Commenting on the media’s coverage of the inauguration, satirical BBC Ouch! columnist Disability Bitch says she hated the disparaging metaphors used to describe former vice president Dick Cheney’s use of a wheelchair. (She also wasn’t happy that Barack Obama didn’t refer to people with disabilities in his speech.)
Um. Blimey. I was unaware until reading all this that using a mobility aid signified so many disastrous things. There was I thinking that a wheelchair was nothing more than a useful means of getting around when one’s body fails to cooperate with one’s life. Apparently I’ve been wrong all this time, and in fact it signifies total economic meltdown and failure. I stand corrected and have since been looking at all my Abnormal friends in a new light. I’m certainly not going to trust them with my handbag or lend them any money.
To be honest, I’m glad the commentators spelled out what the wheelchair symbolizes. If they hadn’t done so, I would’ve imagined Cheney’s injury represented other things more commonly associated with disabled people. Perhaps that America was incontinent, useless, committing benefit fraud and leeching off the state. Good luck, President Obama.
Helen Henderson: Injured Cheney spurs negative response – Toronto Star