19 July, 2012

Unnatural, Abnormal, Beautiful

presented by
Mystic Metals Body Jewelry




Unnatural, Abnormal, Beautiful
7.19.12



Starting is the hardest part. I'm sure you cats and kittens can understand that from reading my awful first paragraphs of all of these blogs. But starting in a different sense can often be more difficult than progressing. Moving on within a current status can be easier because there is nothing foreign, nothing unexpected, nothing waiting and lurking with an odd and contorted face to spring up and confront you. I have been doing some starting recently, and it has been difficult because it isn't an entirely new starting as it is more of a new continuation. What the hell am I talking about?

I am reading a book right now whose purpose is to help breed comfort in certain normal life situations in the context of living with and knowing those with disabilities. It is written by two doctors and a guy who owns a dildo store. Yeah, I don't see that last guy's expertise either, but having worked at a porn store myself, you do gain some undeniable skills that are very difficult to describe. The book talks about the normality of those with disabilities, their (or our, I guess) perceptions of common behaviors, and how those around us perceive and manage themselves and those with the disabilities. Why would I be reading a book like this? I mean, I know I'm disabled and I know how I deal with things, right? Well, it's an interesting read to me because it is providing perspective, and perspective tends to be more valuable than precious stones.

The start of the book, whose name I'll provide by request, talks about myths that capped people like myself tend to believe. I agree that some are indeed myths, but I disagree with others. One myth which I do not agree as being a myth is this one: Myth #14: People living with disabilities and chronic illness are unnatural.

Before I get into my disagreement with that, it is important to understand the distinction between normal and abnormal. This book, though it doesn't read as a cheerleading to the idea that every thing is peachy keen jelly bean when you're crippled, provides ideas of sociological normalcy. My beautiful and wonderful girlfriend and I have had some interesting and very intellectually stimulating conversations about this. Free advice: Date a dame who is smarter than you because the conversations are awesome. But in terms of the purposes of this book, the idea of what sociological normalcy is must be an established idea before continuing further. Clear, physical disability is very much affected by these sociological concepts because able people are confronted with the sight of the different thing, in this case the crippled person, and must categorize that difference in order to understand it. Keep in mind too for a second that I am reading more into the text than I believe is intended.

When an able person sees a disabled person with a clear disability, perhaps a wheelchair or a sightless person or an individual with a prosthetic limb, he is immediately informed of the differences between himself and the disabled person. That's simple perception and probably a trickle down from when people were living in caves, killing saber toothed cats, and clubbing broads over the head to mate. The question then becomes, is the able person seeing the handicap the normal individual, or is the normalcy within the disabled person?

The easy answer is that the able person is the normal one and the capped person is the abnormal one. This makes sense to me because there are more able people than crippled people. Of course we live in a society today with science so advanced that some sort of disability can be manufactured within just about anyone, but that's a different discussion. I don't have a problem with this assessment, that able people are in the normal category and the disabled are in the abnormal category. As par to a discussion with my beautiful and wonderful girlfriend, abnormal as a word has negative connotations, but in my using it, I am selecting the word abnormal because it is the most accurate word to describe the denotation I am attempting to convey. What I do have a problem with is the manipulation of the word normal. Normal is a word which should be used without positive or negative connotation. It is the center, the baseline, so if it is the mark by which we measure, then it cannot be good nor bad. It's the ruler, and when measuring the length of something, the ruler is neither good nor bad; it just is. That's where the word normal should be, and there is a certain desire within the disabled community (one that I hope most of you are unfamiliar with) to portray those things that are considered normal as a bad thing. That isn't our normal so it is abnormal by virtue of its normalcy. That's stupid.

Getting back to the myth I mentioned earlier. Myth #14: People living with disabilities and chronic illness are unnatural. If normal is the center of the bell curve, if normal is the most common natural occurrence of a thing (in this case people) then those who do not represent that center of the bell are abnormal, and thus unnatural. Is that a mean thing to say? I'm not sure. I suppose. I mean, if a stranger walked up to me and proclaimed, "O! sweet folly of Christ! that which you are be beyond what the earth and its sweet mother intended!" I'd probably take a second to think, "What a dick." Then I'd think, "Well phrased, though." Someone born with a disability is unnatural. I believe that, and I don't think that is a negative way at looking at things so much as it is a factual way of looking at things. Medical science has told us what a prime example of a human ought to be. None of us are that, to be sure. At least not since Jesus and Bruce Lee died. But we have a standard by which we measure the working body. If someone is born without a reasonable faculty of what is accepted as the standard, then that person cannot be the prime example of a human. Is that an unreasonable conclusion? People born with spina bifida are unnatural because people are not supposed to be born with spina bifida. There is no positive or negative spin there; it's just observation. Just as turtles aren't supposed to be born with two heads, but sometimes turtles are born with two heads. Is he not just as unnatural? He's certainly not normal.

I am saying a whole bunch of nothing in this blog today, and I apologize. It's more of a sketching of ideas and impressions rather than any kind of cohesive thought. I'll do better next week, but I think you can see my points here. Am I unnatural or abnormal by virtue of my birth with a broken and malfunctioning spine? I think so, yeah. Am I defeated by that? Sometimes, but as you kids know about me, I am a precise individual in terms of word use and meaning. Abnormal is the perfect word in its denotation to describe things which lie outside of the center of the average. Unnatural is the perfect word in its denotation to describe things which happen outside of the accepted natural occurrence of things. That doesn't change what or who I am, however; it just describes it. Just like in our modification community, aesthetic difference doesn't make us spiritually or intellectually abnormal. It just makes us us. Just like that two headed turtle; he's both unnatural and beautiful. Stay beautiful, kids.




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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