doesn’t mean you’re on Easy Street. Hell, if you’re one of those cripples who collects SSI, the most your monthly check can be is $841. Who the hell can get by on that?

So cripples collecting Social Security are constantly following scents that might lead to a side gig that will bring in a few extra bucks. But it’s a dance on a tightrope. You can’t bring in too many bucks because if Social Security finds out about it, your check may well get reduced or cut off altogether. But you can’t just do shit for free either because that defeats the purpose of doing the Social Security Hustle.

The first thing you have to do is make a list of what you have to offer that someone might actually pay money for. Everybody has something of value, even if it’s just an extra kidney or blood that can be the raw material for making plasma.

The thing I try to sell the most is the well of knowledge and wisdom I’ve developed from my decades of living as a cripple. Every once in a while I’ll find someone who thinks it’s worth it to pay me for a piece of that. And so I’ll end up in a focus group or being a guest speaker in a class or something like that. 

I recently hustled up a gig where I'll receive a bunch of different straws and then critique the experience of drinking through each of them. I don’t know who wants to know this information or why but who cares? If anybody knows a thing or two about drinking through a straw it’s me. I do it every day. I drink beer and martinis through a straw. I have strong opinions about which straw is most appropriate for which imbibing scenario, taking in to account the type of glass, the viscosity of the liquid and other factors. I’m probably one of the world’s leading experts on drinking through a straw. So if someone needs to hear my unique perspective on the matter, it’s only fair that they pay top dollar. 

But when you’re doing the Social Security Hustle, top dollar is about $100 because remember, you can’t hustle up too much. And a lot of times the payment for your hustle comes in the form of a gift card from Target or Amazon or someplace like that. It’s not exactly the same warm feeling you get when somebody hands you cold, hard cash, but it’ll do.

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