Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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A Brief Ramble About Deformities

I spent my evening looking at pictures of severely deformed babies (warning: do NOT look at them if your stomach is easily turned) and thinking. If you ever want your mood drastically mellowed in acknowledgment of the world's profundities, looking at pictures of deformed babies will do it to you.

My ex-fuck-buddy Justin once presented to me, on the very first page of a thick folder he prepared for me of "things I should know about him," a photocopy of the medical report made at his birth, detailing all his medical deformities (believed to be caused by the fact that his father had been exposed to Agent Orange in Viet Nam). Several of Justin's deformities (many of which were soon surgically corrected, though some, like his small size and bent spine, couldn't be) fall into categories which are pictured on the page full of deformed babies. (And don't anyone tell me the correct phrase is "differently formed," because I'm talking about extremely painful deformities which Justin would not for one second have allowed anyone to misrepresent as being merely "different" rather than "in desperate need of medical assistance.") Justin was always quick to paint for me a scene of horror and disappointment upon his first entrance to the world, giving the story the bitterest twist imaginable, and he certainly never made his parents sound like they deserved any sympathy at all. Looking at the pictures though, I have to feel for the parents. Most of the babies pictured on that website didn't survive anyway.

Justin comes to mind a lot lately because whenever I watch Enterprise, I keep neglecting to turn the TV off afterwards and I end up seeing Special Unit 2 next. I don't at all like the idea of considering myself someone who watches Special Unit 2, because, first of all, watching two television shows instead of one makes me sound significantly less anti-TV than I'm used to being and am proud of being; and second of all, Special Unit 2 just has such an extremely unappealing basic plot premise ("there are a bunch of subhuman insufficiently evolved people out there and we must immediately go murder every single one of them until their nasty subhuman species are all completely extinct!") that I really don't want to be associated with it. Yet I keep leaving it on anyway - and so I keep seeing Danny Woodburn in his role of "gnome." Not all of the lines that the writers feed to Danny Woodburn are callous and insensitive to the lives of dwarves and other people with nonstandard bodies; there are a few good moments here and there. But there are also so many lines that make me cringe and constantly I hear Justin's voice in my head, dripping with the very bitterest cynicism I ever heard, sarcastically remarking on how the only roles a short guy gets to play are the roles of clowns. And sometimes the scenes have been even more offensive, so offensive that Justin would have slammed the TV switch off immediately with no words and stomped around in a foul hateful mood yelling at everyone about completely unrelated insignificant issues for ages afterward to distract himself. Sometimes I want to throw things at the screen myself. But that would accomplish nothing, so instead I sit here looking at pictures of twisted broken babies and wonder what I could do that would accomplish something.

I always wonder how Danny Woodburn feels about his own lines on the show. I very much hope he's found a lot more inner peace than Justin ever did. I hate the idea of there being more people in the world as overwhelmingly bitter at the world as Justin.
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