Tuesday, February 16, 2010

One Small Difference Between Canadians and Americans


“When you’re the son or daughter of a public figure, you have to develop thick skin. My siblings and I all have that, but insults directed at our youngest brother hurt too much for us to remain silent.

People with special needs face challenges that many of us will never confront, and yet they are some of the kindest and most loving people you’ll ever meet. Their lives are difficult enough as it is, so why would anyone want to make their lives more difficult by mocking them?

As a culture, shouldn’t we be more compassionate to innocent people – especially those who are less fortunate? Shouldn’t we be willing to say that some things just are not funny? Are there any limits to what some people will do or say in regards to my little brother or others in the special needs community?

If the writers of a particularly pathetic cartoon show thought they were being clever in mocking my brother and my family yesterday, they failed. All they proved is that they’re heartless jerks. - Bristol Palin”

sarah and trig


“As the 22-year-old from Montreal tore down the hill at Cypress Mountain toward the first gold Canada has ever won as a host country, waiting for him at the bottom, standing by the rail with his fist in the air, was the shining, bespectacled face of his disabled older brother, Frédéric.

It was the mention of Frédéric that saw Mr. Bilodeau's eyes, already dangerously close to brimming as he stood wrapped in a big Canadian flag, spill over.

Mr. Bilodeau has talked before of how despite his physical limitations and the difficulties of disability, he never heard his brother complain about anything.

Then he spoke of how he had been "surrounded" throughout his life and though he didn't say by what, it was clear he meant by love.”

-- Christie Blatchford (Globe & Mail)


Just Sayin’.


Frank "Dolly" Dillon said...

That's a little unfair to compare a mean spirited comedy that prides itself on being outrageous and the national handjob that all country's broadcasters indulge in during the olympics

Anemone said...

That second clip sounded like disability porn. Which makes me worried about how they will talk about the actual paralympians. Although it could be worse: disabled people in Canada without jobs or supportive families are treated like scum, the way powerless adults usually are.

It would be interesting to hear how the actual disabled people involved feel about it.

DMc said...

Jim, I think I might have told you before, but this issue touches close with my family -- and also with many people I've run across through the years.

Alexandre's experience with his brother, as mine with my family member, does fire you up and make you less tolerant of the excuses of others. That's true. HIs reaction's utterly authentic, and he hasn't really tried to make more of it than he does. The rest is media.

Palin, however, has systematically traded on her family situation. Unlike John McCain, who was smeared for his adoptive family, but never really tried to use it for political hay, Palin has made herself a target -- in the same way that years ago, Frank Magazine scored a bullseye with the "Deflower Caroline Mulroney" fake ad. There was much huffing and puffing by Mulroney at the time, but the point was that he had shamelessly pimped his family for fundraising juice. Obama, Clinton, even the Bushes -- tried to shield their kids as much as possible. The moment Palin twisted things and played the "death panels" card, she opened the door for this kind of humor as legitimate.

The true sin here, of course, is something way more predictable. It wasn't funny. To make a joke in poor taste like that and not even have it be funny -- well, that's lame sauce, pure and simple.