07 December, 2015

A Photo Of A Nobody Doing A Nothing

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Mystic Metals Body Jewelry

A Photo Of A Nobody Doing A Nothing

One of the reasons I stopped writing this awful blog is because I got into a groove of calling people out on what I perceived as bullshit. Someone would say something suspect or irritating, and I'd try to dissect the person and share why I think they were being a cocksucker. I don't think it was within the thesis of this blog, and as I mentioned earlier, blog opinions are everything wrong with the internet. Real news sources are using blogs and Twitter and nobodies like me to create a headline, and that's disgraceful. So, assuming I am moving forward with this dumb shit (which is a big assumption), I'm going to try to avoid that. So this will be the last one. Probably.

Now let me renege on what I just said. Slightly. Stay with me on this. Or don't. I recently was bombarded with messages and emails about this dumb thing that happened, and now I feel as if I'm compelled to talk about the dumb thing. It's about being crippled. My friends like to send me shit about cripples and board games, and though I'd much rather write about board games, I'll tackle the cripple thing.

The thing that blew up my inboxes was about some person called a Kylie Jenner. For those who don't know what a Kylie Jenner is, it's a woman person thing who is slightly less successful and relevant than its kin. It lives a televised life, and it tends to populate social media and dance clubs. It is not a wily beast, and can be found when it is interested in being found. Which is always. Its success is contingent on being on the receiving end of stares and tweets. (Yes, I'm completely not doing what I said I'd do in the first paragraph.) Why this mythological beast appeared in text in my inboxes is because this particular Kylie Jenner did a photo shoot in which she is sitting in a wheelchair. I use a wheelchair, so there's your logic connection.

I'm not going to talk about the photo shoot because in the grand scheme, art doesn't matter. I say this as a musician, a poet, a table top game designer, and a writer. Art doesn't matter to the survival of man. It is vitally important to social identity, but a painter is way lower on the scale of necessary personfolk than a garbageman or farmer. So the art of this photo thing with this particular Kylie Jenner doesn't matter. The wheelchair is a prop. I have a wonderful photographer friend who has done chair shoots before. It's just a thing in the photo, and is clearly designed to get attention. It says nothing. And to quote a line from the back cover of a Type O-Negative record, "Functionless art is simply tolerated vandalism." Most shock artists I know can't narratively or conceptually explain to me the weird shit in their art. Weird for the sake of weird, and that's ok if you jive to that kind of thing. I personally don't, but my opinion doesn't matter, as we discussed earlier. When I write, music or literature, every word or pitch is positioned exactly where it belongs, and I can explain its function precisely. Just a different kind of art, and that's what makes art great. It can be anything. That's also what makes it shit, but that's a different rant.

What I will go on about here is the reaction to the photoshoot that this particular Kylie Jenner did. Crippled people went nuts, and worse, able people who think they have some sort of kinship to cripples. Also, fine. Who gives a shit. In a week, no one will care. Cripples will still be cripples; this particular Kylie Jenner will still be whatever it is that she is; the photographer will still do whatever it is that he does; and the world will still continue to spin into an inevitable oblivion. And there will still be Mondays, which may be the worst fate of it all.

Most of the "backlash" that I read dripped with a secret sauce that tasted to me like, 'finally, we can get in this Uber called outrage, and ride it to that wonderful department store called Outragists Reparations Warehouse and Mini Golf.' The mini golf there is the bestest. But I'm not going to deconstruct the outrage. What I will draw attention to is what I kept seeing appear in tweets and posts. I kept seeing #ableist.

Stop. For the love of everything that is in some way surviving this awful society, stop. Stop isting people. This particular Kylie Jenner isn't an abelist because ableists don't exist. This photographer isn't an abelist because abelists don't exist. You can't just throw ist on something and expect that it makes sense because it does two dangerous things. First, it labels all people who subscribe to the prefix as having the opinion that you think is ill. Able people don't hate cripples. I have interacted with so few people who actually have a prejudice against crippled people. And by so few, I mean zero. Anecdotal evidence isn't worth much in a debate, I understand that, but still. Who the fuck is sitting at home, tenting their fingers, and saying, 'Fuck those cripples.' No one. Stupid. It also shows a laziness in expressing oneself. Instead of calling this particular Kylie Jenner an ableist, maybe explain what it means to you that this particular Kylie Jenner sat in a wheelchair. And I guarantee you, your explanation is bullshit.

Why is it bullshit? And why do I appear to be insensitive toward wheelchair cripples? Individuals can be hurt by things. That's completely in bounds and legitimate. You can be hurt by whatever it is that you'd like. If a fish wearing a Santa hat upsets you, go nuts. Be upset. The problem is when those who identify with a specific group or culture are offended by certain things, there is an assumption that others within that culture or group agree, or ought to be offended as well. We have degenerated into a hive mind offense, and that is so terribly damning to the individual and the sense of self. People tell me often, 'you are not your wheelchair' as a way to reaffirm a sense of self and value of individuality. You are not your wheelchair? If you expect me to believe that, then you must also expect me to believe that this particular Kylie Jenner isn't her wheelchair either. This particular Kylie Jenner posed in a photo while sitting in a wheelchair. That's where the outrage is coming from. Just to reiterate. It's a photo of a person sitting in a chair with wheels. No one got his head cut off. No one got mugged for his sexual orientation. No one conspired to throw the World Series. Is there a smaller word than micro, because calling this outrage a micro aggression is an offense to micro aggression, and I wouldn't want to be a micro aggressionist, would I. If you can't feel important or valuable without another individual trying to cut you down (or what you may perceive as an other individual cutting you down), than you'll never feel important or valuable. Is the photo in bad taste? Maybe. But who ever said that anyone is teflon to bad taste.

As a side note, art should be offensive. Is this photo of this particular Kylie Jenner art? I don't know, nor do I care. But assuming it is, art should elicit emotions. Offense is an emotion. If I'm pissed off at some model in a wheelchair, then maybe I'm not addressing things within myself which very likely have nothing to do with this particular Kylie Jenner. This particular Kylie Jenner was doing what she was told to do in order to sell a brand, and those who are offended or lashing out with the fake word ableist totally took a giant bite of it. They were the target audience, and the photographer and this particular Kylie Jenner hit the mark hard. Good job letting your emotions give them the press they needed to stay relevant. The bottom line is, who cares? People call this particular Kylie Jenner and her kin shallow; but isn't there a chance that those offended by this type of nothing are as shallow? Maybe think more of yourself than a person in a wheelchair, and this type of bullshit will matter to you as much as it matters to me; which is to say none. At the end of the day, this particular Kylie Jenner will be replaced by another Kylie Jenner, and another photo will hit the internet. It'll feature something that some tiny group of people will find unsavory, and we'll do it all again. Then that particular Kylie Jenner will be replaced by another, and so on. Stop caring about shit that doesn't matter. Stop being a hive mind, and be an individual. Hopefully, as I mentioned before, this will be the last of my 'rage at this person' blogs. I really don't like writing them. But Goddamnit. The perpetually offended really ought to stop letting plastic marketing plants rob them of their beauty. Rob isn't terribly accurate, though, because they're just giving it away to them. We're all disgraceful things, aren't we. Stay beautiful, kids.

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