|trouble (trouble) wrote,|
@ 2011-06-01 05:16 pm UTC
|Entry tags:||!public, angry for a reason, disability|
(Exclamation Marks are Sarcasm Indicators.)
This comes from that awesome place to hang out, TV Tropes! Specifically, people with disabilities are being discussed in the "Uncanny Valley" section of "Troper Tales".
(Here is TV Tropes' definition of the Uncanny Valley:
Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori stated in 1970 that the more human a robot acted or looked, the more endearing it would be to a human being. For example, most lovable Robot Buddies look humanoid, but keep quirky and artistically mechanical affectations.)
However, at some point, the likeness would seem too strong, and it would just come across as a very strange human being. At this point, the acceptance drops suddenly, changing to a powerful negative reaction.
When shown as a graph (like the one to the right), the acceptance on the Y axis and increasing X approaching human normal, there is a slow rise, then a sudden drop, then a sudden peak as "human normal" is reached. Masahiro Mori referred to this as the "uncanny valley"
So, just to make that clear to start with: People with disabilities are being discussed in a section where other people are discussing cars that talk and computer animation. Because they aren't people, see. They're almost people, but not quite. And it's creepy.
This troper has a cousin with severe genetic defects. On the surface, she looks like an ordinary girl of her age. But spend even a minute in her presence, and the defects become apparent. Not only is she unable to stand upright without support and has seizures, but she is mentally retarded to the point that this troper isn't sure if she's truly sentient. She's like an animal in a human body - and yet she is kin.
This troper has a great-aunt who's mentally retarded to the point that she has the mind of a four-year-old... despite being in her late 50's. Every time his family goes to visit her, he can't help but be really, really creeped out.
Two Words: Tear Jerker.
That's why I can't substitute teach in EC, (what used to be called "Special Ed") classes. My empathetic side feels sorry for them, but every other instinct is calling for retreat. The exaggerated cheerfulness of the other teachers in there doesn't help. They pretty much have to do that to register on the kids.
You too? I missed my last possible year to go visit a school in LA filled with the kids who are just too mentally impaired to go to a normal high school. He couldn't help but pity them when they'd come to perform for Christmas, and looking at a friend's field trip form, rule #1 of the trip was "YOU ARE NOT TO PITY THEM". How can I not, the poor souls...
This troper has been stuck in Special Ed, and HATES the overly-cheerful crap. I'm disabled, not stupid!
Aye, this Troper gets very creeped out around mentally disabled people. Not to mention birth defects and other things. *shudders*
I once saw a special on TLC about a girl who doesn't age. She was technically 16 years at the time of shooting, but she had the body of a baby. Here is an article about her. I find it almost too bizarre to comprehend.
This troper goes to a high school with a Special Ed class in it and has to walk by the classroom on her way to lunch as the disabled kids are getting ready to eat too. This troper has to keep her head down at the floor to keep herself from running away. It's not that I'm truly afraid of them (I really do sympathize for disabled people) it's just it frightens me to know that they weren't supposed to be that way, they could have been normal, yet somehow they weren't born right. It frightens me even more if they're mentally retarded as I don't know what to do in situations like that without feeling uncomfortable and scared.
This troper's nephews were burned in a car fire when they were young; their burn scars ranging from just a few here and there to one who bears an uncanny (pun not intended) resemblance to Jacqueline Saburido (both were trapped in their seats when their respective fires happened). I don't feel it's effects since I've seen them at least once a month (and have gotten used to it), but I only noticed this trope applies to him when I overheard a small girl who couldn't be older than eight at a high school football game say "mommy, that kid looks weird" or something to that effect.
Jesus Christ there's a shitload of ableism in this thread.
There's some ableism, yes, but there's also recognition that it's not socially acceptable to treat mentally impaired individuals differently - and yet many people have an irrational part of their brain repeatedly smashing the panic button every time they are around these individuals. This whole trope is about the fact that there is, for many people, an intuitive response of DO NOT WANT to things that seem human-but-not-right, and the fact that it is the exact same response to an extremely lifelike robot or puppet as to a child with, say, down syndrome makes it very clear that this is not society creating a stigma, but a built-in human reaction. (Not to mention, it is depressing to meet all the kids who are functionally retarded and will never be able to live on their own just because Mommy couldn't stay off the crack and booze while she was pregnant.) I learned from substitute teaching that while I handle just fine the high-functioning "special ed." kids who just have learning disorders, I need to stay away from the "sheltered environment" assignments, because I can't effectively hide my body language from the other students in the classroom when a kid who hits my own Uncanny Valley effect approaches me, and I don't want to encourage treating those students as different.
This teenage troper HAD TO LIFEGUARD, for the mentally and physically retarded. While I admit I was not effected by the uncanny valley here, do you know how pathetic it was to watch some of them swim? Half of them were in wheelchairs, and had to scoot around in the wading pool on their butts. Two in particular were really sad cases, both of them in wheelchairs. One was a boy and he was probably around my age, his hands and toes were curled into his body and it didn't seem like he had much ability to control them, although he wasn't flailing or anything, they stuck him in a neck brace (it looked like a life vest, but it didn't go on his torso, he was LITERALLY floating around by his head and neck dragged around by an aid). The other case was similar, although instead of being all curled up, she was flailing around and at times wailing or seeming to be very angry at being in the pool, she did not float around by her neck, and despite her nervous flailing I noticed she had some control over what she did. She seemed to be trying really hard to get away from her aid... Worst of all? I still see some of these kids around the high school, as it was the school pool.
This troper Has always had issues with pictures of birth defects. Not so much disfigurements from an accident or something, just anything congenital or genetic. There's just something about humans being born looking inhuman that makes me feel like nature isn't to be trusted, and the world is a really squicky place on a primordial level. I saw a commercial for some Discovery Channel show about The Elephant Man when I was around eight, and... Well, needless to say, I didn't watch Discovery for a while after, and that commercial was literal Accidental Nightmare Fuel for me off and on for years after. Which probably means this is more like Nightmare Valley for me.
This just goes on and on and on. OMG! People with disabilities are inhuman! And if anyone points out how you're describing people in the way you describe dogs, then OMG! You are being mean.
I don't even know how to respond to this shit because what is the point? People actually argue that being repulsed by bodies like Don's, with his caved-in chest and his long spindly fingers and his sunk-in eyes is a normal human reaction to birth defects. They don't think it has anything to do with ableism, with the messages society sends about people with disabilities, about how rarely people actually interact with actual disabled people so they never get used to us, they think it's all perfectly acceptable because people with disabilities are not quite human.