Thursday, March 19, 2009

Disablist jokes

Yesterday comedian Jimmy Carr tweeted this remark

"
Just doing my sound check in Glasgow and one of the tech team referred to the 'disabled seating area' as the 'cabbage patch'."

Which unsurprisingly has upset a few disabled peeps.

My reply was

"
Assure him all disabled ppl r far 2 busy licking windows 2 be upset by such an impaired sense of humour" Which should really have read 'us crips' rather than disabled ppl!

There seems to have been a resurgence lately in disablist jokes by non disabled comedians. Leaving aside the fact that Jimmy Carr's remark isn't especially funny, I wonder why any public figure thinks it's acceptable to mock disabled people in a way they wouldn't dare to do with other minority groups.

Perhaps they are following this Labour campaign advisors example?


Updated. Via Dizzy President Obama on last night's Jay Leno show joked about how bad ten pin bowling is and described it as
"It's like-it was like the Special Olympics, or something"

So, the most powerful man in the world, himself a member of a repressed minority group sees fit to mock another repressed minority group who are still repressed. Thanks then Mr Obama, if that's your idea of change, then 'may god help us all'







6 comments:

The Goldfish said...

I think the trouble is that they think disabled people aren't listening. Like we're in the other room, somehow.

Someone once said of seeing Carr live (although I don't know if he's particularly bad in this respect) that he would take the mick out of women, but the way he did, he was kind of taking the mick out of himself "Ha ha, I'm a stupid man who thinks women's heads are full of petals." Similarly with queer people - gay men, specifically "Ha ha, I'm an insecure straight man made nervous by gay men, aren't I daft?"

And thus nobody was offended, because these were jokes about that kind of prejudice, rather that genuinely jokes at the expense of women or gay folk.

But with disabled people, they were spoken about as decidedly other. Rather like the way people joke about "chavs" - you can do that because nobody present is likely to identify themselves as a chav. If people can't see us - given that folk tend to imagine all disabled people to be very visibly so - they imagine we're simply not present to be alienated and offended. Even on Twitter.

Robert said...

Because we are a target right now, we are seen as cheats , work shy morons who sit at home living on £20,000 of hard worked for tax payers money, something like MP's really.

dizzy said...

Barack Obama?

Casdok said...

Good reply :)

Fire Byrd said...

I did write a long commment, but I think I'll keep it simple and concur with Casdok.
xx

Ron Knee said...

Goldfish:
Jimmy carr IS bent as a nine bob note!

BendyGirl:
I am a staunch supporter of free speech and it hurts me to the core when celebrities (like David Jason recently, for example) are made to apologise for cracking un-PC jokes. All the time I was able to work I was the butt of joaks about my ethnicity (half polish), I used to get called "Ski" because they explained "well, every polish bloke is called Ski something, aint they!"

This could have been taken as racial abuse, but I took it as a joke and got used to it. Now I have osteo-arthritis and have broken limbs with titanium inserts, my best mate tells other people to be careful not to let me get too close to anything magnetic or I might kick myself to death". He doesn't mean it in a nasty way and I would be a hypocrite to my beliefs to object about it.

Words are just words, you can't go through life worrying about some playful remarks as there are far greater issues to be concerned about.