Monday, 10 September 2012

About to burst...

I'm sorry, but this needs to be said. I try not to comment on things beyond Tolkien and Liturgy on this 'blog, and my very low tolerance level is now well-established, but does anybody else have some kind of moral objection to the ''paralympic'' games? I tried to figure it out years ago, but even today I struggle to understand why. I don't care for most sports or gymnastics, so that might have something to do with it, and I have to say I put myself out not to watch any of the real 2012 (or previous) Olympic games (albeit I sympathised with my parents and some of my friends who couldn't get tickets, or wouldn't pay the extortionate prices for them), but I don't know - whether it's the unedifying sight of so many cripples jumping around or people with learning difficulties trying to equal the truly gifted, or blind ballerinas dancing with a soloist of the Royal Ballet, Lord only knows. I think it's the idea of celebrating disability that I find so hateful; terms like ''handicapable'' just go against the grain. It was like that episode of Glee with the deaf choir, dear God! Music has brought me to tears in the past (and I daresay will again), but that was just ridiculous; I felt sorry for them! I know why the paralympic games were started, and at least 50 years ago the paralympic movement had intelligible motives, but is somebody with Down's Syndrome really in the same ''boat'' as someone who has lost his leg? Ere long none of us will have any convictions left; there will be no more labels (although that entails a host of other moral questions), even to have opinions will be scorned. But this is now, the beginning of the end. Is this political correctness gone mad? Is ''handicapable'' an acceptable taxonomical label for someone crippled?

I'm sorry if you find this post objectionable, but I have to tell someone other than my parents. At least they agree with me on this one thing! Although I won't repeat what my father said about it...


  1. Sorry, Patricius, you are not allowed to say those things or even to think those thoughts.

  2. I think that it is perfectly acceptable to disagree with someone and tell him to f*** off and to pity the person. However, since when is it acceptable to tell people that they cannot cay such things?

    For what it's worth, I consciously disagree with Patricius, and my watching of some of the Paralympic events for the first time this year has served to establish that disagreement to some extent, as I saw people overcoming quite significant challenges to excel. I was incredibly moved and humbled by much of it and thought that many of the competitors were simply amazing.

    However, I must say that some of his words in this post give voice to something that I cannot particularly well articulate but which sometimes sat on my mind as I was watching these events. It was a discomfort that could not simply be explained away as a feeling of awkwardness when confronted with the reality of disability. It was something else. I still cannot articulate it very well because I haven't quite sorted out the thoughts in my mind, and I think that they do not map directly onto what Patricius has said here.

    Yet I don't think it will do just to write off Patricius' post simply because he expresses views that are unpopular.