Sunday, 8 November 2015

We used to call them...

Thanks to Anti-Gnostic I came across the story of Madeline Stuart, a model with Down's Syndrome. There is an article about her on the Daily Mail here.

My father sometimes says: "we used to call them [blank]," whether that's "pansies" for homosexuals, "spastics" for the disabled (or crippled), or "mongs," or "mongoloid types" for people with Down's Syndrome. Of course, my father is 58 and comes from a time when Mass was Mass, the law was to be obeyed and miscreant children were actually disciplined in schools. These days we live under the aegis of lies. Simply being polite has turned into a pathological fear not to offend and past "victimhood" has become the stimulant for present, arbitrary prioritisation. Where before some occupations operated bastardy employment policies, nowadays prospective applicants for jobs are collated into whichever minority the doctrine of "inclusion and diversity" can think of, without much regard for competence or qualification. Of course, the irony in this case is that it was easier to get a job years ago. My father said that he left school on the Friday and walked into his job on Monday, where to-day prospective applicants (such as myself) have to vault several difficult obstacles before they even reach the interview stage.

To come back to Madeline, when did it become acceptable, or rather fashionable, to be disabled? I know that's just as consistent as commenting upon the "instant" you enter middle age, but the culture of the "handicapable" is one of the many things about the modern world that I heartily detest. Some years ago, when I expressed my discomfort with the "paralympic" games, I received hate mail. One person said:
"And by the way, your liberal use of hyphens confirms my expectation you have a third rate mind you dumb fascist."
Another person told me, to his credit publicly, that I was not allowed to say those things or even to think those thoughts. Nevertheless, I utterly fail to see the problem. As Lisa Simpson noted, the Guinness Book of World Records used to document actual achievements but has since degraded to really disgusting uniqueness, e.g: world's smelliest tumour. In a similar way, the paralympic games (pioneered, incidentally, by a Jew), set up to encourage war veterans, has since encompassed people with learning disabilities and congenital abnormalities. And it's all done in the name of inclusion and diversity, which, as a stimulant of any course of action, I find disturbing.

In poor Madeline's case, I can't help but feel she is being abused. Whatever callous and cynical modelling agency hired her has clearly cashed in on the inclusion and diversity ratchet and is shewing the world an alternative, but equally superfluous and shallow, form of beauty. That is to say, all the physical attractiveness of a girl with Down's syndrome: short and stubby, thick arms and legs, squint eyes, a fat head, &c; all painted over with a mascara wand. The girl probably has the mental age of a six year old. I expect in her simple, girlish world she is making "friends," and enjoying the runway but the harsh reality is that her contemporaries probably make fun of her appearance and her naivety and her manager probably laughs all the way to the bank.

But there's more! According to the article on the Daily Mail, Madeline has a "long-time" boyfriend. The question to ask ourselves here is: what normal adolescent male forms a romantic attachment to a girl with mental and physical abnormalities?

About three miles from here is an old hospital. I think it operates to-day as a retirement home but it used to be an hospital for "unwanted" children. Problem children and children with mental disorders were sent thither until 1960 when it closed down. I have no doubt that a few of the inmates were children with Down's Syndrome. I sometimes wonder whether it would be better to change our attitude to these issues to the way we used to think before "care in the community" became fashionable. Which is worse? To hide away society's problems in Calcutta's black hole or to deliberately deceive the innocent and the simple into thinking that they are objects of desire and to cash in on their exploitation?

Take your best shot.


  1. Your words are distasteful and un-Christian. Whatever our inclinations and revulsions may be, it is a duty of taste and morality to examine them in a moral light before expressing them publicly, and so I will assume, out of charity to you, that you did not consider what you wrote above, and that a careful consideration of what you wrote before you hit the publish button would have aborted this monstrosity of a post.

    1. Why are my words "distasteful" and "un-Christian"?

    2. It is not with regards to Madeline herself that I feel your comments have crossed a line of decency; I reserve judgement on that particular situation, and concede to you that it might not be in the best taste, or in the best interest of the girl herself; it is rather with the attitude from which you express your judgements that I take issue. Your revulsion towards the disabled is evident; and unless I have gravely misread you, you imply a sympathy with past attitudes to them, which are far from being the crowning glory of a past that was generally more sane than the present, and suggest a dichotomy between the inhumane treatment of the past and what one could argue to be the excesses of the present. If I believed that you were writing only out of concern for the girl, and not to indulge in disgust for the disabled, I would not have criticized what you wrote above. Many of us are inflicted with revulsions of one kind or another (the sight of certain non-solid foods, like yoghurt, for instance, induces nausea in me), but we must observe our attitudes from a vantage of detachment, to see whether they are edifying to us or detrimental, and deserving of public expression.In an age so fecund in Juvenalian grotesquery, it is indecent to aim at the age's attitude to the disabled, which, though it may have its excesses, seems an evident improvement on the past.

  2. Your assessment of the situation is perfectly honest. The girl is being exploited by her handlers and possibly sexually abused by her "boyfriend". As you clearly stated, no normal heterosexual male would find her attractive, the whole thing is quite perverse and revolting. She should be treated and protected as one would a child despite her chronological age.

    1. My point exactly! I have nothing but sympathy for individuals with Down's Syndrome. I have a limited knowledge of the condition but I have known a few people with it, and they have all been equally God's Gift to whomever has the privilege of caring for them.

      Everyone is different, and I am sure individuals with Down's Syndrome are as different from each other as you and I. I knew a boy called Aaron who had Down's Syndrome who worked at my old store. Menial tasks like collecting cardboard, and so on, and obviously part-time, but he was a very valued member of staff (at least to me). He used to annoy the Grocery Manager sometimes because he was slow but I would talk to him sometimes, just to make him feel welcome. And he remembered my name. Apparently he didn't know everyone's name. I sometimes miss seeing him about. He didn't seem to have a care in the world, and was always smiling. He reminded me of the words of Our Lord: "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."

      And there are heartless parents who, now that we have prenatal screening, abort them. The thought turns my stomach.