Friday, May 20, 2022

Typecast as a Genius


I bumped into one of my crippled friends who’s an actor. It seems he’s been typecast.

It used to be when an actor who really was crippled (and not just an uncrippled person playing the role of a cripple ) got typecast, the only roles they could get were as a smarmy little Tiny Tim or a sideshow freak or something like that.  But the last big role my actor friend had was on a short-lived television show where he played a computer genius. Now he has a role in another television show where he plays another kind of genius. They just gave him a different profession, but he's still a genius.

This is all the fault of that damn Stephen Hawking. I know he’s dead, but I won’t let that intimidate me into silence.

Because of him, now when people think about cripples, they don’t just picture smarmy little Tiny Tims and sideshow freaks anymore. They also picture geniuses.

But that still worries me. Because first off, I wonder if people are able to see us as geniuses because they think we don’t have anything better to do but sit around and become geniuses. Maybe they think our days consist of someone rolling our wheelchairs up to the window, a plaid blanket wrapped around our legs, and we sit there all day gazing forlornly at the stars.

And second off, I don’t want people to expect me to be a genius all the time in real life just because I’m crippled. I can’t even begin to humor them by pretending to be that smart, even if I wanted to. My friend can probably pull that off because he’s a good actor. But not me. If everyone's expecting a genius, I'm bound to let them down.

I suppose it’s better that people expect cripples to be geniuses instead of smarmy little Tiny Tims and sideshow freaks. But not much

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