There’s a new movie coming out, “Me Before You,” about this rich guy who gets paralyzed in an accident and then falls in love with his pretty, poor girl, caretaker. But despite this, he still goes through with his pre-planned, physician-assisted suicide.
The disabled activist community is having a shit fit. Their big claim against the movie is that disabled people don’t want to commit suicide and that it perpetuates negative stereotypes, as if the disabled have nothing to live for and can not in any way have productive and happy lives.
Well, they’ve got many sets of big balls. How dare they speak for all disabled people? How dare these highly-functioning, successful, motivated, positive-thinking activists (probably with money) speak for every disabled person on earth? I can bet that there are many depressed, isolated, frustrated, poor disabled people who really do want to kill themselves. The disabled activists are trying to shove another stereotype down our throats: the Super Crip. This is the cripple who can do everything; be a neurosurgeon, go skiing, get a PhD. And me, a disabled 58 year old guy with severe CP, highly resents it.
Are they saying that disabled people shouldn’t kill themselves? Don’t we also have that right? It may not be pleasing to them, but we have a right to do it, just like I believe some depressed people have a right to kill themselves. Is that so un-PC? Even this handsome, smart, rich guy in the movie; doesn’t he have the right to cash it all in?
I live in Israel and there are not as many of opportunities for disabled people as there are in America and Europe. 40 years ago, a lot of disabled Israelis were put into homes that weren’t the best. I see them in the street or in the market, and they don’t look happy at all. I say hi to them and they barely react. This makes me think about how lucky I am that I was born in America in a certain time when the disabled starting being treated like regular people. Because I was middle class, I was able to go to college and grad school. I lived and NYC and practically everything was open to me: bars, jazz clubs, whore houses. Also, by some quirk of nature, I had a very strong will to say “fuck everyone, this is what I want. I want to go to porno theaters. I want to drink in bars. I want to dance at discos. I want to go to Columbia. I want to work in advertising.” The disabled people I see here in Israel did not have any of this. So what’s so bad if they are tired and want to hang it all up?
I often think about how I would like to end it if things got too tough for me. I think about what would happen if I needed a feeding tube and couldn’t get out and go to my favorite cafes and synagogues, or to the shuk. Furthrmore, Hollywood is one big stereotype. They don’t portray life; they portray fantasy, which is why most people go to the movies. Why should the disabled expect any different? Do we want special treatment just because we’re disabled? Isn’t that hypocritical?
Boy, I’m really worked up. I’m starting to eyeball the 500mg Advil tablets. That would show these guys. But not before I take 10 of my friends to go see “Me Before You” on opening night.